Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Meganne Finerty


Two commercially important species of Louisiana crayfish, Procambarus clarkii (Girard) and P. acutus acutus (Girard), from the Atchafalaya River Basin and from open ponds, as well as sediment and water from these environs, were sampled at three times during two consecutive fishing (production) seasons. The abdominal muscle and hepatopancreatic tissue were digested with nitric acid; the sediment was dried prior to digestion with hydrofluoric acid and aqua regia; and the water was filtered prior to analysis by inductively coupled plasma emission spectrometry (ICP) for As, Cd, Cu, Cr, Hg, Pb, and Ni. Pb, Hg, and Cd, if present, were in concentrations below the detection limit (DL). In the hepatopancreatic tissue, Cr was present in concentrations $<$DL to 1, Cu 4 to 58, and Ni $<$DL to 2 mg/kg. Abdominal muscle samples had less than 5 mg/kg of all metals. Locations with the highest levels of metal residues in sediment were not necessarily synonymous with the highest levels present in the crayfish tissues. Using the standard U.S.FDA Pesticide Analysis Manual and AOAC Standard Methods for the clean-up and extraction of organochlorine pesticides from tissues, sediment, and water, DDT, DDD, DDE, aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, heptachlor epoxide, and Mirex$\sp\circler$ were targetted. Detection was by a gas chromatograph, equipped with a $\sp{63}$Ni electron capture detector, on DB-5 and DB-210 Megabore$\sp\circler$ columns, eluted with ultra-high purity N$\sb2$. Except for DDE in the hepatopancreas of one location (up to 0.043 mg/kg) the second year, all persistent pesticides, if detected, were found in quantities less than 0.003 mg/kg.