Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs; sum of 36 congeners) and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs; sum of 17 2,3,7,8-substituted congeners) were measured in 93 composite samples prepared from individual lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) and whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) samples collected from Lake Erie, Lake Huron, and Lake Superior. All samples had detectable concentrations of PCBs and PCDD/Fs; maximum PCB concentrations in both trout (750 ng g−1 whole weight [ww]) and whitefish (210 ng g−1 ww) were found in composites from fish collected from Lake Huron. The maximum toxic equivalent concentration was found in a lake trout composite sample from Lake Huron (53 pg g−1 ww). PCB and PCDD/F congener profiles were comparable to patterns observed in fishes collected from other regions of Canada, although concentrations were above those found in other regions. A positive correlation was found between PCB concentrations determined using the historical Aroclor equivalency method and those determined using the sum of the congeners measured (r2 = 0.871; Spearman correlation r = 0.917) or using the six indicator PCB congeners (28, 52, 101, 138, 153, and 180; r2 = 0.850; Spearman correlation r = 0.935). PCBs were the dominant contributor to the overall toxic equivalent concentrations in the fish composite samples tested. These findings provide insight into PCB and PCDD/F concentrations in two commercially important fish species over a discrete time period.

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