Water Turbidity Effects on Fish
Water Turbidity has a direct effect on the amount of sunlight available to aquatic ecosystems. High levels of suspended materials can clog fish gills. Settling on the bottom of the waterbody, can smother fish eggs along with the bottom-dwelling insects, worms, snails and shellfish.
With respect to direct lethality, average turbidities as high as 200 units are harmless to fish and that fish can thrive in waters over 400 units.
However, turbidities of 3,000 units are considered dangerous to fish when maintained over a 10-day period. At very high concentrations, the particulate matter that produces turbidity can be lethal.
At turbidities causing death, the ocular cavities were found to be matted with soil and the gills had a layer of soil on them. Symptoms of distress generally appeared at turbidities much lower than those producing death. Harmful effects were observed as the turbidity approached 20,000 units.
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Water Sediment and Particulates
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