The use of fish in cages as biological monitors of the quality of water passing through a power plant.
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Florida pompano, Trachinotus carolinus (Linnaeus), pinfish, Lagodon rhomboides (Linnaeus), Atlantic croaker, Micropogon undulatus (Linnaeus), and black drum, Pogonias cromis (Linnaeus) were maintained as in situ biological monitors in cages placed in the intake canal and cooling lake of the Houston Lighting and Power Company's Cedar Bayou Electric Power Station near Baytown, Texas. Red drum, Sciaenops ocellata (Linnaeus), were raised in cages place in a 0.1-ha pond receiving heated discharge water from the power plant. Periodic samplings allowed determination of survival, growth, and condition of all caged fish. Survival of fish placed in cooling lake cages was good, but all fish placed in intake canal cages died in late November and early December, 1972 due to an undetermined toxic substance present in the cooling water. All species grew slowly during the low fall and winter temperatures, but part of this slow growth may have been due to irregular feedings. Red drum in two cages increased in weight from 414 to 596 and 418 to 608 respectively, during a 195 day period. Their condition values ranged from 1.58 to 1.88. This growth is less than wild red drum of comparable size, but condition values are much greater. Hydrological data was taken almost every day at each cage location.