US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published in Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 61 (2005) 7–31


Adult razorback sucker (Xyrauchen texanus) were exposed to various selenium concentrations in ponds and isolated river channels of the Colorado River near Grand Junction, CO, to determine effectson their growth and residue accumulation over an 11-month period. Adults at Horsethief ponds were fed a commercial diet, whereas fish at Adobe Creek channel and North Pond foraged on natural food items. Selenium concentrations at Horsethief were 2.2 μg/L in water, 0.1–1.4 μg/g in sediment, and 2.3–3.1 μg/g in food organisms (1.1 μg/g in commercial fish food), at Adobe Creek were 3.8 μg/L in water, 0.5–2.1 μg/g in sediment, and 4–56 μg/g in food organisms, and at North Pond were 9.5 μg/L in water, 7–55 μg/g in sediment, and 20–81 μg/g in food organisms. The selenium concentrations in muscle plugs from adults at Adobe Creek (11.7 μg/g, SD=0.4, n ¼ 6) and North Pond (16.6 μg/g, SD=1.0, n = 6) were greater than at Horsethief (4.5 μg/g, SD=0.2, n = 6). During a depuration period adultsfrom Adobe Creek and North Pond lost 1–2% of their selenium burden in 32 days and 14–19% in 66 days. Selenium accumulated in razorback sucker above toxic thresholds reported in other studies, yet those residues were less than those reported in muscle plugs of 40% of wild razorback sucker caught in the Green River, Utah.