Meeting Abstract

95.2  Saturday, Jan. 7  Impacts of neuroactive and estrogenic chemicals in wastewater effluents on behavior and reproduction in freshwater fishes NORRIS, DO*; VAJDA, AM; BARBER, LB; SCHOENFUSS, HL; Univ. of Colorado, Boulder; Univ. of Colorado, Denver; United States Geological Survey, Boulder CO; St. Cloud Univ., MN david.norris@colorado.edu

The reproductive potential and survival of native freshwater fishes may be compromised in stream reaches especially in western states where large volumes of treated wastewater are discharged into relatively small-sized streams. We have investigated the impact of estrogenic and neuroactive compounds from wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) on fish behavior and reproduction. This effluent contains endocrine-active compounds (e.g., nonylphenol, bisphenol A, and synthetic and natural reproductive steroids) as well as selective neurotransmitter reuptake inhibitors (e.g., fluoxetine, sertraline). We have identified female biased sex ratios, gonadal intersex, asynchronous ovarian development, elevated vitellogenin, and other forms of reproductive disruption in feral white suckers (Catostomus commersoni) collected downstream of WWTP effluents but not at reference sites. Fluoxetine, sertraline and their metabolites were present in the brains of white suckers. Controlled exposure of adult male fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) to either WWTP effluent, upstream water or mixtures using a mobile flow-through laboratory located at the WWTP confirmed the estrogenicity of the effluent. Analysis of museum specimens of white suckers and fathead minnows collected between 50 and 100 years ago from these field sites reveals no evidence of reproductive disruption. Escape behaviors are impaired in laboratory studies of hatchling fathead minnows exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of fluoxetine (25, 125, or 250 ng/L).