Chesapeake Bay Foundation addresses issues with Susquehanna River

CBS 21

CBS 21 took a trip down the Susquehanna River Friday to discuss issues pertaining to the river.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation invited members of the media, along with state officials, to talk about issues facing the river like wildlife health, fishing and overall water quality.

One thing they noted is that not being afraid of the river is one of the best ways to help it. Enjoying the body of water will lead people to protect it if they care enough about it.

There are, however, old challenges present with the river. Sediment and nutritional pollution top that list.

Harry Campbell of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation said 19,000 miles of Pennsylvania rivers and streams don't meet water quality standards.

John Arway of the PA Fish and Boat Commission said officials have been working to restore the river to it's top-notch fishing status since 2005. It was then they noticed an excessive fish kill.

But don't all the mayflies mean the water is healthy?

"Mayflies do indicate good environmental situations, but in this case, bass are much more sensitive than mayflies are," Arway said.

As far as concerns about human health, officials don't recommend heading into the Susquehanna around 24 to 48 hours after a storm since there may be high bacterial loads.

"So you don't want to necessarily dive right in there and get your face wet, if you will, swallow a mouth full of water, because you get a gastroenteritis or some other stomach bug," Campbell said.

Despite recent troubles, members from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation say the Susquehanna is in better shape than it was about 20 years ago.

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