John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Monitoring exposure of brown bullheads and benthic macroinvertebrates to sediment contaminants in the Ashtabula River before, during, and after remediation

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In 2007, approximately 420,500 cubic meters of contaminated sediment were removed from the Ashtabula River by dredging. The primary objective of this study was to monitor contaminant exposure in fish and macroinvertebrates before, during, and following dredging. This was done by measuring tissue concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) in brown bullhead catfish (Ameriurus nebulosa) and in benthic macroinvertebrates, assessing changes in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage in fish liver and blood, and scoring external and histopathological lesions and anomalies in the fish. PCBs and PAHs in surficial sediment were also quantified in conjunction with the biological sampling. The results show a significant reduction in contaminant levels in both fish and macroinvertebrates following dredging, indicating the effectiveness of the remediation in reducing exposure of biota to the primary contaminants of concern. Similarly, DNA damage levels in fish collected from the Ashtabula River significantly declined following dredging; however, a similar reduction in DNA damage over time was seen in fish collected from a reference site (Conneaut Creek), making interpretation difficult. Macroinvertebrate PCB concentrations were reflective of the sediment concentrations in the areas where Hester‐Dendy samplers were deployed for macroinvertebrate collection. This study demonstrated these methods can be used to evaluate and assess the effectiveness of remediation techniques at contaminated sediment sites. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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