Paddling around a group of islands in the North Branch of the Susquehanna River below Shickshinny three Novembers ago, Scranton native Roger Swingle’s fishing pole became tangled in a tree.
“I reached behind me to untangle the pole, and I lost my balance,” he said, plunging into 42-degree river water he estimates was about 15 feet deep.
“It was not a good experience. I had never dealt with that before, and I immediately panicked,” he said. “My kayak was upside down and the water and coldness was wicking through the layers of clothing I was wearing. At that moment, I was extremely scared.”
As a young Benjamin Hayes scaled the final ranks toward his Eagle Scout award, Hurricane Agnes moved through the Valley in 1972, leaving behind historic flooding that inspired Hayes into a lifelong passion for river-based resources.
“For my Eagle Scout project following Agnes in 1972, I was fortunate enough to get involved in a stream restoration project,” he said in a recent Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper podcast interview. “That flood blew out so many streams in the area and historic mill dams failed. Streams changed their look overnight, and that really piqued my interest.”
Benjamin Hayes, the program director for Bucknell's Watershed Sciences & Engineering Program, talks about the current health of the Susquehanna River along with details about the upcoming 15th Annual River Symposium.
WPGM/WBGM News Director Matthew James interviews Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association executive director John Zaktansky for a show that aired Oct. 18 on the mission of the organization, upcoming programs and other topics.
John Zaktansky is an award-winning journalist and avid promoter of the outdoors who loves camping, kayaking, fishing and hunting with the family.