- Juvenile chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) were exposed for 28 days to 0-16% treated effluent from an elemental chlorine free (ECF) bleached kraft pulp mill. Fresh effluent was diluted with river water drawn from upstream of the effluent diffuser. Fish were tested for biochemical responses to identify if the effluent would cause significant effects at concentrations spanning those present in the Fraser River, BC, Canada during winter conditions. Hepatic ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity was increased significantly at all effluent concentrations and hepatic cytochrome P450 1A (CYP1A) protein was increased in all but 2% effluent. Hepatic DNA adduct concentrations were increased significantly at 8 and 16% effluent. These data indicate that there is a significant increase in all three responses at concentrations similar to those found in the receiving waters (4%) and that a dose-response relationship exists between BKME concentration and the responses measured. Carcasses contained low (< 0.2 pg g(-1)) concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs). Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were at higher concentrations, accounting for 77% of the total contaminant burden, expressed as TEQ, but contaminants do not appear to have bioaccumulated in this study. It is likely that the PCB concentrations were due to contaminated commercial fish feed. Bile did not contain detectable levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) as measured by synchronous fluorescence spectrometry.