Thursday, August 7, 2014

Report on sick Susquehanna River fish makes waves

Lesions on smallmouth bass. Photo by C. Yamashita, Pa. Fish and Boat Commission

Chemicals in the Susquehanna River are likely the cause of the smallmouth bass fishery problems such as skin lesions, according to a comprehensive study just released by a U.S. Geological Survey biologist.

Rick Dandes reports today in The Daily Item that he new report, from the Environmental Integrity Project, also says there is "far more nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the Chesapeake Bay than states and the federal Environmental Protection Agency have led residents to believe.
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"The sampled fish were collected from eight sites in the Susquehanna River, from 2007 to 2010. Twenty fish were collected at each site. The selected sites were chosen to specifically address potential effects of specific wastewater treatment plants by collecting fish upstream and immediately downstream of these plants
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"William Yingling, of Freeburg, a retired physician, and longtime Susquehanna River fisherman, said the findings confirmed his long-held health concerns for those who fish in and use the river for recreation.

“Ever since the Chesapeake Bay Initiative of the 1980s,” he said, “the environmental emphasis has been placed on nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) pollution (from fertilizers). But in the report by the U.S. Geological Society, one of the co-authors, Dr. Vicki Blazer makes it very clear that the smallmouth bass problem is being caused by chemical endocrine disrupter pollution
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It may accompany nutrient pollution, but it is not the same thing, and it is by far the most serious problem that is damaging the fish, Yingling said.

Read the full story: Report on Susquehanna makes waves

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