Determination of Elemental Uptake Rates During the Early Life Stages of Walleye (Sander vitreus)

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The Ohio State University

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To allow use of otolith microchemistry in determining natal origins of freshwater fish, we must understand how quickly environmental trace elements leave their signatures in larval otoliths. This experiment was designed to determine at what point in the early life history of the walleye (Sander vitreus) a chemical signal is first recorded and whether uptake rates are rapid enough to record a natal site signal. In April 2008, eggs and sperm from spawners in the Maumee River, Ohio were transported to our laboratory at the Ohio State University for fertilization. Fertilized eggs were incubated in McDonald style jars with water spiked with different concentrations of strontium. At hatch, larvae were randomly transferred into tanks with an experimental design of two replicate tanks for each of the three levels of strontium concentration (300 µg/L, 900 µg/L, and 1500 µg/L) crossed with two temperatures (8ºC and 13ºC) that represented a range of expected conditions in Lake Erie and its tributaries. Egg samples were taken 2 and 4 days before hatch and on the day of hatch. Larval samples were taken every other day, beginning with day of hatch, for 20 days. Otoliths were removed and processed with a combination of laser ablation and solution based inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Initial results show that by 20 days post-hatch, larval otoliths show a treatment-related strontium signal. We are continuing analyses to identify the earliest point at which we can distinguish strontium treatments.



walleye, otolith, fisheries, LA-ICPMS