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Title: Sublethal effects of suspended sediments on estuarine fish
Authors: O'Connor, J. M. (Joseph M.)
Neumann, D. A.
Sherk, J. Albert.
Keywords: Fishes--Effect of sediments on
Estuarine sediments--Physiological effect
Estuarine ecology
Suspended sediments--Environmental aspects
Patuxent River Watershed (Md.)
Publisher: Coastal Engineering Research Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Technical paper;no. 77-3
Abstract: Abstract: The objective of this study was to determine the effects, if any, of sublethal concentrations of suspended materials on the fish in estuarine systems. Experimental sediment suspensions reproduced the concentrations frequently found during flooding and at dredging sites and dredged-material disposal sites. The suspensions were of natural sediment, obtained from the Patuxent River estuary, Maryland, or commercially available fuller's earth. Fish were collected in the Patuxent River estuary and transported to the laboratory. The selected fish species inhabited ecologically different sections of the estuary; therefore, the overall reactions of each species were unique. Seven species of estuarine fish were exposed to fuller's earth and natural sediment suspensions for timed periods and hematological changes were noted. The effects of various concentrations of fuller's earth suspensions on white perch gill tissue were determined. Oxygen consumption rates of striped bass, white perch, and toadfish were measured in filtered Patuxent River water and compared to consumption rates in filtered river water suspensions of fuller's earth or Patuxent River sediment. Fish showed signs of stress in response to suspended sediments in most of the experiments. Results indicate that sublethal concentrations of suspended solids can affect estuarine fish. Additional experiments are discussed in Appendixes A to D.
Description: Technical Paper
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Technical Paper

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