Susquehanna River Male Bass Have Female Parts

By on March 18, 2016
Smallmouth bass. (Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Male bass with female reproductive parts have been becoming a more common find in waterways around the U.S. Even in national wildlife refuges, which are thought to be protected from human disturbance, male bass have been found to have eggs.

In the Susquehanna River, a tributary to the Chesapeake Bay, this problem is no different. Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey have sampled bass there that have both male and female sexual parts.

Scientists can’t yet say for certain what is causing the conditions. But the suspicion is that chemicals relating to estrogen are getting into the waters and sediment that the fish rely on for food and habitat.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is set to soon decide if the Susquehanna River is impaired. If the agency opts to call it so, the state of Pennsylvania will have to implement a Total Maximum Daily Load to reduce the levels of pollution going in.

Top image: Smallmouth bass. (Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

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