Exposure of juvenile chinook and chum salmon to chemical contaminants in the Hylebos Waterway of Commencement Bay, Tacoma, Washington
- Cite this article as:
- Stehr, C.M., Brown, D.W., Hom, T. et al. Journal of Aquatic Ecosystem Stress and Recovery (2000) 7: 215. doi:10.1023/A:1009905322386
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The Hylebos Waterway is an industrialized waterway ofCommencement Bay, Tacoma, Washington, that is severelycontaminated with aromatic and chlorinatedhydrocarbons in the sediment. Juvenile chinook (Oncorhynchus keta) and chum salmon (O.tshawytscha) inhabit this waterway for a few days orweeks during their outmigration from freshwaterstreams to saltwater. The purpose of thisinvestigation was to determine to what degree juvenilechum and chinook salmon captured from the HylebosWaterway might bioaccumulate organic contaminants. These levels of exposure will be compared to previousstudies where such exposures have been linked tobiological dysfunction in juvenile salmon. Theresults showed that juvenile chum and chinook salmonfrom the Hylebos Waterway take up a wide range ofchemical contaminants, compared to fish fromhatcheries or reference estuaries. These contaminantsinclude high and low molecular weight polycyclicaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinatedbiphenyls (PCBs, including the toxic congeners 105 and118), hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD), hexachlorobenzene(HCB), DDTs, heptachlor, and several pesticides. Immunohistochemical examination of the gill and gut injuvenile chum salmon from the Hylebos Waterway showedthe induction of the P450 metabolizing enzyme. Moreover, concentrations of contaminants in juvenilechinook and chum salmon from the Hylebos Waterway arecomparable to levels previously shown to be associatedwith biological injury in juvenile chinook salmon,such as impaired growth, suppression of immunefunction as demonstrated by reduced B cell function,and increased mortality following pathogen exposure.