An investigation was conducted from 2001 to 2005 for determining the residual concentration of five pesticides, viz., total-HCH, total-DDT, total-Endosulfan, Dimethoate and Malathion in fish samples collected from various points of the river Ganga. Fish samples were analyzed for pesticide residues using standard laboratory procedures by GC method. It was found that total-HCH concentration remains above the MRL values for maximum number of times in comparison to four other pesticides. The pesticide contamination to fish may be due to indiscriminate discharge of polluted and untreated sewage-sludge to the river. The pesticide contents in some places are alarming. Thus proper care, maintenance, treatment and disposal of sewage water and sludge are most vital and should be the prime thrust for the nation. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008.