20+ Susquehanna River Facts: Learn More About This Famous River | Kidadl

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20+ Susquehanna River Facts: Learn More About This Famous River

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One of the longest rivers in the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, the Susquehanna River, rises in Otsego Lake in central New York state and then moves through the Appalachian Plateau in New York, Maryland, and Pennsylvania to end in the Chesapeake Bay of Maryland.

The Susquehanna River is around 444 mi (714.5 km) long and is known to drain an area of 27,570 sq mi (71,406 sq km). This is, of course, done in conjuncture with the tributaries of the river: the Chemung, West Branch of the Susquehanna, Lackawanna, and Juniata rivers.

The Susquehanna River was never an important waterway, but the valley was crucial as a land route, a focus for coal mining, and a road to the Ohio River system. Due to various obstructions, the river was not considered an optimal water route. In the eastern United States, the Susquehanna River is a potential waterpower source, and hydroelectric power plants have been constructed at Holtwood (York Haven), Safe Harbor (Pennsylvania), and Conowingo (Maryland). The main cities along the Susquehanna River include Binghamton (New York), Wilkes-Barre (Scranton), Williamsport (on the West Branch), and Harrisburg (Pennsylvania).

The Susquehanna River basin covers half the land area of Pennsylvania and some parts of Maryland and New York. The Susquehanna River is said to cover at least 66 counties. Around 43% of the drainage area of the Chesapeake Bay is part of the Susquehanna River basin. The Susquehanna River has six major sub-basins in it. Branching out, the Susquehanna River has almost 49,000 mi (78,858 km) of waterways, including streams, rivers, lakes, brooks, creeks, and runs. About 63% of the Susquehanna River basin is made up of forested areas. Around four million people live in the river's basin. You can easily spot the native brook trout in the basin area living among people. The area is one of the most flooded areas of the entire country, which experiences a damaging flood every 14 years.

The Susquehanna River is the most extensive tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. The river provides 50% of the freshwater flow to the Chesapeake Bay. The Susquehanna River is commercially non-navigable and is the longest river on America's east coast. It is also the largest river found entirely in the United States that drains itself in the Atlantic Ocean. Although the Susquehanna River has different widths in various different places, it is the widest in Harrisburg in Pennsylvania, where it is one mi (1.6 km) wide. On an average summer day, the Susquehanna River flows about 20 mi (32.1 km).

Fun Facts About The Susquehanna River

The Susquehanna River is the longest river on the east coast of the United States and is a river that drains into the Atlantic Ocean. In fact, the Susquehanna River is one of the major rivers located in the United States.

  • The route of the Susquehanna River goes through Central Pennsylvania to Northern Maryland and then empties into the Chesapeake Bay.
  • The Susquehanna River is considered the oldest main river system on Earth. The formation of the river dates back to the Paleozoic Era, which was around 543-248 million years ago. It is also estimated that the flow of the Susquehanna River in ancient times even predated the formation of the Appalachian Mountains around 300 million years ago.
  • The Susquehanna River is considered the main river located in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic United States. At about 444 mi (714.5 km), it is the longest river on the east coast to drain in the Atlantic Ocean. The river is also the single largest or longest flyway for migratory birds on the east coast of the United States.
  • The name of the river is derived from the Algonquin name siskëwahane, meaning 'Muddy River'.
  • The Susquehanna River is the 16th largest river in the United States and is the longest river in the 21st century United States without commercial boat movement. The river touches three states: Pennsylvania, New York, and Maryland.
  • At Havre de Grace in Maryland, the Susquehanna River has a normal flow of about 18 million gal (68 .1 million l) per minute.
  • The river's main stem moves from Cooperstown in New York to where it empties into the Chesapeake Bay at Havre de Grace of Maryland. The West Branch of the river is 242 mi (389 km) long, turning from Carrolltown in Pennsylvania to the place where it empties into the main Susquehanna in Sunbury of Pennsylvania.
  • The North Branch of the river starts at the Otsego Lake in Cooperstown of New York. This is from where the 444 mi (714.5 km) of the river are counted. The river flows through five ridges. Four of these ridges are in the Poconos, while the other is in the Blue Mountains. From north to south, these are the ridges in order: Mahantango Mountain, Berry Mountain, Peters Mountain, Second Mountain, and Blue Mountain.
  • The river's deepest point is at Marietta, with a gauge stage of 36.63 ft (11.16 m).

Where does the Susquehanna River's West Branch start?

The West Branch of the river is the principal tributary of the Susquehanna River, while the North Branch is an extension of the main river.

  • The West Branch is 242 mi (389.4 km) long and found entirely in Pennsylvania. It rises on the west side of the Alleghenies in northwestern Cambria County, outside of Carrolltown. The branch goes north, while it crosses the eastern corner at the Cherry Tree of Indiana County and then into southern Clearfield County. After moving through much of Pennsylvania, the tributary joins the main river in Sunbury.
  • The upper and lower regions are separated by the boundary demarcated by Sunbury in Northumberland County. This is the place where the West Branch of the river meets the main river. This creates the Lower Susquehanna River, which flows for around 103 mi (166 km). The Lower Susquehanna River then empties into the Chesapeake Bay.

Facts About The Susquehanna River's Importance

The importance of the river is marked by the presence of freshwater and also fishing opportunities for most in the region. This is why so many organizations have come forward to protect the waterways.

  • The Port Deposit Bridge was constructed in 1818, and before that, the only way to cross the river from the north and south barrier was by the use of ferries. To help the ferry companies during low water, the earliest dams were constructed.
  • Canals were made in the 1820s and 1830s to bypass rapids and help with navigation. The canals needed dams to help with the adequate flow of water.
  • This river is considered Pennsylvania's river for its importance as a source of recreation, drinking water, and hydroelectric power to millions of people in the watershed. The people of Pennsylvania and even other places benefit a lot from the presence of the Susquehanna River.
  • As 18 million gal (68 .1 million l) of water empties into the mouth of the river at Havre de Grace per minute, it supplies almost half of the freshwater at the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Birds like the purple martin, which is a native North American bird, spend their summer months along the Susquehanna River. The bird moves all the way to Brazil each winter and comes back to the Susquehanna in the summer.
  • For insect control, Native Americans used to hollow the gourds to attract the birds to their villages. The birds now entirely depend on man-made houses for nesting. So it is very important to keep the river clean and healthy for the birds to be safe.
The West Branch of the river stays in Pennsylvania only.

Susquehanna River Fishing Facts

The river is well-known for the presence of fish, such as smallmouth bass. There are also other fish species like walleye, catfish, and smaller panfish.

  • There are also other fish found in the waters of the river like northern pike, musky, American shad, pickerel, and some other fish in the base of the river.
  • Some famous boating locations to help you catch a fish are Milton State Park and Shikellamy State Park and Marina.
  • As part of the watershed, lakes in the Susquehanna River valley have plenty of local lakes that provide great fishing opportunities. Lake Augusta in Northumberland County is such a place and is great for boating and fishing. This lake is formed by an inflatable dam in the spring and summer months. The Adam T. Bower Memorial Dam provides an ideal location to fish.
Written By
Ritwik Bhuyan

<p>A skilled content writer, Ritwik holds a Bachelor's degree in English from Delhi University. He has refined his writing abilities through his past experience at PenVelope and his current role at Kidadl. In addition to his proficiency in writing, Ritwik has pursued his passion for flying by achieving CPL training and becoming a licensed commercial pilot. This diverse skill set highlights his commitment to exploring multiple fields. Ritwik's experience in the aviation industry has provided him with a unique perspective and attention to detail, which he brings to his writing.</p>

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