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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pennsylvania Updated Fish Contamination Advisory


Teresa Candori, DEP
Eric Levis, PA Fish and Boat Commission

Updated Fish Consumption Advisories Issued for 2010
Advisories Eased for Seven Water Bodies New Species, Water Body Added

HARRISBURG -- State officials today released updated fish consumption advisories that include two new fish species and a water body that had not previously been on the list, but also eases or lifts advisories on fish from seven water bodies.

The advisories were developed through an interagency partnership between the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and the state departments of Environmental Protection, Health and Agriculture.

“Consumption advisories are not intended to discourage anyone from fishing or eating fresh fish in moderation,” Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger said. “However, at-risk groups and people who regularly eat sport fish are most susceptible to contaminants that can build up in fish over time and should space out fish meals according to these advisories, and in consultation with their physician.”

The advisories do not apply to fish raised for commercial purposes or bought in stores or restaurants.

All of Pennsylvania remains under a blanket advisory that recommends limiting consumption of any recreationally-caught fish to one meal per week. This advisory is designed to protect against eating large amounts of fish from waters that have not been tested, or for certain species that have not been tested or fish that may contain other unidentified contaminants. One meal is considered to be one-half pound of fish for a 150-pound person.

For 2010, new advisories have been added limiting consumption of Largemouth Bass in Lake Canadohta in Crawford County to two meals per month, and consumption of Largemouth Bass in Lake Jean in Sullivan and Luzerne counties to one meal per month as a result of elevated levels of mercury in the water.

A do-not-eat advisory has been issued for Channel Catfish in the Mahoning River in Lawrence County due to PCB contamination.

Consumption advisories have been eased but not lifted for the following locations and species:

• French Creek in Erie, Crawford, Mercer and Venango counties for Smallmouth Bass as a result of mercury contamination;
• Lake Erie for Walleye as a result of PCB contamination; and
• Schuylkill River from the confluence of Mill Creek at Port Carbon to the Auburn Dam in Schuylkill County for Trout as a result of PCB contamination.

Consumption advisories have been lifted for the following locations and species:

• Jacks Creek from the Paintersville Bridge to the mouth in Mifflin County for Brown Trout and White Sucker as a result of PCB contamination;
• Chartiers Creek from Canonsburg to the mouth and Little Chartiers Creek from Canonsburg Lake dam to the mouth in Allegheny and Washington Counties for Largemouth Bass and Carp as a result of Chlordane contamination;
• Monongahela River from Pool 4 between the Maxwell Lock and Dam and Lock and Dam 4 in Fayette and Washington counties for Channel Catfish as a result of Chlordane contamination; and
• Sinnemahoning Creek from the confluence of Lower Jerry Run to the mouth in Clinton and Cameron counties for Largemouth Bass and Carp as a result of Mercury contamination.

People can get the health benefits of eating fish and reduce the potential risk of exposure to organic contaminants by properly cleaning, skinning, trimming and cooking the fish they eat.

Proper preparation generally includes trimming away fat and broiling or grilling the fish to allow remaining fat to drip away. Juices and fats that cook out of the fish should not be eaten or reused for cooking or preparing other foods. Mercury, however, collects in the fish’s muscle and cannot be reduced by cleaning and cooking methods.

More information on fish consumption advisories and the most current advisories are available online at www.depweb.state.pa.us, Keyword: “Fish Advisories” and http://www.fishandboat.com/fishpub/summary/sumconsumption.pdf.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Stream restoration on the Upper Delaware River

The Friends of the Upper Delaware River (FUDR) recently funded a study completed by LandStudies, Inc. which lays out plans for the rehabilitation of Sands Creek and Cadosia Creek in the Town of Hancock.

This project will serve as a pilot program for other streams in the region while benefiting fishery habitat and mitigating flooding.

Click here to Watch a Video

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Seven Streams in Pennsylvania Designated as ‘Exceptional Value

EQB Designates Seven Streams as ‘Exceptional Value,’ Increases Protection for 265 Miles of Waterways

Harrisburg – Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger announced today that 265 miles of streams in Pennsylvania will receive increased protection after being designated as “exceptional value” waterways by the Environmental Quality Board.

