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Tuesday, January 30 • 2:00pm - 2:20pm
SYMPOSIA-11: Pollutant Stress in the Maumee River: Impacted Physiology and Reproduction in Fathead Minnows (Pimephales promelas) and Sunfish (Lepomis spp.)

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AUTHORS. Nicholas Cipoletti, Heiko L. Schoenfuss - St. Cloud State University

ABSTRACT. Agricultural pollutants are an environmental health concern as precipitation can lead to runoff into aquatic ecosystems, resulting in stress for fish. The biological impacts of mixtures of agricultural pollutants, such as pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones, and livestock pharmaceuticals have yet to be studied. The objective of this field-based study was to assess the impact of agricultural pollutants on the physiology, reproduction, and population health of two fish species. The health of caged and resident sunfish was assessed in the Maumee River (Toledo, OH) as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Laboratory cultured larval and adult fathead minnows were exposed for 21-days. Sunfish were analyzed for histology and hematological characteristics (VTG, glucose). Minnows were analyzed for alterations in hematological characteristics (VTG, glucose, 11-KT, E2) and reproduction. VTG concentrations in male caged sunfish were significantly higher than in resident sunfish, likely due to greater energy stores in hatchery reared sunfish. Glucose concentrations between treatments varied significantly from upstream to downstream, possibly as the result of pollutant exposure. Biological indices including body condition factor, gonadosomatic index, and hepatosomatic index of resident sunfish also differed significantly across field sites. Fathead minnow fecundity was reduced in fish exposed to environmental samples from downstream, more urbanized sites. The results indicate that agricultural pollutants entering aquatic ecosystem have an impact on fish physiology and reproduction. Further research is underway to determine whether the observed physiological impacts have any effect at the population level.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm CST