I have followed your website for a year or so and since you mentioned my name I thought I should introduce myself and ask for your help. I am a 66 y.o. retired medical physician living in Freeburg, PA. I fish the Susquehanna, it's tribs and local lakes 3-4 days a week most seasons of the year. I find your humor, common sense and honesty refreshing and like you, I love the Susquehanna.
In my opinion, the failure of smallmouth spawns, the intersexing of male bass, their infections and death from opportunistic infections and now the appearance of black spots that look all too much like the skin cancer melanoma is all being caused by chemical endocrine disruptors and the chemical pollution of the watershed. The area where I am catching the most involved fish is just downstream from a power plant that for years was dumping frackwater into the Susquehanna. Far too little science has been done by any Pennsylvania agency to address the chemical pollution that is damaging this river and deal with the human public health catastrophe that is likely to come.
I have attached pictures of exotic fish used in melanoma research as well as the smallmouth I have been catching. The similar appearance of the lesions is striking to me as a physician. We clearly need to know what is causing these lesions but if they are melanomas then the public might see a link between their health and the health of the river. UV-B light and chemicals that sensitize the skin cells appear to be the 2 of the causes of melanoma in both the fish and humans. If this is cancer in the fish it may help drive public opinion about what is happening in the watershed.
I have written the attached letter to members of the PFBC, the director of the DEP and the governors office. I am trying to get fishermen on a number of fishing websites which I frequent to do the same. Knowing if the black lesions are melanomas could help move people to demanding an explanation of their appearance and their cause.
Thanks for any assistance that you or other "bloggers" that you know can give in getting people to demand an investigation of this problem.
William L. Yingling M.D.