Contaminants in fishes from Great Lakes-influenced sections and above dams of three Michigan rivers. I: Concentrations of organo chlorine insecticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxin equivalents, and mercury. Academic Article uri icon


  • Fishes of the Great Lakes contain hazardous chemicals such as synthetic halogenated hydrocarbons and metals. These fish can move from the lakes into the Great Lakes tributaries of Michigan. In doing so, they transport concentrations of contaminants which may represent a risk to wildlife. Concentrations of mercury (Hg), total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin equivalents (TCDD-EQ), total DDT complex, aldrin, endrin, dieldrin, heptachlor, heptachlor epoxide, lindane, hexachlorobenzene, cis-chlordane, oxychlordane, endosulfan-I, methoxychlor, trans-chlordane, and trans-nonachlor were determined in composite samples of fishes from above and below Michigan hydroelectric dams, which separate the fishes which have access to the Great Lakes from fishes that do not. Mean concentrations of total PCBs, TCDD-EQ, DDT, and most of the other pesticides were greater in composite samples of six species of fishes from below than above the dams on the Au Sable, Manistee, and Muskegon Rivers. Concentrations of mercury, were the same or greater above the dams than below. However, this difference was statistically significant only on the Au Sable. Mercury concentrations ranged from less than 0.05 mg/kg to 0.73 mg Hg/kg, ww. Total concentrations of PCBs ranged from 0.02 to 1.7 mg/kg, ww. Concentrations of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlordibenzo-p-dioxin equivalents varied among fishes and locations. The concentrations of TCDD-EQ ranged from 2.4 to 71 micrograms/kg, ww, with concentrations in carp being the greatest. Concentrations of TCDD-EQ were greater than the concentrations which would be expected to occur, due solely to the presence of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDD), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDF), and technical mixtures of PCBs.

published proceedings

  • Arch Environ Contam Toxicol

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Giesy, J. P., Verbrugge, D. A., Othout, R. A., Bowerman, W. W., Mora, M. A., Jones, P. D., ... Aulerich, R. J.

citation count

  • 43

complete list of authors

  • Giesy, JP||Verbrugge, DA||Othout, RA||Bowerman, WW||Mora, MA||Jones, PD||Newsted, JL||Vandervoort, C||Heaton, SN||Aulerich, RJ

publication date

  • August 1994