|A smallmouth bass with cancer caught in the Susquehanna |
River. (Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission)
The Chesapeake Bay is about 200 miles, with hundreds of rivers and thousands of streams and creeks flowing throughout the watershed, which stretches more than 64,000 miles through six states. For more background, see the Chesapeake Bay Program.
One feeder stream hit particularly hard is the 444-mile Susquehanna River, which flows from New York through Pennsylvania. Citing a study by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the report found that between 2001 and 2005, catch rates for adult bass fell 80 percent in some areas of the Susquehanna, reports Fears. Commission Director John Arway said "he caught and released 200 bass on a summer night before 2005 and can now catch only three or four, and that anglers who come up empty-handed are shying away from the smallmouth bass, a business valued at nearly $650 million in 2011, according to the American Sportfishing Association," reports Fears. (Read more)