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Monday, August 30, 2010

Arts of the Angler Show Returns to Danbury, CT

The Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum will hold the Fourth Annual Arts of the Angler Show at the Ethan Allen Inn, in Danbury CT on Saturday and Sunday, November 6 & 7, 2010. This unique show combines the finest in vintage collectibles and contemporary fly fishing ‘arts’. It  has been regarded as  of the largest of its kind in the USA.  In addition to the show featuring the ‘arts and crafts  of the angler: bamboo rod making, fly tying, books, and artwork, a live consignment auction of collectibles will be held after a special priced dinner on Saturday evening. (Accepting consignments now).  And returning will be the popular Book Exchange (the CFFCM will sell your books, bring them and enjoy the show).

Joining  over  30 great  fly  tyers who  provide non stop fly tying demonstrations through out the show will be recognized  bamboo rodmakers: David Van  Burgel, Per Brandin, Marc Aroner, John Gallas, Jim Downes, Kathy Scott, Kelly Baker,  among others. Not only will visitors  see the best in today’s cane fishing rods  available will be the widest selection of used and collectible classics from a selection of vendors.  (Vendor Space is limited).

The Ethan Allen Inn is centrally located at Exit 4 on Interstate Route 84 in Danbury CT.  This venue provides an elegant yet casual setting for a fine show.

For more detailed information on the Arts of the Angler Show,  follow the changing details here on this sponsoring website or visit the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum  Facebook Fan Page or website www.cffcm.net 
Its all about fly fishing.

Contact:  Erin or Pat, CFFCM 845-439-4810, flyfish@catskill.net

This website, Cross Current Guide Service is a sponsor of the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fly Fishing Hall of Fame

The Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum each year nominates members for induction into their Fly Fishing Hall of Fame.  Since it was established 20 years ago, the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame has honored 66 people who have made a significant contribution to fly fishing.

For 2010, The Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum's Fly Fishing Hall of Fame inductees are Jack Gartside, John Randolph, Art Lee, and Louis Rhead.

These honorees join a distinguished group of fly fishers that includes notables like;  Theodore Gordon, Lee and Joan Wulff, Harry and Elsie Darbee, Ernie Schwiebert, Everett Garrison, Nick Lyons, and Art Flick.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Largest Dam Removal in US History

Washington’s Elwha River is on the path to restoration

August 26, 2010

Seattle – The effort to restore a free-flowing Elwha River will reach a critical milestone today, as the National Park Service awards the contract for construction work to remove two outdated dams. Deconstruction will begin in 2011.

Brett Swift, Northwest Regional Director for American Rivers, made the following statement:

“This is a critical milestone in the effort to restore a healthy, free-flowing Elwha River. We are closer than ever before. When the dams come down on the Elwha, we will witness a river coming back to life. The entire nation will be watching."

"2011 will be the year of river restoration. In addition to the Elwha, major dam removals are taking place on rivers like Washington's White Salmon, Maine's Penobscot, and Maryland's Patapsco. The benefits to communities, culture, businesses, and fish and wildlife will be extraordinary. American Rivers is proud to have played a role in these efforts."

The 45 mile long Elwha River has been blocked by the Elwha Dam and Glines Canyon Dam for 100 years. The dams decimated the river’s once-legendary salmon runs.  Most of the river and its 200,000 acre watershed are protected within Olympic National Park. Removing the dams will restore access for salmon and steelhead to historic habitat and revitalize the web of life from mountains to sea. At 210 feet tall, Glines Canyon Dam will be the tallest dam ever removed.

American Rivers has long been an advocate of restoring a free-flowing Elwha River. Most recently, American Rivers helped secure more than $50 million in federal funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for the Elwha River, to ensure dam removal can begin in 2011, as opposed to 2012.

More than 600 dams have been removed in the United States over the last 50 years for reasons including environmental restoration, elimination of public safety hazards, saving taxpayer dollars, and improving recreation.

American Rivers recently launched an interactive map of key dam removal and river restoration projects. The map is available at http://www.americanrivers.org/our-work/restoring-rivers/dam-removal-map/
For more information on dam removal and river restoration, visit http://www.americanrivers.org/our-work/restoring-rivers/dams/

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Studying the Delaware Bay - Delaware Bay Finfish Trawl Survey

The Delaware estuary is where freshwater from the Delaware River mixes with salt water from the Delaware Bay. It serves as nursery areas, spawning and feeding grounds, and migratory routes for many fish species. 

New Jersey Bureau of Marine Fisheries biologists conducts several surveys each year to study the status of species populations within the estuary. One of these surveys is the Delaware Bay Finfish Trawl Survey.

