The state Department of Environmental Protection will keep up its analysis of water quality, water flow, sediment, pesticides, hormones, invertebrates, fish tissue and more in the Susquehanna River basin in 2014.
In a work plan released this week, DEP outlined how it will collect samples at sites along the Susquehanna in Marietta, City Island and Sunbury and along the Juniata River at the Lewistown Narrows and Newport. Additional sampling sites along the Delaware, Allegheny and Youghiogheny rivers will be used as control sites to establish a baseline for water quality, according to a news release about the plan. Portions of the study will focus on areas where small-mouth bass reproduce.
DEP will test for different water quality benchmarks, like dissolved oxygen, temperature and pH, at multiple sites in the Susquehanna River, according to the release. Samples of fish, mussels and macroinvertebrates, such as mayflies, will also be collected. Fish tissue from bass collected during the spawning season will be analyzed for pesticides, PCBs and metals.
In 2013, DEP staff spent 927 days collecting samples on the river, according to the release. The amount of work days in 2014 is expected to be the same or increase slightly.
"Over the last two years where we tremendously enhanced our examination efforts, DEP has learned a great deal about the health of the Susquehanna River," DEP Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo said. "It is important to continue these efforts so that DEP can create policy and regulation based on facts and sound science."