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Report: Smallmouth bass show Susquehanna impaired

Thursday - 4/25/2013, 2:18pm  ET

BALTIMORE (AP) -- The Chesapeake Bay Foundation says health problems among smallmouth bass in the lower Susquehanna show the river should be declared impaired, making it eligible for cleanup funds.

The environmental group called for the designation Thursday as it released a report detailing the decline of the popular sportfish it considers a bellwether for the bay's watershed. The report says smallmouth bass are responsible for 2,200 jobs in Virginia, 1,300 in Pennsylvania, 1,200 in West Virginia and 1,000 in Maryland.

Pennsylvania's Fish and Boat Commission director says the report provides further evidence the lower Susquehanna should be declared impaired. His state's Department of the Environment has said existing data doesn't support the request.

Pennsylvania and federal environmental officials did not immediately respond to requests for reaction.


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