Mercury and other metals in muscle and ovaries of goldeye (Hiodon alosoides)



Concentrations of 24 trace metals were assessed in gravid ovaries and in muscle of female juvenile and adult female goldeye (Hiodon alosoides), a fish with both low annual growth (16 g/year as adults) and a long life span (maximum longevity of 30 years). It was hypothesized that adult fish with these life-history characteristics would maintain stable concentrations of metals in their tissues with higher levels of essential elements compared with those that are potentially toxic. As hypothesized, the concentration of most metals in muscle of adult female goldeye was similar at all ages, suggesting that uptake and excretion of metals was equal. Mercury was a notable exception. Total Hg concentrations in muscle of adults increased throughout life from a mean of 206 ng/g wet weight at age 8 to 809 ng/g at age 28, or by 26.2 ng/g/year. Concentrations of Hg were low in ovaries (mean 21.1 ng/g wet wt) compared to the mean for muscle, only 7% of the concentration in muscle. This was the lowest percent of muscle concentration of all 24 metals. Concentrations of Al, Ba, La, V, and Mn were significantly greater in muscle of juveniles and in ovaries than in muscle of adults. Concentrations of 13 metals were higher in ovaries relative to muscle, seven were similar, and four were depleted. Silver was enriched by over 50-fold in ovaries. Overall, the present study suggests that low concentrations of some metals in muscle of adult female goldeye, relative to concentrations in female juveniles and ovaries, may be maintained in part by transfer of metals to the external environment in eggs at spawning. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2010;29:373–379. © 2009 SETAC