I’ve often said that anglers and hunters are the best stewards of our natural resources. Most of the ones I know aren’t “kill ’em all” types. One of the beautiful things about the outdoor life is that it is something that can be shared across the generations. I would love nothing more than to take my grandkids fishing someday.

The anglers of Pennsylvania are concerned about their angling future and the passing on of their legacy on the water. Pennsylvania consistently ranks amongst the leaders in fishing licenses sold annually. Recent news of a shocking maritime discovery — a smallmouth bass with a cancerous tumor — has stirred their community. Read more about it in this article from Fishing Tackle Retailer.

A healthy Pennsylvania smallie
A healthy Pennsylvania smallie

A disturbing, tumorous bass in Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna River is drawing national headlines to river pollution.

Around mid-week, reports of the catch from AOL, CNN , CBS and NBC began spreading like wildfire online. The fish in question was caught in November of 2014. It features a large tumor jutting from what appears to be its lower lip: a tumor that the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission says is cancerous.

According to a release from the PFBC, it’s the first documented instance of fish cancer in the state. “Cancerous growths and tumors on fish are extremely rare in Pennsylvania and throughout the U.S.,” says the release,”but they do occur. This is the only documented case of this type of tumor being found on smallmouth bass in Pennsylvania.”

The fish was tested by both the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Aquatic Health Lab at Michigan State University. However, this is not the first time the Susquehanna has drawn the attention of researchers. In August of last year—just two months prior to this catch—reports surfaced that some of the river’s bass were changing sex.

Photos: Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (top); Tackle Tour (above)