Low, turbid water poses a risk to spawning trout
Anglers: please don't fish the Esopus Creek from the Shandaken Portal to the Ashokan Reservoir. (see attached map for area in question).
If you live near, or fish this section of the Esopus, you have no doubt noticed how low the water level is and how brown and silt-laden the water is.
Water from the Schoharie Reservoir feeds into the Esopus via the Shandaken Portal. Drought has drastically reduced water levels in the Schoharie Reservoir and last Friday, DEC decided to cut back on the water entering the Esopus through the portal.
DEC Fisheries staff are concerned that the muddy flow from the Portal would hurt the stream ecosystem and threaten trout spawning which will soon be underway.
As a result, water levels in the Esopus, which were already low, will drop further. Fish in the Creek could be very vulnerable to anglers and natural predators. Nonetheless, DEC staff believe that the trout will be better off than if they try to spawn in mud-laden water.
DEC will continue to monitor conditions in the creek. We anticipate that Emergency Regulations will be issued soon that will temporarily prohibit fishing in the Esopus downstream of the portal to the Ashokan Reservoir. We'll let you know when this happens.