Wednesday, October 23, 2019

EPA September/October 2019 Fish/Shellfish Program News

Check out EPA’s September/October 2019 Fish and Shellfish Program Newsletter! Highlights include:

  • Mercury Levels in Fish Are on the Rise – Warming oceans are leading to an increase of the harmful neurotoxicant methylmercury in popular seafood, including cod, Atlantic bluefin tuna, and swordfish, according to research led by scientists at Harvard University.

  • What's In Your Stream? Get Online to Find Out! – The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) updated an online interactive tool for learning about pesticides, nutrients, and overall stream health in major regions of the U.S.

  • Isotopic Tracers in Fish in Northeast Provide Clue to Mercury Sources – The USGS Regional Stream Quality Assessment released a new study reporting that isotopes of mercury in fish can indicate the source of that mercury.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Chronic Wasting Disease getting broader attention

Chronic wasting disease in Arkansas: ExplainerChronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been a problem in the Mid-Atlantic states for several years.  It's now becoming a concern nationwide.

from CNN:

"Zombie" deer roam 24 states in the US, sickened by a neurodegenerative disease that reduces them to stumbling, drooling creatures.
So far, Nevada has evaded the infection this hunting season. State wildlife officials plan to keep it that way.
The Nevada Department of Wildlife is urging hunters to visit their mobile sampling stations and check their carcasses for chronic wasting disease, a fatal illness that affects the brain and spinal cord of deer, elk and moose.
The department set up stations at truck stops near state lines to keep the infection out. The sampling takes about five minutes and doesn't affect the deer's meat or antlers, the department said.
    It's the latest measure to protect the state's wildlife. In May, Gov. Steve Sisolak passed legislation banning hunters from bringing deer, elk or moose carcasses into the state to prevent disease transmission.

    Chronic wasting disease

    The symptoms of chronic wasting disease reduce infected animals to zombie-like creatures: Stumbling, drooling, drastic weight loss. They can become more aggressive and less afraid of humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    It's thought to spread through direct contact with body fluids or by drinking contaminated water, the CDC said. The disease is always fatal.
    As of August, the CDC reported infected deer, elk and moose in 227 counties across 24 states, primarily clustered in Wyoming, Colorado and Kansas.
      There's a low risk of transmission to humans, but the CDC warned hunters that the species barrier may not fully protect them from contracting the animal disease.
      Chronic wasting disease can incubate for more than a year before animals present symptoms, so the CDC recommends hunters test meat before consuming it and avoid eating the meat of infected venison. Wearing proper equipment while field dressing deer carcasses and minimizing time spent handling their brain and spinal tissue, where the disease originates, can also prevent infection.

      Sunday, October 6, 2019

      Monitoring and publishing streamflow and flooding using NOAA gauges

      You can go to the NOAA Weather Service Rivers page, then zoom in to look for a specific gauge:

      Not all gauges provide predictive data, which require models built on anticipated precipitation and past precipitation impact models, integrated with upstream gauge data if available. You'll typically see a full week, including 5 days of past streamflow and gauge height, and a prediction for the next two days.

      The images on these pages are dynamic, so if you visit this blog post later, you'll see the data in the image location above is changing.  In order to capture an image of a flood event, you'll want to right-click the image and copy it or save it, as I've done below.

      Monday, September 30, 2019

      Great site for Mid Atlantic river levels

      Monacacy Canoe Club provides many great resources to the public beyond its members.  It's river gauge page and tools are great for all sorts of river users and explorers.

      See the original page at

      River Levels and Weather both Current and Predicted
      1. National Weather Service (NWS) Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center..Main Graphic Data Page (Current & Forecast).
      2. NWS Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center.
      3. American Whitewater, gauges listed by state/gauge.
      4. NWS US Quantitative Precipitation Forecasts (US Rain Predictions)
      5. NWS Rain Data. Where, when & how much.
      6. Chris Skalka's "RIVERBOT" River Gauge Retrieval System
      7. Maryland Real Time Gauge Readings..(Potomac Basin, Monongahela Basin, Yough.)
      8. Upper Yough Whitewater Schedule
      9. Maryland River Levels from NOAA
      10. Army Corps of Engineers Bloomington Information
      11. USACE Baltimore (Potomac, Susquehanna)
      12. Pennsylvania Real Time Gauge Readings.
      13. "Canoeable Streams in Western Pennsylvania" Clickable Guide Book by Ed Donley.
      14. Pennsylvania River Levels from NOAA
      15. USACE Pittsburgh (Casselman, Yough, Big Sandy, Dry fork, etc.)
      16. Lehigh Information
      17. National Weather Service Forecast Office - Pittsburgh, PA

      18. Virginia Real Time Gauge Readings
      19. Virginia River Levels from NOAA
      20. National Weather Service Forecast Office - Sterling, VA

          West Virginia
      21. West Virginia Real Time Gauge Readings
      22. West Virginia River Levels from NOAA
      23. USACE Huntington (Southern WV. New, Gauley, Russell Fork, etc)
      24. National Weather Service Forecast Office - Charleston, WV

      25. USGS Real-Time Hydrologic Data for entire USA
      26. River Levels, Weather & More for all of the US from NOAA

      27. Washington DC Area Stream Gauge Tables and Links An online companion to Steve Ettinger’s Capital Canoeing & Kayaking guidebook,
        designed to help target nearby creeks quickly and while there’s still water in them.
        About the tables.

      Last update 1/09

      Creek Critters App from Audubon Naturalist Society

      An app from the Audubon Naturalist Society:  Creek Critters walks users through finding and identifying the small organisms that live in freshwater streams, and generating stream health reports based on what they find. It’s available in the Apple App Store or in Google Play.

      Saturday, September 28, 2019

      Saturday, September 14, 2019

      Leaf color changes

      As your expertise grows, and others' awareness of your career grows, leaf color explanation will be an annual event (I'm betting it is already for some of you).

      Like temperature and sunlight, soil moisture also plays a role in how the leaves will appear this fall.  As day length gets shorter after the equinox (September 22), cells in each leaf create a layer that prevents new chlorophyll (it's called the abscission layer).   Severe drought causes the abscission layer to form earlier and leaves often dry up or drop before they change color. Heavy rain and wind can cause the leaves to fall before they fully develop color.

      The best color scenario is a growing season with plenty of moisture followed by a dry, cool and sunny autumn with warm days and cool but frost-free nights. 

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      EPA September/October 2019 Fish/Shellfish Program News

      Check out EPA’s  September/October 2019 Fish and Shellfish Program Newsletter ! Highlights include: Mercury ...