Short-Term Effects of Military Fog Oil on the Fountain Darter (Etheostoma fonticola)

  • T. A. Ryan
  • A. N. Kohl
  • D. J. Soucek
  • T. S. Smith
  • T. M. Brandt
  • T. H. Bonner
  • D. M. CropekEmail author


Toxicity tests evaluated chronic and sublethal effects of fog oil (FO) on a freshwater endangered fish. FO is released during military training as an obscurant smoke that can drift into aquatic habitats. Fountain darters, Etheostoma fonticola, of four distinct life stages were exposed under laboratory conditions to three forms of FO. FO was vaporized into smoke and allowed to settle onto water, violently agitated with water, and dosed onto water followed by photo-oxidization by ultraviolet irradiation. Single smoke exposures of spawning adult fish did not affect egg production, egg viability, or adult fish survival in 21-day tests. Multiple daily smoke exposures induced mortality after 5 days for larvae fish. Larvae and juvenile fish were more sensitive than eggs in 96-h lethal concentration (LC50) tests with FO–water mixtures and photo-oxidized FO. Water-soluble FO components photo-modified by ultraviolet radiation were the most toxic, thus indicating the value of examining weathering and aging of chemicals for the best determination of environmental impact.


Smoke Smoke Exposure United States Environmental Protection Agency Brine Shrimp Fathead Minnow 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Amy Dickinson (Illinois Natural History Survey) and Thuy Bui (CERL) for their assistance on this project and A. Groeger (Texas State University) for commenting on an earlier version of this manuscript. The view expressed in this manuscript are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service or the United States Army CERL.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. A. Ryan
    • 1
  • A. N. Kohl
    • 1
  • D. J. Soucek
    • 2
  • T. S. Smith
    • 1
  • T. M. Brandt
    • 3
  • T. H. Bonner
    • 4
  • D. M. Cropek
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL)U.S. Army Corps of EngineersChampaignUSA
  2. 2.Illinois Natural History SurveyChampaignUSA
  3. 3.Aquatic Resources CenterU.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceSan MarcosUSA
  4. 4.Department of Biology/Aquatic Biology ProgramTexas State University-San MarcosSan MarcosUSA

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