Audio Here: Mystery disease hits fish in Susquehanna River
Listen to Sara Bartlett’s full interview with the Fish and Boat Commission here:
UNDATED – A mystery disease is causing sickness in the Susquehanna River’s smallmouth bass. John Arway, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, says the certainty is the fish are sick. The uncertainty is why they are sick.
“It is kind of like when you go to the doctor’s office because you know you are sick, but you don’t know why. In this case the DEP is the doctor and we are taking the sick river to them trying to figure out the sources and causes for the sickness. We are asking DEP to put the river on the list of impaired waterways and then start testing to make it better.”
Geoff Smith is a River Biologist with the Fish and Boat Commission and says the way this disease is effected the fish is a little more pronounced. “Typically adult fish are the ones who get sick, you lose that portion of the population and there is always a replacement. In this case, it is affecting our young fish that are the replacement. In time it is adding up and affecting the population level.”
The Department of Environmental Protection will soon release their list of the impaired waters. Arway says if the Susquehanna River is on the list, the Fish and Boat Commission will work with DEP to put a correction plan together. Arway says if the Susquehanna River is not on the list then they will make a case to the Environmental Protection Agency. (Sara Bartlett)