We conducted a radio telemetry study on the movements of potentially contaminated largemouth bass between Steel Creek, a restricted access 137Cs contaminated stream on the Savannah River Site (located in South Carolina, USA), and the publicly accessible Savannah River. Largemouth bass were relatively mobile in lower Steel Creek and the portion of the Savannah River near Steel Creek, and there was considerable movement between these two habitats. Largemouth bass had home ranges of about 500 linear meters of shoreline in the Savannah River but sometimes moved long distances. Such movements occurred primarily during the spawning season, largely upstream, and increased when water levels were changing or elevated. However, approximately 90% of the largemouth bass observations were within 10 km of Steel Creek. The total quantity of 137Cs transported into the Savannah River by largemouth bass was much less than transported by water and suspended sediments discharged from Steel Creek. We conclude that largemouth bass from the Savannah River Site are unlikely to be responsible for long distance dispersal of substantial radiological contamination in the Savannah River.
- Largemouth bass
- Savannah River
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis