Behavioral response of young rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to forest fire-retardant chemicals in the laboratory
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Jason B. Wells; Edward E. Little; Robin D. Calfee
Publication Year: 2004

Cataloging Information

  • avoidance behavior
  • fire management
  • fire retardants
  • fire-retardant chemicals
  • fishes
  • Missouri
  • Oncorhynchus mykiss
  • Oncorhynchus mykiss
  • rainbow trout
  • toxicity
  • wildlife habitat management
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 3, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 52275
Tall Timbers Record Number: 29349
TTRS Location Status: Not in file
TTRS Call Number: Available
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Fire-retardant chemicals often are applied in relatively pristine and environmentally sensitive areas that are potentially inhabited by endangered or threatened aquatic species. Avoidance of contaminants is an adaptive behavior that may reduce exposure to harmful conditions. We evaluated the avoidance responses of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to concentrations of fire-retardant chemicals and alternate constituent formulations ranging from 0.65 to 26 mg/L. Countercurrent avoidance chambers were used in a flow-through design with receiving water at each end and a drain at the center to create a distinct boundary between treatment water and reference water. Rainbow trout consistently avoided water treated with retardants at all concentrations tested. The magnitude of the avoidance response did not appear to follow a concentration-response relationship, but rather was an all-or-none response.

Wells, J. B., E. E. Little, and R. D. Calfee. 2004. Behavioral response of young rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to forest fire-retardant chemicals in the laboratory. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, v. 23, no. 3, p. 621-625.