John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Effects of pyrethroid insecticides in urban runoff on chinook salmon, steelhead trout, and their invertebrate prey

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Pyrethroid insecticides can affect salmonids either indirectly through toxicity to their prey or directly by toxicity to the fish themselves. In support of a study on pyrethroid impacts to Chinook salmon and steelhead trout in the American River (Sacramento, California), 96‐h EC50 and LC50 values for the pyrethroid bifenthrin were determined for taxa not traditionally used for toxicity testing but of interest as salmonid prey, including a chironomid, caddisflies, mayflies and stoneflies. A laboratory was constructed on the banks of the American River to expose macroinvertebrates, Chinook salmon, and steelhead trout to flow‐through river water containing urban runoff during storm events. Bifenthrin from urban runoff was found in river water following five rain events, reaching 14.6 ng/L. Mortality to the exposed salmonids was not observed, and sublethal effects were not seen in vitellogenin or sex steroid levels. Indirect effects via toxicity to salmonid prey are possible. Mortality to H. azteca, a potential prey, was observed in every event tested, and peak bifenthrin concentrations were comparable to the 96‐h EC50 of the caddisfly, Hydropsyche sp., the most important prey species on a biomass basis for American River Chinook salmon. The other invertebrates tested had EC50s exceeding bifenthrin concentrations seen in the American River, though could potentially be at risk at concentrations previously reported in smaller urban tributaries. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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