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Water Management Associations
Bay’s Intersex Fish Mystery Remains Unsolved
Over the past decade, wildlife biologists have probed the Chesapeake Bay region trying to determine why between 50 and 100 percent of bass in various locations are intersex and pesticides may be at fault, but lack of data on the type and quantity of pesticides that run into the bay from farms are leaving biologists with less than ample information.

A new pesticide-reporting rule by Democrats in Maryland House and Senate may require growers to record and submit their use of insecticides and herbicides to the state. Scientists can then use this information to focus on when high concentrations of pesticides hit the waters where vulnerable young fish are growing.

An EPA report from December said that many fish in the bay are in bad health. They struggle with “increased incidence of infectious disease and parasites infections” that contribute to “increased mortality in several species,” the report states. It found feminization in both largemouth and smallmouth bass – eggs in the testes of males as well as tumors in bottom-dwelling fish.

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