Heavy metal contamination of aquatic ecosystems has been recognised as a serious pollution problem.. In the present study an attempt has been made to estimate the accumulation of heavy metals like iron, chromium, copper, cadmium and lead (Fe, Cu, Cr, Cd and Pb) in water samples as well as in the fish sample, (Mystus gulio) in Vattakkayal, Ashtamudi lake, Kollam district, South India. Heavy metals in water are particularly dangerous for fish juveniles and may considerably reduce the size of fish populations or even cause extinction of entire fish population in polluted reservoirs. The heavy metals in water and fish samples were collected in different seasons of the year 2014, and analysed following standard procedures. Most of the metals in water as well as sediment samples from Vattakkayal showed greater concentrations when compared with WHO specified maximum contaminant levels. The edible part of Mystus gulio also showed higher concentrations of the heavy metals like iron, chromium, copper, cadmium and lead. Mystus gulio caught from the Vattakkayal may pose health hazards for consumers. If this lake is not protected from these hazardous pollutants, the lake as well as the dependent living organisms will get badly contaminated.
Keywords: Trace metal, Vattakkayal, pollution, Mystus gulio