Influence of Diet on Selenium Contamination in Recovered Fish Populations in Belews Lake, North Carolina

Food of bluegills (Lepomis macorchirus), redear sunfish (L. microlophus), and largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) from Belews Lake was examined during their recovery from selenium (Se) contamination to evaluate the influence of diet on the continued bioaccumulation of Se in their skeletal muscle tissue. The redear sunfish and largemouth bass consumed food items that originated primarily from Belews Lake while bluegills consumed mostly terrestrial insects. Food items originating from the lake generally exhibited higher concentrations of Se and resulted in higher concentrations of Se in the skeletal muscle tissue of the redear sunfish and largemouth bass when compared to bluegills.

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