Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends (BEST) Program: Field Procedures for Assessing the Exposure of Fish to Environmental Contaminants
GEOLOGICAL SURVEY COLUMBIA MO BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES DIV
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This document describes procedures used by biologists to collect information, tissues, and fluids useful for determining the exposure of fish to environmental contaminants. Fish are to be captured and held alive generally 1 h, then weighed, measured, and examined for grossly visible external lesions. A blood sample is collected by caudal veinipuncture. The fish is subdued, and its abdominal cavity is opened with a mid-ventral incision. The internal organs are dissected from the fish for examination. Selected organs are weighed, and tissues are collected for laboratory analyses. All remaining tissues and fluids are then returned to the carcass, which is prepared for chemical analysis. Individual fish are composited by station, species, and gender frozen and shipped to the analytical laboratory. Procedures are also described for record keeping processing blood to obtain serum and plasma flash-freezing samples cleaning equipment and preventing the transport of living organisms among waterways. A list of necessary equipment and supplies is also provided.