"Bay’s Smallmouth Bass Under Siege, Report Says"

"Smallmouth bass that draw hundreds of millions of dollars to the Chesapeake Bay region for sport fishing are sick, and many look too awful to ever mount as a trophy."

"A report released Thursday by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation says the fish, particularly those in the lower Susquehanna River, have been struck by a perfect storm of pollution, parasites, disease and endocrine disruptors that are changing the sex of males.

The catch rates of adult bass fell 80 percent between 2001 and 2005 in some areas of the Susquehanna River, the report said, citing a study by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

The director of the commission, John Arway, said Thursday that he caught and released 200 bass on a summer night before 2005 and can now catch only three or four. Arway said that anglers who come up empty-handed are shying away from the smallmouth bass, valued at nearly $650 million in 2011, according to the American Sportfishing Association."

Darryl Fears reports for the Washington Post April 25, 2013.

Source: Wash Post, 04/26/2013