Concentrations of selenium and other trace elements were determined in 55 whole body samples of juvenile anadromous striped bass (Morone saxatilis) from the San Joaquin Valley and San Francisco Estuary, California. The fish (≤1 yr old-the predominant life stage in the San Joaquin Valley) were collected in September-December 1986 from 19 sites in the Valley and 3 sites in the Estuary, and analyzed for the following elements: aluminum (Al), arsenic (As), boron (B), barium (Ba), beryllium (Be), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), mercury (Hg), magnesium (Mg), molybdenum (Mo), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), selenium (Se), strontium (Sr), vanadium (V), and zinc (Zn). When compared to concentrations in whole freshwater fish measured by surveys from other waters, a few samples contained higher levels, of As, Cd, Cu, Pb, and Se. The median concentrations of Al, As, Cu, Fe, Mg, Se, and Sr also differed significantly (P[Symbol: see text]0.05) among sites. However, only Se concentrations were highest (up to 7.9 μg/g dry weight) in samples from Valley sites exposed to agricultural subsurface (tile) drainwater; concentrations were lower in samples collected elsewhere. Water quality variables-especially those strongly influenced by tile drainwater (conductivity, total dissolved solids, total alkalinity, and total hardness)-were also significantly correlated (P[Symbol: see text]0.05) with Se concentrations in fish. Selenium concentrations in striped bass from the Estuary were only one-fourth to one-half the concentrations measured in the most contaminated fish from the San Joaquin River.