On Tuesday, the Department of Environmental Protection released a work plan outlining intensive efforts to continue studying and sampling dozens of locations in the Susquehanna River basin throughout 2013.
DEP’s ongoing efforts include analysis of water quality, water flow, sediment, pesticides, hormones, invertebrates, fish tissue and other areas of study. Portions of the study will focus on areas of the river or its tributaries where smallmouth bass reproduce.
The agency’s sampling efforts will be focused on sites along the Susquehanna at Marietta, City Island and Sunbury and along the Juniata River at the Lewistown Narrows and Newport. A site along the Delaware River near Trenton, NJ, will be used as a control site.
Staff will test for various water quality parameters, like dissolved oxygen, temperature and pH, at multiple sites in the Susquehanna. Samples of fish, mussels and macroinvertebrates, such as mayflies, will also be collected.
Fish tissue from bass collected during spawning season will be analyzed for pesticides, PCBs and metals. DEP will also work with the U.S. Geological Survey to analyze fatty tissue from healthy and diseased fish to determine the effects of different environmental factors.
For more information, visit www.dep.state.pa.us and click on the “Susquehanna River Study Update” button on the homepage.