“Streams that are designated as exceptional value will receive the highest level of protection against pollution from point and non-point sources that could affect the quality and aquatic health of the watershed,” Hanger said. “This demonstrates the usefulness of maintaining a statewide water quality monitoring network that can accurately report the current health of our watersheds and determine if water quality in these basins is changing for the better or worse.”

The waterways receiving the new designation include Young Womans Creek in Clinton, Lycoming and Potter counties; Muncy Creek in Sullivan County; an unnamed tributary to Tunkhannock Creek in Susquehanna County; Spruce Creek in Union County; Blue Eye Run and East Hickory Creek in Warren County; and East Branch Dyberry Creek in Wayne County.

DEP recommended the new designations based on five years of data collected through Pennsylvania’s Water Quality Network, which provides long-term, fixed-location monitoring of watersheds’ chemical and biological quality.

Data collected through monitoring gives DEP a reference point from which to observe changes in water quality and to track the health of streams to see if human activity is affecting water quality or to determine if cleanup and pollution control efforts are improving conditions. The network also gives the state data to monitor the quality of water that Pennsylvania sends to or receives from neighboring states.

Surface water quality standards are mandated by the federal Clean Water Act, which requires states to designate uses for streams such as drinking water, recreation and fishing, and to set criteria to protect streams for those uses. In addition, an anti-degradation component of the act requires that streams designated as exceptional value or high quality must be maintained at existing quality.

For more information, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: Water Quality.

Monday, December 14, 2009

President Obama’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Funding to be Used for Immediate Asian Carp Control Measures

Release date: 12/14/2009

Contact Information: Enesta Jones (EPA), jones.enesta@epa.gov, 202-564-7873, 202-564-4355, Lynne Whelan (USACE), lynne.e.whelan@usace.army.mil, 312-846-5330

WASHINGTON - Great Lakes Inter-agency Task Force Chair and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson today announced $13 million in federal funding to prevent Asian carp from migrating further toward the Great Lakes.

“The challenge at hand requires the immediate action we're taking today. EPA and its partners are stepping up to prevent the environmental and economic destruction that can come from invasive Asian carp,” said Task Force Chair Lisa P. Jackson. “President Obama’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Congressional support have given us what we need to significantly and immediately reduce the risk of Asian carp reaching the Great Lakes and destroying such a valuable ecosystem.”

President Barack Obama has made restoring the Great Lakes a national priority. In February 2009, he proposed $475 million for a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, an unprecedented investment in the nation’s largest fresh surface water ecosystem. Congress approved that funding level and President Obama signed it into law in October. The funding for immediate carp control measures would come from the $475 million initiative.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has identified more than $13 million in funding needs for measures to deter Asian carp from moving closer to Lake Michigan. The majority of funding announced today will be used to close conduits and shore up low-lying lands between the Chicago Sanitary Ship Canal and adjacent waterways. Agencies remain concerned that during times of heavy precipitation water – and therefore carp – can wash from adjacent waterways into the canal. Initiative funding will support work by the Corps to reduce the risk of invasion from these collateral access points. Some of the funding will support more genetic testing to pinpoint where carp may be in the Chicago Area Waterway System. The agencies will continue to identify other mechanisms for keeping Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.

Today’s announcement follows on the heels of a November 23 announcement that a portion of initiative funding will be available for interested stakeholders through a request for proposals (RFP). Invasive species controls are a priority under the initiative. EPA, through the Great Lakes National Program Office is seeking applications from a diverse group of participants and partnerships to support the goals of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The RFP is online at http://epa.gov/greatlakes/fund/2010rfp01. It also follows work by several federal agencies that are part of the Inter-agency Task Force, in addition to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and other state, provincial and binational agencies to keep carp from migrating through the canal in early December while the Corps shuts off one of its electric barriers for maintenance.

The Task Force, chaired and coordinated by EPA, was created in May of 2004 under a presidential executive order and is responsible for implementing federal efforts to protect and restore the Great Lakes.

Interesting Facts About Anglers & Boaters

As Per The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation
Boaters and anglers are significantly more satisfied with their marriages, relationships and friendships — and are more likely to have a close relationship with their children – than those who don’t boat or fish.

