If you fish long enough, you’re bound to notice some small irregularities in your catch. We’ve all seen a few bumps, dark spots and fin abnormalities, but the appearance of Susquehanna River smallmouth bass is perplexing even the most respected biologists.
According to FOX 43, the bass was caught last November and when the angler noticed a giant egg-sized tumor on its lower jaw, it was sent to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission for extensive testing. The results have just been confirmed; the tumor did, in fact, test positive for cancer.
Oddly enough, these test results don’t surprise any of the local angler due to the pollution levels of the river. It’s becoming quite common to see strange abnormalities on the local smallmouth. For this reason, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who will eat fish from the Susquehanna.
Although the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has been attempting to have the waterway declared “impaired” but the Department of Environmental Protection isn’t exactly playing nice. According to a statement from them, they’re unable to determine whether the recent biological issues are due to pollution or “bass problems”.
High-ranking officials within the Fish and Boat Commission believe that the once-world renowned smallmouth fishery is in serious trouble if the problems aren’t adressed by the DEP.