Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Susquehanna River Water Conditions Expected to be Poor

Susquehanna River and upper bay kayakers could encounter poor water conditions this spring. According to Maryland's Department of Natural Resources, early March runoff into the Susquehanna River watershed from heavy rains and snowmelt has brought a flood of nutrients and sediment-laden freshwater.

Heavy flows of spring runoff has resulted in record low water clarity for the month of March in much of Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay.

Continued wet spring weather could extend these high flows which, in turn, could result in less underwater grasses and increased algal blooms. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is expected to continue its comprehensive Chesapeake Bay water quality habitat and living resources monitoring.

A review of 26 years of water clarity data collected by the State shows that depth measurements in the Chesapeake Bay and many tributaries in March 2011 are below historic measures or set new historic lows.

Runoff can hamper kayak anglers from targeting species such as striped bass, yellow perch, river herring and American shad, all species that spawn in the Susquehanna during the Spring.

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