Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Wildlife and Fisheries Resources

Committee Chair

Patricia M. Mazik.


Selenium based criteria for aquatic ecosystems have been based on water quality measurements, but recently there has been basis to evaluate other aspects, such as whole body, dietary, and sediment levels. Mud River Reservoir, located in Lincoln County West Virginia, receives selenium input from mountain top/valley fill mining activities. The average selenium water levels for the reservoir are above the US EPA water quality standard of 5 microg/L and considered a high hazard for fish dietary consumption based on macroinvertebrate collections. The bluegill population is also a high hazard for selenium influenced reproductive impairment based on bluegill whole body and calculated egg selenium concentrations. However, the wildlife within the watershed are presented with a low hazard of selenium bioaccumulation from the sediments. Bluegill eggs were collected and monitored in the laboratory for deformities and survival in order to evaluate the overall effects of selenium. However, due to water quality issues, no deformities could be recorded for Mud River Reservoir larvae and survivorship could not be determined.