Science activity

Science activity #52916, updated 28 September 2023

Impact of Temperature and Contaminants on Chinook salmon survival: A Multi‐Stressor Approach

Description / purpose

This project will examine how contaminant exposures at different temperatures impact a number of critical physiological functions and the associated genes that maintain salmon fitness. The project will determine the sensitivity of fall‐run Chinook salmon to a mixture of bifenthrin, a pyrethoid pesticide, and triclosan, an antibacterial added to personal care products, at optimal and high temperatures that Chinook salmon encounter during their outmigration through the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. The hypothesis is that these stressors will impact salmon predator and disease susceptibility and will interact, such that the cumulative effect on salmon could not be predicted from multiple single exposures. To test the hypothesis, fall‐run Chinook salmon parr will be exposed to sublethal concentrations of bifenthrin, triclosan, and a mixture of bifenthrin and triclosan at different temperatures. The impacts of these exposures on salmon will be assessed with the following endpoints: (1) predator susceptibility through altered response latencies and escape velocities;  (2) disease susceptibility in response to a disease challenge; and (3) differential gene expression by high‐throughput sequencing of the Chinook salmon transcriptome.

Linked science activities

None specified
  • Multiple replicate aquariums housing juvenile Chinook salmon during the multiple stressor exposure. The two racks of aquariums represent the two temperatures during the exposure with individual aquariums representing different contaminant exposure treatment levels.
  • Replicate observation tanks used in the predator response assay. Each tank is equipped with a computer display projecting a looming stimulus that simulates a predator attack, as well as multiple video cameras to record individual fish responses.
  • Juvenile Chinook salmon with the exposure vessel during the pathogen challenge assay.
  • Researcher conducting the pathogen challenge assay in order to assess the multi-stressor effects of contaminant exposure and temperature on juvenile Chinook salmon disease susceptibility.

Activity status

  • 1 Awarded / Initiating (2019)
  • 2 In progress / Ongoing (3 - 3)
  • 3 Complete

Funding summary

Total allocated funding: $478,048

Label Value
Contract # or labor code None
Implementing organization National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA]
Funding organization Delta Stewardship Council - Delta Science Program
Funding Source Not provided
Date of award 2019-10-15
Date of fiscal year-end Not provided
Total award amount $478,048
State type of obligation Not provided
Federal type of obligation Not provided
Reimbursability Not provided
Procurement mechanism Contracted competitive or direct award


Delta regions

Geographic tags

None specified

Products and outputs

None provided

Type and context

Lead implementing organization

Partner implementing organizations

None specified

Funding organizations

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None specified

Funding sources

None specified