Boaters and anglers are more likely to recycle, carpool and donate money to environmental organizations than people who aren’t boaters and anglers.
Connecting with family is a primary reason for going fishing.
Source: RBFF online survey (2007)

Monday, December 07, 2009

Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Members Support Inclusion Of Recreational Fishing In Task Force Report

December 1, 2009 (Washington, DC) -Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus (CSC) member Rep. Adam Putnam and CSC House Co-Chair Rep. Dan Boren sent a letter today to the Chair of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force urging inclusion of the recreational fishing community in the formation of a proposed new ocean governance structure.

The letter, addressed to Ms. Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), is in reference to the Interim Report of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force released in September, which failed to include issues of concern to the recreational fishing community.

"It's very important that America continue to be a good steward of all our water resources," said Rep. Putnam. "And recreational fishing has established itself as a valuable partner in this effort. Through the special taxes they pay, sportsmen provide hundreds of millions of dollars each year to support conservation efforts. They also act as a powerful network for educating people on caring for the natural environment. I urge the Administration to work with sportsmen and not against them."

"Inclusion of the recreational fishing community in this effort could greatly assist the task force's stated objectives," said Rep. Boren. "They should welcome the participation of recreational anglers and seek their support in ensuring the conservation, maintenance, and restoration of our nation's oceans and lakes."

The Task Force was created to develop a draft national policy and implementation strategy for conserving and managing the oceans, the Great Lakes, and the coasts of the United States. The draft policy would potentially govern federal Pacific and Atlantic Ocean waters and Great Lakes resource conservation and management and assist in the coordination of these efforts among federal, state and local agencies.

"Along with our sporting partners, we discussed in detail issues of interest and concern to the recreational fishing community in a July meeting and followed up with a written submission to Ms. Sutley," said Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation President Jeff Crane. "We offered specific, detailed recommendations to the task force, emphasizing the need to recognize and promote recreational angling in any federal policy the Task Force developed."

The letter from Putnam and Boren notes that the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund is supported by taxes paid by anglers and boaters. In 2008, the fund provided $398 million to states for sport fish restoration and $126 million for coastal wetlands planning and restoration. Millions more went to conservation grants and boater safety programs.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Most Sought After Fish in the U.S.

AnglerSurvey is a monthly consumer monitoring service of Southwick Associates, Inc. Here is their 2008 report for the most sought after species for US anglers in both freshwater and saltwater.

Please note the rankings report the species targeted most often, which is not always the same as the anglers’ preferred species or the species most commonly caught. For example, a Texas angler’s favorite fish may be freshwater trout, but does not pursue trout based on the distance to the nearest trout fishery. Instead he targets bass on most trips – which is reported in the tables below – but catches mostly panfish over the course of the year based on that species high numbers.

The tables show largemouth bass continues to lead as the most targeted freshwater fish in the U.S., followed by panfish, smallmouth bass and trout. Saltwater anglers favor spotted seatrout, red drum, flounder and striped bass respectively. Saltwater anglers often target more than one species per trip, with flounder and red drum frequently targeted in the same trip as spotted seatrout. For more detailed information, contact Southwick Associates.

Freshwater :

Largemouth or spotted bass


Panfish (Crappie, Perch, Sunfish, Bluegill/Bream)


Smallmouth bass








Any freshwater fish that bites




Striped bass (freshwater) or hybrid bass


Pickerel, pike or muskie




White bass and Sunshine bass








Other fish not on this list


Based on 11,000+ completed surveys in 2008


Spotted seatrout or weakfish


Redfish, red drum, channel bass




Striped bass


Any saltwater fish that bites




Other fish not on this list


Grouper, snapper, sea bass


Mackerel (king, spanish, boston, etc.)










Rockfish (Pacific coast only)


Calico bass








Tautog (Blackfish)










Based on nearly 4,500 completed surveys in 2008

Southwick Associates, Inc. specializes in natural resource & environmental economic, business and statistical research. Their staff is comprised of economic, business and statistics professionals throughout the U.S. who have in-depth experience measuring the values, benefits and revenues possible from fish, wildlife, and water-related natural resources plus their associated industries. They help clients better address many business, legal, legislative and public communication issues through the practical application of reliable and accurate economic information and statistics.

For information and other reports, visit: www.southwickassociates.com