Mercury Concentrations in Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) Collected from Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Nye County, Nevada

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Mercury is a known neurotoxin and contaminant of concern worldwide. Mercury may occur at elevated concentrations adjacent to industrial sources, such as coal- fired power plants, or in remote environments and newly filled water bodies. Mercury tissue concentrations were determined for a sample of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) from Crystal Reservoir, Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Nye County, Nevada. This investigation was triggered by (1) the presence of several conditions in soil and water that facilitate mercury bioaccumulation, (2) previous investigations that detected mercury in source springs, and (3) the presence of game fish and endangered pupfish within the reservoir. Mercury concentrations were significantly correlated with both fish mass and condition, but were lower than national human health and safety standards. It is possible that high pH and salinity inhibited methylation and subsequent bioaccumulation; however, additional studies are needed to determine causation of the low concentration in fish tissue compared with ambient conditions.


Aquaculture and Fisheries | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Sciences | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology | Toxicology


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