Local scientists connect health of Susquehanna River to small mouth bass populations

Local scientists connect health of Susquehanna River to small mouth bass populations

Dr. Zimmerman, second from right, participated in a panel discussion with fellow members of the Susquehanna River Heartland Coalition about the connection between the health of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay that it feeds into.

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Local environmental scientists and educators discussed the health of the Susquehanna River and its possible effects on small mouth bass during a meeting of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. About 80 people attended the annual meeting that was held Feb. 11 and 12 at Susquehanna University.

A number of presenters discussed collaborative research performed by scientists from a wide-range of fields that provide a broader understanding of how human activities and natural events impact the river.

Mel Zimmerman, Ph.D., director of Lycoming College’s Clean Water Institute, shared the contributions students made to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s Unassessed Waters Project over the past several years. Peter Petokas, a research associate with the institute, discussed the use of artificial habitat structures to help study eastern hellbender salamanders. Senior biology major Clayton Good provided an exhibit that showed the growth rates and population levels of brook trout on the Hammersley Fork and Cross Fork stream systems in the Kettle Creek Watershed in north central Pennsylvania.

Lycoming College is one of six colleges and universities involved with the Susquehanna River Heartland Coalition for Environmental Studies that participated in several research projects discussed during the event.