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Friday, August 13, 2010

Esopus Creek Running Warm

From the Town of Shandaken downstream to the Ashokan Reservoir, the Lower Esopus Creek benefits from cold water releases made from the Schoharie Reservoir. Unfortunately that isn't the case this summer.

Usually there is a supply supply of cold water in the Schoharie Reservoir.  It is this reservoir that water is sent through the portal into the Esopus Creek which then feeds into Ashokan Reservoir and provides a cold water refuge to the trout in the creek.
This year, construction activities at the Gilboa Dam coupled with the hot and dry summer in the Catskills caused the cold water supply to run out by the second week of August. Currently, the water being released from the Schoharie Reservoir is in the mid-70's.  This water is too warm for trout and severely stresses them. It can be lethal to trout if temperatures persist over 75 degrees F.

Anglers should take care not to unduly stress trout by fishing for them in waters with temperatures over 68 degrees F. NY DEC will be monitoring stream water temperatures and recommending changes to release volumes as needed.