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In the spring of 1986, an intensive aquatic biological testing program was carried out over a 45-day period in an attempt to evaluate possible toxicity in an important fishery resource in the French Broad River of East Tennessee. Since 1969 a marked decline in sauger (Stizostedion canadense) populations has occurred below Douglas Dam. In addition to toxicity tests with the water flea (Ceriodaphnia spp.), fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas), and sauger in various life stages, a portable automated fish breathing rate biomonitoring system (AFIRMS) was field tested at streamside in a mobile bioassay trailer. The personal computer based AFIRMS was equipped with 24 channels for continuously monitoring adult sauger breathing activities and various physical sensors. Though all the tests revealed no apparent toxicity in the tailwater reaches of the river, a simulated field test with AFIRMS using toxic leachate from a landfill source induced immediate sauger responses and ultimate mortality to most of the test animals.
automated aquatic biomonitoring, functional biological testing, hazard evaluation, toxicity tests, mobile bioassay trailer
Associate professor, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN
Manager, Special Projects and Research, Division of Air and Water Resources, U.S. Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, TN
President, Young-Morgan & Associates, Inc., Franklin, TN