Date of Award

Summer 1978

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences



Committee Director

Ray S. Birdsong

Committee Member

Ronald E. Johnson

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.O35A48


Anchovys, croaker, spat, summer flounder and hogchokers were collected monthly to seasonally from November 1972 to October 1973 at three locations in the southern Chesapeake Bay region of Virginia.

The concentrations of mercury, copper and zinc were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry in whole fishes. Metal concentration varied with species and location. Anchovys had the highest mean concentrations of mercury and zinc while hog- chokers had the highest mean copper concentration. Mercury levels exceeding O.5 ppm were observed in species from all three loca- tions, but maximum heavy metal concentrations per species were highest in Craney Island fishes.

Temporal variations were note: in the mercury content of several individual species (anchovy, croaker, and spot) from Craney Island and one species (anchovy) from Buckroe Beach. Mercury concentration was highest in Winter and Lowest in Summer. A comparison of temporal variations "between species'' was inconclusive.

Metal concentration to size relationships varied with species. and location. Higher concentrations of copper were associated with Larger anchovys from Craney Island and spot from Magothy Bay. Mercury decreased with increasing size in anchovys, croaker and spot from Craney Island and anchovys and spot at both Buckroe Beach and Magothy Bay, Larger spot and croaker from Craney Island; anchovys, spot and hogchokers from Buckroe Beach; and spot and hogchokers from Magothy Bay had proportionately Less zinc than smaller individual.


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