Study: Chemicals, pathogens hit river’s smallmouth bass

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A new study released by Pennsylvania officials has determined the likely causes for the decline of the smallmouth bass population in the Susquehanna River.

The Public Opinion reports ( ) the study says the most likely causes of diseased and dying fish in the river are endocrine-disrupting compounds and herbicides, as well as pathogens and parasites.

The state Department of Environmental Protection and the Fish and Boat Commission released the findings of the study this week.

Officials say the river has been sick since 2005. The smallmouth population has plummeted and anglers say they’re finding fish with sores, rotted fins and black spots.

River advocates have called on the state to list more than 100 miles of the river as impaired, which would start a 13-year process to address the problem.

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