Development of a Fish Stress Protein Antibody/Antigen-Based Approach for Biomonitoring of Water Quality.
Annual rept. 1 Sep 91-30 Nov 92,
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS DENTON
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Early detection of changes in the quality of water resources, especially those impacted by anthropogenic contaminants, is of primary concern to individuals involved with managing these resources. The associated fisheries, both commercial and recreational, represent a valuable resources which can be irreparably impacted, as well. Those charged with managing water resources rely heavily on chemical, physical and biomonitoring techniques. A need exists for a rapid means of assessing the health of rivers, reservoirs, and estuaries in the nation. A reliable, field applicable method which determines stress levels in fish could provide resource managers with a valuable tool to determine if chemicals from point and non point source pollution are adversely impacting aquatic systems. For example, if the levels of stress in fish were determined upstream and downstream from an industrial andor municipal discharge, it would be possible to determine the relative health of the two fish populations. Likewise, with proper validation it may be possible to determine if fish are approaching a level of stress nearing a threshold above which adverse impacts on growth and reproduction will occur. This report describes the results of the first year of a research project designed to further evaluate the potential of a stress protein.