Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are hydrophobic organic contaminants with properties and nomenclature similar to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). While much information is available on the bioaccumulation and pharamcokinetics of PCBs, little information is available on PBDEs. In this study, juvenile carp were exposed to a diet spiked with a cocktail of four BDE congeners (2,4,4'-tribromoDE [BDE 28], 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromoDE [BDE 47], 2,2',4,4',5-pentabromoDE [BDE 99], and 2,2',4,4',5,5'hexabromoDE [BDE 153]) for 60 d followed by a 40-d depuration period. As a positive control, three PCB congeners with similar log K(ow), values (2,2',5,5'-tetrachlorobiphenyl [PCB 52], 2,2',4,4', 5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl [PCB 153], and 2,2',3,4,4',5,5'-heptachlorobiphenyl [PCB 180]) were included in the cocktail to compare their assimilation and fate with the model BDE congeners. Concentrations of BDEs and PCBs were monitored in whole-fish tissues and liver tissues over the duration of the experiment. In addition, blood serum samples were taken and pooled among replicates to determine if any phenolic metabolites of BDE and PCBs were formed. Rapid assimilation of BDE 47 was observed relative to all other BDE and PCB congeners, whereas apparently no accumulation of BDE 99 occurred over the course of the experiment. Assimilation efficiencies for BDE 47 suggest that approximately 100% of the BDE 47 exposure was absorbed by carp tissues after 60 d. However, based on the time course of BDE 47 assimilation, it is improbable that all BDE 47 was assimilated; more likely, production of BDE 47 in carp tissues occurred as a result of debromination of higher-brominated compounds, possibly BDE 99. The net assimilation efficiencies of BDE 28 and BDE 153 were also apparently low (20 and 4%, respectively) relative to the three PCBs (40% assimilated) examined in this study. The low assimilation efficiency and high depuration rates for BDEs suggest a higher potential for biotransformation. While all three PCB compounds displayed very similar assimilation and depuration rates, three of the four BDE compounds displayed significantly different assimilation rates among BDE congeners and relative to the PCBs. This study suggests that BDEs have significantly different fate dynamics relative to PCBs in wild carp and likely other species of fish.