Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/11681/2877
Title: Lethal effects of suspended sediments on estuarine fish
Authors: University of Maryland. Natural Resources Institute.
O'Connor, J. M.
Neumann, D. A.
Sherk, J. Albert.
Keywords: Estuarine fish
Suspended sediments
Mineral solids
Natural sediments
Patuxent River
Maryland
Lethal effects
Suspended solids
Estuarine ecology
Estuary
Estuaries
Marine life
Fish
Dredging
Issue Date: Dec-1976
Publisher: Coastal Engineering Research Center (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Technical paper (Coastal Engineering Research Center (U.S.)) ; no.76-20.
Description: Technical Paper
Abstract: A 3-year laboratory study identified certain estuarine fish sensitive to the effects of particle size and concentration of (A.) suspended mineral solids similar in size to sediments likely to be found in estuarine systems in concentrations typically found during flooding, dredging, and disposal of dredged material, and (B.) natural sediments in identical experiments. Significant mortality of estuarine fish was demonstrated at these suspended mineral solid concentrations. Estuarine fish were classified, using static bioassays as : Tolerant (24-hour LC𝟣𝟢 ≥ 10 grams per liter), sensitive (10 grams per liter > 24-hour LC𝟣𝟢 > 1.0 gram per liter), or highly sensitive (24-hour LC𝟣𝟢 ≤ 1.0 gram per liter) to fuller's earth suspensions. Generally, bottom-dwelling fish species were most tolerant to suspended solids; filter feeders were most sensitive. Early life stages were more sensitive to suspended solids than adults; filter feeders were most sensitive. Bioassays with natural sediments indicated that suspensions of natural muds affected fish in the same way as fuller's earth, but higher concentrations of natural material were required to produce the same level of response. The effect of finely divided solids on fish was dependent on concentration, particle-size distribution, and angularity of the suspended particles. The cause of death was the same in all experiments -- anoxia. This study provides base-line information for preproject decision making based upon the anticipated concentration of suspended sediments at the project site and the effect of various lengths of exposure on estuarine fish of different life-history stages and habitat preference.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11681/2877
Appears in Collections:Technical Paper

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