In 1991, New Jersey began a Delaware Bay finfish trawl survey of juvenile finfish species to develop indices for comparing the relative annual abundance of selected stocks. The survey was designed to complement a similar effort being conducted on the western side of Delaware Bay by the State of Delaware's Division of Fish and Wildlife and sampling stations were set up within the shallow, near shore waters on the New Jersey side of the bay. Data collected allows biologists to develop relative abundance estimates and length frequencies of estuarine dependent finfish necessary for predicting future fishery trends and harvest potential. 

New Jersey Bureau of Marine Fisheries has hauled 1,399 tows and caught 360,753 fish for an average of 257 fish per tow since the survey's inception in 1991. A total of 76 different species have been identified with the five most abundant being bay anchovy, Atlantic croaker, weakfish, blue crab and Atlantic herring. 

Read the full survey find find out about the unique fishes like mutton snapper and Florida pompano that have been captured in the survey.  


EPA Releases Draft Strategy for Clean Water

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting the public to comment on the agency’s draft strategy to protect and restore our nation’s lakes, streams and coastal waters. The strategy, “Coming Together for Clean Water: EPA’s Strategy for Achieving Clean Water,” is designed to chart EPA’s path in furthering EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s key priority of protecting America’s waters.

The strategy was developed by considering the input and ideas generated at the April “Coming Together for Clean Water” forum as well as comments received through the online discussion forum.  Participants shared their perspectives on how to advance the EPA’s clean water agenda focusing on the agency’s two priority areas: healthy watersheds and sustainable communities. EPA is now inviting the public to consider and provide their comments on the approaches outlined in the strategy. 

Public comments on the draft strategy should be submitted by September 17. EPA will review all comments and post a final strategy later in the year.

More information on the draft strategy and to comment:  http://blog.epa.gov/waterforum/

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Poul Jorgensen Golden Hook Award

Livingston Manor, NY. Before the unexpected death in November 2004, world recognized and master fly tyer Poul Jorgensen was working with award winning sculptor and artist Bud Wertheim for a new award in fly tying. It was Poul’s wishes to recognize a fly tyer who has clearly made a contribution to the art of fly tying through tying flies: education, promotion, new technique, new materials, publication, instruction or tool. Considerations were to be for those of the present, specifically not from the past or historical. After Poul’s death, Wertheim completed the project and used Poul’s likeness on a cast medallion (very much against Poul’s wishes) to create the Poul Jorgensen Golden Hook Award.

It has been determined Ted Patlen will receive this award on Saturday evening, October 9, 2010 at Kings Catering in Livingston Manor, NY. Patlen has provided a tireless effort to share his knowledge and unite fly tyers from all over the world. Now a retiree, Ted spends more of his time and money to participate in many fly tying exhibitions and seminars all over the world. He brings new life to everyone interested in fly tying, entertaining all , even non fly tyers. He freely shares his unique techniques and makes it a point to keep fly tying enjoyable always with a smile on his face. Ted has often said “…some of these guys take it too seriously; fly tying is supposed to be fun”. In his travels, Ted meets both professional and amateur tyers from every skill level and often hosts them when they visit the USA. Among the fly tying community he is recognized as The American Ambassador of Fly Tyer and people who meet him for the first time leave with a memorable moment. His skills are equaled with unique antics that are known world wide.

Ted will be presented with the Jorgensen Golden Hook Award on Saturday, October 9, 2010 at Kings Catering in Livingston Manor, NY. This dinner will follow the induction of the 2010 class of the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame: Louis Rhead, Jack Gartside, John Randolph, and Art Lee. For more information call the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum at 845-439-4810, flyfish@catskill.net, or www.cffcm.net

EPA Launches Web Forum on How to Best Protect America’s Drinking Water

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching a web-based discussion forum to gather public input on how the agency can improve protection of drinking water. The information will be used in implementing EPA’s new drinking water strategy announced by Administrator Lisa P. Jackson in March.

“We look forward to reviewing the ideas and feedback from the public,” said Peter S. Silva, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water. “This online discussion is for anyone who wants to share their input on protecting drinking water and improving public health.”

EPA seeks input from water professionals, advocates, and anyone interested in drinking water quality issues about best solutions for issues facing our nation’s drinking water—planning, developing scientific tools, controlling water pollution and use of resources.

The discussion forum will feature a series of topics based on the four segments of the drinking water strategy: addressing contaminants as groups rather than one at a time, fostering development of new technologies, using the existing authority of several statues to protect drinking water, and partnering with states to share more complete data.

