A young man fishes in the shade under the Mansfield Bridge on Chartiers Creek in Carnegie on a hot afternoon.
This creek was so polluted by industry when I was growing up that it was a different color each day, sometimes with wisps of unknown steam rising from its surface. Nothing lived in its waters, and it flooded the low-lying areas, like Carnegie which is on a floodplain, each spring. Perhaps unwisely, none of this kept me out of the water.
Now, after a flood control project widened and deepened the channel and decades of the Clean Water Act stopped dumping in its waters, at least 30 species of fish and myriad other species live in its waters. In addition, annual creek cleanups have pulled tons of used tires, appliances, old furniture and other debris out of the channel. I’ve canoed the 22 miles of the Lower Chartiers numerous times and have seen schools of 12 to 14 inch carp glistening along just under the surface. It’s a testament to the revival of a natural resource, and I still enjoy wading around in it and canoeing when I can, plus it’s been a regular subject for photography and painting.
I don’t know that he caught anything this particular day, but he just enjoyed casting his line and seeing what might come up.