Daily Dirt: A.T. Hiker Falls Off Cliff, PA Hatcher Sued, Bay Striper Rebound

Your daily outdoor news bulletin for October 21, the day the Guggenheim Museum opened in New York City in 1959:

A.T. Hiker Falls Off Cliff, in Critical Condition

A Delaware woman remains in critical condition following a fall from the Appalachian Trail in central Pennsylvania over the weekend. Around noon on Saturday, Lara Louise Kadambi, 38, of Wilmington, Delaware, fell about 30 feet down a cliff of the Pinnacle near Albany Township. Officials say Kadambi was with a hiking group when she lost her balance and fell, suffering severe head trauma. The rescue operation required the help of three departments and 25 people due to the nature of the location and terrain surrounding the accident. It took rescue workers 45 minutes to get to the site and another 90 minutes to get Kadambi up the cliff, down the trail and into a helicopter.

She was airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital where she remains in critical condition.

Enviros Suing PA Fish Hatchery

In a weird, ironic twist, a couple of Pennsylvania environmental groups plan to sue a fish hatchery for…polluting? You heard right. PennEnvironment and the Environmental Integrity Project filed a notice of intent to sue the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission for ongoing violations at the state fish hatchery in Bellefonte, a town located in the heart of the state along the famous Spring Creek. Attorneys charge that nitrogen and other pollutants discharged from the Bellefonte hatchery are above permit levels, affecting aquatic life. Spring Creek flows into the Susquehanna River, and then into the Chesapeake Bay, so the federal water pollution control act comes into play. A state hatchery’s goal is to promote and help the health of waterways and the fish that live in them, so this comes as a bit of a surprise. Eastern cold water fisheries are in enough trouble without having our own fish hatcheries polluting them.

Chesapeake Stripers on the Rebound

Striped Bass in the Chesapeake Bay are mounting a comeback. The latest monitoring survey from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science suggests that stripers are rebounding from poor 2012 numbers. The VIMS takes an annual count of stripers in Bay tributaries of the York, Rappahannock, and James rivers to monitor and count juveniles as they swim upstream. Although the 2013 numbers were just average, they topped last year’s by a significant amount, a promising sign that the fishery is healthy. Striped Bass were nearly fished out of the Bay in the early 80s, but strict laws were enacted in VA, MD, and DE to counteract the problem. It worked. The “rockfish” recovered and continues to be one of the most sought after game fish both commercially and recreationally.

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