The forum will be open for discussion for about a month, with each topic area being discussed separately.  Addressing contaminants as groups will also be discussed separately at a web-based meeting at the end of July.

To join the discussion: http://blog.epa.gov/dwstrat

More information on the new Drinking Water Strategy: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/sdwa/dwstrategy.html

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Problem of Invasive Species

There's been much written, but seemingly not enough done about the invasive species problem that faces us.  Thought of by many to be a localized problem on specific waterways the invasive species problem is in actuality a global issue.

It's not just whether or not we bring invasive species to our home water, but also whether we carry species to other waterways.  Species, plants, organisms and animals that are harmless natives to us can rapidly become an invasive nightmare for someplace else.

More information on how you can make a difference can be found at the  Clean Angling Coalition and Protect Your Waters which is sponsored by the US Fish & Wildlife Service and the US Coast Guard.

Industry leaders have come together to individually and collectively do what they can to help fight this battle.  Tim Daughton of the Orvis Company is featured in this YouTube video on Tips For Stopping The Spread of Invasive Species

Saturday, August 14, 2010

U.S. Geological Survey WaterAlert Service

From the Delaware River in the east to the Columbia River in the west and a host of waterways in between fishermen routinely go online and check water conditions for their favorite river or stream on the U.S. Geological Survey website.  Now this data can automatically be sent directly to your cell phone via a text message or by email to your computer or hand held device by signing up on the USGS Water Alert website.

Real-time data from USGS gauges are sent via satellite to USGS offices at various intervals, usually once every 1 or 4 hours. Emergency transmissions, such as during floods, may be more frequent.  Water temperature data is available on many stations and even salinity on select stations where this information is pertinent. 

The WaterAlert text messaging is available for many gauging stations in the country.  A quick check on their website will show you if your favorite river or stream is covered.

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.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Delaware Bay Fish Kill Mystery

Tens of thousands of dead small menhaden, also called "peanut bunker", washed up on the shore along an eight mile stretch of the Delaware Bay in an area called Pierce's Point in Middle Township, NJ.

New Jersey officials are clueless as to what killed the fish.  Tests for toxic phytoplankton like "red tide" have been negative.  Experts at New Jerseys Rutgers University theorize that the thousands of dead menhaden succumbed to oxygen depletion caused by the excessive heat.

The area of the fish kill is marshy with much of it inaccessible via land, so the NJ Department of Environmental Protection is using an aircraft to better asses the severity of the fish kill.

Menhaden are an important species in the Delaware Bay and massive die off like this one could prove to be critical in the health of the bay.  Studies are still under way by both state and federal authorities to try and determine exactly what killed such a large number of fish.

NOAA Asks for Public Feedback on the National Enforcement Summit

On August 3, 2010 NOAA held a National Enforcement Summit.  This one day summit was attended by more than 70 invited guests who examined how more consistent enforcement could help sustain and enhance out marine resources.

NOAA is continuing to see how it can improve its enforcement efforts and improve conservation and resource management and is asking for public input now through August 23, 2010. NOAA is giving the public the opportunity to respond to the same questions that were asked of the National Enforcement Summit participants. 

You can do that here:   NOAA National Enforcement Summit

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Researchers Explore Ecological Connections between Species that Migrate Through Salt and Fresh Waters and Their Oceanic Predators

Maine’s Kennebec and Penobscot Rivers focus of coastal sampling study

The coastal waters off of the Kennebec and Penobscot Rivers in the Gulf of Maine will soon be the focus of NOAA researchers seeking to detect the movement of fishes that live part of their lives in these rivers and part in the ocean, and the role these species play in the Gulf of Maine’s food web.

“Diadromous fish – those that migrate between fresh and salt water habitats during their lifetimes such as alewife, blueback herring, shad, and American eel - are an important food source for a number of oceanic species,” said Jason Link, a fisheries biologist at the Woods Hole Laboratory of NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC).

“Atlantic cod, goosefish, striped bass and other economically important fish species eat these smaller diadromous species, but we know little about the magnitude of their role as prey for these oceanic predators,” Link said. “Determining the ecological effects that changes in the abundance of river-run species are having on these marine species is challenging. Some research has been done, but gaps exist in our understanding which we hope to fill with this pilot project.”

Link and colleagues will sample the ocean waters in the vicinity of the Kennebec and Penobscot Rivers August 11-28 from the NEFSC’s 72-foot Research Vessel Gloria Michelle, based at the Woods Hole Laboratory. Sampling will be conducted several miles offshore, not in the rivers, to determine the extent to which oceanic predators are eating the diadromous species.

