Susquehanna River Pollution Effect on Smallmouth Bass

The Susquehanna River pollution effects on smallmouth bass is in the news again. We’ll keep reviewing this issue to help improve public awareness of this problem. We are concerned over the smallmouth bass and the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed because the Susquehanna is the largest single source of water to the Chesapeake Bay.

Susquehanna River pollution effects on smallmouth bass

Geoff Smith, a biologist with the commission, said “stressful” water conditions are leading to disease among young smallmouth bass – first recorded in 2005, in the West Branch Susquehanna and the Juniata River tributary.

“We’ve seen disease prevalence as high as 75 percent” among smallmouth bass, said Smith.

The commission’s director, John Arway, told Senate lawmakers that the river should be deemed “impaired” by DEP so the state can start the studies needed to get to the bottom of poor water quality.

“The river’s in trouble,” said Arway. “I hope you understand the river’s in trouble and you know, sick fish mean… we have a sick river.”

The DEP’s own take on the Susquehanna’s health is different, since it uses other criteria. It doesn’t test fish, but macro invertebrates like worms, snails, and insects. Original source

The runoff from farms, industry and human pharmaceuticals and cleaning products are thought to be some of the main causes of these changes. Defining the source and then coming up with a plan is necessary as soon as possible. The good news is that as we have seen with other forms of pollution, the Susquehanna River Pollution Effects on smallmouths and other species are reversible and can be turned around with the right leadership.  To stay informed on this issue, sign up to our newsletter here.

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