Herring gull egg homogenates collected between 1971 and 1982 from a colony in central Lake Ontario (Scotch Bonnet Island) and from a colony in central Green Bay, Lake Michigan (Big Sister Island) were archived in the Canadian Wildlife Service Specimen Bank. Pooled samples (N = 10) were exhaustively analyzed in 1993 for a wide range of individual chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminant (CHC) compounds: DDT, mirex and chlordane compounds and metabolites, chlorobenzenes (CBzs), dieldrin, chlorostyrenes (CSs), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and 87 PCB congeners, including the TCDD-like non-ortho and mono-ortho congeners. PCBs and DDTs were the dominant residues in eggs from both Lake Ontario (31–242 mg kg−1 and 9–64 mg kg−1) and Green Bay (34–133 mg kg−1 and 14–91 mg kg−1). ΣPCBs declined by a factor of 4–5 and DDTs a factor of 4–7 at both colonies between 1971 and 1982. Lake Ontario eggs had significantly higher residues of 2,3,7,8-TCDD (0.2–2.0 μg kg−1), HCBz (0.1–4.7 mg kg−1), OCS (0.03–0.45 mg kg−1), three HpCSs (0.13–0.97 mg kg−1), mirex and mirex photodegradation products (2.1–9.2 mg kg−1) than Green Bay eggs. HCBz levels in Lake Ontario eggs declined a factor of 40, TCDD and chlorostyrenes a factor of 8–10, and mirex a factor of 4 between 1971–1978. Green Bay eggs had slightly higher levels of chlordane-related compounds, dieldrin and β-HCH than Lake Ontario eggs. There were no consistent or strong trends in residue levels of these pesticides, PCDDs (except TCDD) and PCDFs in either lake, indicating that rates of input and removal of these CHCs in the lakes were much closer in the early 1970s than was the case for the other compounds.