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Latent Toxicity of Endothall to Anadromous Salmonids During Seawater Challenge

Abstract

Limited evidence exists on the latent effects of toxicant exposure on the seawater adaptability of anadromous salmon and steelhead. It is unclear whether such an effect exists for the widely used and relatively non-toxic herbicide endothall. Coho salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch (coho), Chinook salmon, O. tshawytscha (Chinook), and anadromous rainbow trout, O. mykiss (steelhead) were subjected to a 10-day seawater challenge following freshwater treatments [0–12 mg acid equivalent (a.e)./L at 96 h]. Mean survival resulted in 82 % (n = 225), 84 % (n = 133), 90 % (n = 73) and 59 % (n = 147) survival for 0, 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12 mg a.e./L, respectively. Our results indicate a lower toxicity threshold compared with previously reported acute toxicity results, but higher compared with previous seawater challenge studies. We demonstrate the utility of the seawater challenge assay to accurately define toxic effects of pesticides on salmonids with complex life-histories.

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Acknowledgments

The Washington Water Resources Association funded this research, and United Phosphorus, Inc. provided publication funding. We thank the Washington Department of Ecology and WDFW for contributions toward the experimental design. D. Child, S. Duery, D. Cramer, E. Buckner, T. Hanna, and M. Chaney assisted with fish delivery, husbandry, and daily data collection. Our technical reviewers included A. Kolosseus, P. Harvester, and R. Marshall.

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Correspondence to Lauren A. Courter.

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Courter, L.A., Garrison, T.M. & Courter, I.I. Latent Toxicity of Endothall to Anadromous Salmonids During Seawater Challenge. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 96, 573–579 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-016-1781-z

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Keywords

  • Salmonids
  • Herbicide
  • Endothall
  • Seawater challenge
  • Latent lethality