A whopper for the water department

butler striped bass
Joe Perillo and Lance Butler with the striped bass they caught Wednesday. (Philadelphia Water Department photo)

On Wednesday, the Philadelphia Water Department posted a photo on Facebook of an impressively large striped bass its employees caught on the Schuylkill.

Here's what the department's Lance Butler had to say about it:

"Being a PWD scientist for over 15 years, very little surprises me when I'm out in the field performing assessments, surveys, etc. I've had the rare opportunity to witness first-hand the trending resurgence of many aquatic species in the Schuylkill and Delaware drainages within and around Philly.

"In short, fifteen years ago, if anyone said to me that there are 40"+ striped bass, thousands of river herring (blueback and Alewife) and Shad, and over 50+ species of fish in the lower Schuylkill, I would have probably said that they were lying. Today, that 'myth' is reality and this picture is one that exemplifies this.

"And although we face many issues, both legacy and future, with regards to our urban ecosystems (ranging from acute and chronic pollution events, invasive species introductions, climate change and sea level rise, etc.), I firmly believe that we (i.e., PWD and its partners) are on the correct path to improving the health and integrity of our aquatic resources."

Click here for a description of the department's fish sampling efforts and why it's important.