Smallmouth Die-off in the Susquehanna


Global Warming - Smallmouth Bass die-off in the Susquehanna River

September 4, 2013 in an article published by National Geographic they sited the August closure of the Blackfoot River in Montana, (the location of the 1990 film "The River Runs Through It") due to lower water flow and increase pressure on the native trout as a further evidence that global warming and climate change is having a dramatic impact on the sport fishing industry. In the same article they sited that the problem is not just in the mid west but affecting the east coast as well. One of the specific rivers mentioned was the Susquehanna River sighting the 2005 smallmouth Bass die-off which now appears to be the "new normal" since the problem has occurred with increased regularity all across the country. The culprit: a bacterial disease called columnaris that, according to one expert. "becomes a problem and highly contagious at warmer temperatures, and so is becoming a problem associated with climate change." Many local anglers have commented on the decrease of smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River from Duncannon to Rock Run where it empties into the Chesapeake Bay. National Geographic is not the only one sounding the alarm about the Susquehanna River smallmouth bass decline. Nearly 2 years ago in an article published in Fly Fisherman entitled "Susquehanna's Lost smallmouth Fishery"  Bob Clouser, long time smallmouth guide on the Susquehanna River has watched the smallmouth Guiding business decline from 75 to 5 smallmouth per day. Even telling his clients "don't come it's not worth fishing" he goes on to site among other things "global warming" as a reason for the decline. The article stated a dismal reality that "one of north America's leading smallmouth bass river has fallen off a man-made environmental cliff" and what has happened to the Susquehanna is also happening in the Potomac and fisheries throughout the Ohio River and the Mississippi.