River enthusiast says transparency is needed for river health

SELINSGROVE — The state of the Susquehanna River is still up in the air.  So says Jim Charles, co-owner of Isle of Que River Guides.  Charles says the river is as beautiful as always, but that is only skin-deep.

“We still have a very serious problem with smallmouth bass and other fish.  Young of the year fish, bass and others have developed lesions and within 24 hours, they are dead.”  Charles says those lesions affect about 70% of young of the year fish.

However, Charles says it’s not all gloom and doom with the Susquehanna River.  Improvements can happen, and he believes it starts with transparency.  “If you ask the question, ‘Is the river safe?’ politicians are very quickly going to say yes, but the correct answer is we don’t know.  There are no scientific studies that say it is safe.”

Charles will be an upcoming guide for local legislators on a kayak river trip hosted by the Northumberland County Conservation District. (Sara Bartlett)

 

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