Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Haffner, D.


Biology, Limnology.




Three populations of brown bullheads (Ameiurus nebulosus) and associated sediments were sampled from the Detroit River, and examined for concentrations of chlorinated hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, pesticides and polyaromatic hydrocarbons. Bullheads were further examined for external oral and dermal lesions and internal hepatic histopathology. Chemical analysis revealed that Trenton Channel sediments, as well as the resident bullhead population, had higher concentrations of chemical contaminants compared with two other sites (Amherstburg Channel and Peche Island) in the river. Results also indicate a close association between sediment contaminant concentrations and the incidence of oral/dermal and biliary lesions in the brown bullheads. Trenton Channel bullheads had a higher prevalence of external abnormalities such as lip and skin lesions, stub barbels and fin erosion as well as a higher prevalence of cholangiocarcinomas, cholangiomas and other biliary lesions. HPLC analysis of polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) metabolite concentrations in the bile of brown bullheads confined to cages in the river for a 16 day exposure period revealed significant spatial and temporal heterogeneity with respect to PAH exposure. Results suggest sediments and stormwater runoff events are important sources or chemical exposure to bullhead populations in the Trenton Channel. The results of this investigation indicate that feral brown bullhead populations in the Detroit River are stressed by chemical exposure present in the river and contributes further evidence for a cause-effect relationship with respect to contaminant exposure and organism health in aquatic ecosystems.Dept. of Biological Sciences. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1996 .L41. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 34-06, page: 2303. Adviser: D. H. Haffner. Thesis (M.Sc.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1996.