A Model of Kepone in the Striped Bass Food Chain of the James River Estuary

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
A mathematical model that computes the accumulation of Kepone in the stripped bass food chain of the James River estuary was developed. The purpose of the model was to help understand the relationship of Kepone levels in important fish species to sediment and water column Kepone concentrations and then to address the question of why these levels still exceed Food and Drug Administration limits 8 years after discharge stopped. The model considers exposure through diet and respiration at rates based on species bioenergetics. It was successfully calibrated to observed 1976 through 1982 striped bass, white perch, and Atlantic croaker Kepone concentrations. The model indicates that for the upper levels of the food chain, diet is the major route of contamination, accounting for 87-88% of the observed concentration in croaker and white perch and 91% of the observed concentration in striped bass. The two Kepone sources; sediment and water column, contribute approximately equally to the croaker and white perch. The water column is more significant for striped bass, being the original source for approximately 60% of the observed body burdens. It was estimated that a criterion requiring Kepone concentrations in fish to be at or below 0.3 ng/g would require dissolved water column and sediment Kepone concentrations to be reduced to somewhere between 3 and 9 ng/l and 13-39 ng/g, respectively, depending on the species. Striped bass require the greatest reductions in dissolved water column and sediment Kepone concentration to somewhere between 3 and 5 ng/l and 13 and 24 ng/g respectively.
Kepone, James River, Estuary, Striped bass food chain