Full Report Here: Perfect Storm threatening fish in the Susquehanna
HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania’s most popular game fish, the smallmouth bass, is facing many threats as it struggles to survive in the Susquehanna River. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has completed a report and says a “perfect storm” of high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution is harming the fish along with pesticides, warmer water temperatures and parasites. John Arway is executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and spoke about the small mouth bass population.
Arway said, “The disease has caused the population to collapse. Unprecedented algae blooms now occur in our river from east shore to west shore. It is not coincidental that the timing of these algae blooms occur when our smallmouth fry are most vulnerable to infection. These blooms are driven by increased dissolved phosphorus contributions, but we continue to refuse to prepare a plan to find the sources and causes of these nutrients and work on solutions to fix our sick river.”
Anglers first reported diseased and dying smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River is 2005. Since that time, catch rates are down 20 percent for anglers. As a result, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission are halting all fishing for smallmouth bass from May 1st through June 15th, for the second year in a row. Read the full report here. (Ali Stevens)