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Clarias gariepinus is an important commercial fish with high acceptable eating qualities for both producers and consumers. Its blood parameters were examined because of the importance of blood to the health of animals. Ten C. gariepinus sub-adults from a parent population of weight 76.26±0.92 g and standard length of 22.50±61 cm were exposed to different concentrations of Atrazine, a pre-emergence and soil active herbicide in triplicates. A range finding and definitive tests were carried out to observed biological and behavioural parameters, including erratic swimming; air gulping, ulcerations, operculation, discoloration and death. Physico-chemical parameters (dissolved oxygen concentration, pH and conductivity) and haematological parameters (haemoglobin concentration, mean cell hemoglobin, mean cell hemoglobin concentration and pack cell volume were not significantly different between treatments (p>0.05) while red blood cell, white blood cell and mean corpuscle volume were significantly different between the control and the treatments (p<0.05). Conductivity did not vary significantly with Atrazine concentration, dissolved oxygen and pH varied significantly but was within the range for fish survival. Mortalities observed might have been due to influence of the chemical, biological and haematological characteristics of the fish.
Keywords: Atrazine, haematology, biological and behavioural parameters, Clarias gariepinus