Eleven male walleyes (Sander vitreus) and 10 female walleyes from the Saginaw Bay (Lake Huron) population were caught during the spawning run at Dow Dam (Midland, Michigan) in the Tittabawassee River during April 1996, and individual whole-fish polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) determinations were made. Total PCB concentrations averaged 7.95 and 3.17 mg/kg for males and females, respectively. As part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment remediation process, contaminated sediments from the Saginaw River, the main tributary to Saginaw Bay, were removed during 2000 and 2001. Total PCB concentrations of 10 male and 10 female walleyes caught at Dow Dam during April 2007 averaged 1.58 and 0.55 mg/kg, respectively. Thus, dredging of the Saginaw River appeared to be effective in reducing PCB concentrations of Saginaw Bay adult walleyes, as both males and females decreased in PCB concentration by more than 80% between 1996 and 2007. However, the ratio of male PCB concentration to female PCB concentration did not decline between 1996 and 2007. This persistent gender difference in PCB concentrations was apparently due to a gender difference in habitat utilization coupled with a persistent spatial gradient in prey fish PCB concentrations from the Saginaw River to Lake Huron.
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Vol. 35 • No. 3