Insecticides: Effects on Cutthroat Trout of Repeated Exposure to DDT

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Science  15 Nov 1963:
Vol. 142, Issue 3594, pp. 958-961
DOI: 10.1126/science.142.3594.958


Cutthroat trout were periodically exposed to p, pp-DDT, in acetone solution or in the food. Excessive mortality occurred only in lots treated with high concentrations of DDT, probably as a result of decreased resistance to nonspecific stressors. Surviving fish in these lots were significantly larger than those in the control lot, or in the lots treated with low concentrations of DDT. The number and volume of eggs produced was not reduced by DDT, but mortality among sac fry appeared to be highest in the lots treated with high concentrations. The data suggest that the sublethal concentrations of DDT ordinarily encountered in the environment are unlikely to damage a fishery.