More Concerns About Susquehanna Smallmouth

Here is an article discussing the concerns about the Susquehanna smallmouth bass populations and disease.  Since the Pennsylvania state officials don’t know why there is a problem, they say there isn’ t much that can be done about it.  Many fishermen and private citizens are concerned about this natural resource. How bout you?

More Concerns About Susquehanna Smallmouth

Smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River are confused about sex, and their numbers have plummeted to the point the state has banned fishing during spawning season.

“Smallmouth bass fishing on the Susquehanna was once regarded as the best fishing, if not in the nation, certainly on the East Coast,” Elliott said. “That is not the case today. We can delay taking action no longer. The risks and costs associated with indecision and inactivity will, in my opinion, be devastating, and even harder and more expensive to correct, if even possible to do so. I ask that you do what you can to have the river listed as impaired.”

Researchers in 2010 found immature eggs in the testes of nearly every adult male smallmouth bass sampled from the river. They don’t know why, but suspect effluent from wastewater treatment plants and runoff from livestock operations. Polluting chemicals include estrogen from birth control pills and hormone replacements, pesticides and fertilizers used on crops and hormones for livestock. Endocrine disruptors also may be responsible for mysterious black splotches that have begun appearing on bass.

Bass populations have declined over the past seven years to a fraction of what they were 20 years ago, according to Fish Commission surveys. Juvenile and adult bass also have lesions.  Original article here

The diseased smallmouth bass have been noted since at least 2007/2008 as seen in this video:


What do you think of all this? Is it much ado about nothing or is this the tip of the iceberg? Concerns about susquehanna smallmouth should concern all of us because whatever is polluting the Susky is polluting the Chesapeake Bay and potentially affecting water that is accessed by millions of people.

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