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DEP to Spray for Black Flies in Clarion, Forest Counties

Thursday, April 18, 2019 @ 02:04 PM

Posted by Tyler Ochs

shutterstock_72801487HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will begin both aerial and backpack spraying on roughly 1,700 stream miles in 35 Pennsylvania counties to control black flies.

The first aerial spraying, dependent on weather and stream flow, could take place on the Schuylkill River and several of its tributaries within the week. Other waterways will be treated as stream levels drop and weather conditions allow.

“As warmer weather returns, black flies are a pest that can inundate folks seeking outdoor recreation, especially around rivers and streams,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Using environmentally compatible methods, this annual initiative reduces this nuisance so that Pennsylvanians can enjoy our natural resources.”

This year, 48 rivers and streams spanning more than 1,700 miles will be monitored and treated as needed. Spraying activities will be performed both by helicopter and ground crews. The frequency will depend upon weather and biological conditions. Treatments cannot occur during periods of heavy rain or when water levels are high as these conditions lower the effectiveness of the treatment as well as significantly increase the cost of the control operations.

DEP uses Bti, a naturally occurring bacterium, to treat the larval stage of four specific human pest black fly species. This bacterium degrades quickly in the environment and does not harm the aquatic ecosystem, birds, or other insects.

DEP notifies county and local emergency management officials prior to any spraying activity. Helicopters can be seen flying over waterways and ground crews using backpack sprayers off bridges and wading in streams conducting control operations on behalf of DEP’s Black Fly Suppression Program. Anyone concerned at the sight of a helicopter or ground personnel is encouraged to call their county emergency management office to verify that a black fly treatment is taking place in their area on that day.

Below is a list of participating counties and the waterways in each of them that will be sprayed for black flies:

Adams
Conewago Creek

Armstrong
Allegheny River
Kiskiminetas River
Mahoning Creek
Redbank Creek

Berks
Manatawny Creek
Schuylkill River
Tulpehocken Creek

Bradford
Chemung River
North Branch Susquehanna River

Bucks
Delaware River
Tohickon Creek

Chester
Brandywine Creek
Octoraro Creek
Schuylkill River
French Creek

Clarion
Allegheny River
Clarion River
Redbank Creek

Clinton
West Branch Susquehanna River
Bald Eagle Creek

Columbia
Fishing Creek
North Branch Susquehanna River

Cumberland
Conodoguinet Creek
Susquehanna River
Yellow Breeches Creek

Dauphin
Juniata River
Mahantango Creek
Susquehanna River
Swatara Creek

Elk
Clarion River

Fayette
Youghiogheny River

Forest
Allegheny River
Clarion River
Tionesta Creek

Huntingdon
Aughwick Creek
Frankstown Branch Juniata River
Juniata River

Indiana
Conemaugh River
Kiskiminetas River

Juniata
Juniata River
Susquehanna River
Tuscarora Creek

Lawrence
Connoquenessing Creek
Neshannock Creek
Slippery Rock Creek

Lehigh
Lehigh River

Luzerne
North Branch Susquehanna River

Lycoming
Loyalsock Creek
Pine Creek
West Branch Susquehanna River

Mifflin
Juniata River

Montgomery
Manatawny Creek
Perkiomen Creek

Northampton
Delaware River
Lehigh River

Perry
Juniata River
Sherman Creek
Susquehanna River

Schuylkill
Schuylkill River

Snyder
Middle Creek
Penns Creek
Susquehanna River

Union
Penns Creek
West Branch Susquehanna River

Venango
Allegheny River
French Creek
Oil Creek
Sandy Creek
Sugar Creek

Warren
Allegheny River
Brokenstraw Creek
Conewango Creek

Westmoreland
Conemaugh River
Kiskiminetas River
Loyalhanna Creek
Youghiogheny River

Wyoming
North Branch Susquehanna River
Tunkhannock Creek

York
Conewago Creek
Susquehanna River
Yellow Breeches Creek

For more information on Pennsylvania’s Black Fly Suppression Program, visit DEP’s website.


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