The research cruise, a joint effort between NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center and Northeast Regional Office, will use a bottom trawl designed specifically for Maine’s coastal waters. Once on deck, each net tow will be sorted and stomach samples collected from all of the predators for subsequent diet analysis in the laboratory. Standard and routine measurements, such as fish length and weight, will also be made.

“The planned sampling is adaptive and will avoid any fixed gear in the area,” Link said. Local fishermen have been hired to help crew the Gloria Michelle and to provide their expertise in sampling the areas offshore of the two rivers.

Juvenile alewives, blueback herring and American shad migrate to sea during late summer into fall, each species at a different time between the months of July and November. Link expects that the late summer sampling will detect the early migrating alewives and perhaps other species. He also plans to use the results from NEFSC’s annual fall bottom trawl survey, which is conducted much farther offshore, to provide information about other species that migrate through the Gulf of Maine.

The NEFSC has also been collaborating with the State of Maine’s Department of Marine Resources (DMR) surveys to collect additional stomach samples. Taken together, the two sets of sampling data should allow an evaluation of the quantity of diadromous species eaten by marine predators in the Gulf of Maine.

“Establishing a clear ecological connection between the river-run and ocean species would benefit future management of these stocks, especially as ecosystem-based fisheries management is implemented,” Link said.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Fly Fishing Tackle Appraisal Fair

Bring your antique fishing tackle for expert appraisal to the Appraisal Fair at the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont on October 16, 2010.

Established in 1968, the Museum was created to exhibit and preserve the trappings and treasures of fly fishing.  The American Museum of Fly Fishing has grown into the conservator of the largest collection of angling related items in the world.  Who better to provide you with an appraisal of your historic and antique fishing paraphernalia.

With items dating back as far as the 16th century, the Museum documents fly fishing over the centuries with its collection of rods, reels, flies, art, books, manuscripts and other related items.

The American Museum of Fly Fishing is a nationally accredited, non profit, educational institution. The Museum is located on Historic Route 7A south in Manchester, VT and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm.

For more information visit their website: http://www.amff.com/

Hot Water Conditions Display Fatal Flaws In Delaware River Water Release Plan

Unprecedented warm water temperatures on the upper Delaware River this summer prove once again that the current river management plan does not work and must be revised.

“The water bureaucrats will try to blame the weather,” said Dan Plummer, board chairman of Friends of the Upper Delaware River. “But after a wet and chilly spring and early summer, river temperatures reached a crisis level after just a few days of above-average temperatures. That points to mismanagement.”

The hot water temperatures have placed fish, aquatic insects and the general well-being of the river system at peril due to insufficient cold-water releases from the region’s reservoirs. Water temperatures have consistently exceeded 80 degrees during July on the main stem of the Delaware at Callicoon, N.Y., where fishing traditionally has been great this time of year.

“I made a living guiding in that part of the river for years,” said FUDR board member Joe Demalderis, the 2010 Orvis Guide of the Year. “That stretch is lost to fishing under the release plan. The fish need cold water, and 80 degrees won’t cut it.”

Water temperatures are based largely on the volume of cold-water releases from the bottom of reservoirs, and protocols for the rates of release are spelled out in the so-called Flexible Flow Management Program, approved in 2007 by the multi-state water bureaucracy.

Longtime river observers, including a number of respected guides and the likes of FUDR board member Al Caucci, say the FFMP does not satisfy the needs of the fishery. FUDR has long advocated a minimum release of 600 cubic feet per second from the Cannonsville Reservoir on the West Branch from April through September.

In recent weeks, vast numbers of dead fish—mainly white suckers but including some trout and American shad—have been observed in the river. Incredibly, some have publicly touted this as an example of the effectiveness of the FFMP---fish are dying, they say, but only bottom-feeding suckers.

It’s an absurd spin on a crisis, said Plummer.

“The presence of dead fish, no matter the species, is a clear sign of an emergency,” he said.

Friends of the Upper Delaware River has put together the backgrounder below that attempts to explain how and why this has happened.

A moderate hot spell for a few days in late June and a deeper heat wave over the July 4th weekend quickly brought the river to a crisis point, even though the reservoirs were nearly full of cold water that could have sustained the ecosystem.

The bottom line is that scores of meetings, a pile of reports and endless planning by the water bureaucracy did almost nothing to help when the inevitable warming arrived. The watercrats failed, once again.

Management of this water resource can seem complicated, beginning with the fact that a multi-state agency, the Delaware River Basin Commission, shares oversight with a number of other governmental entities with a stake in the resource. In addition, New York City fights doggedly to protect its own stake—the water that comes from the same upstate New York reservoirs that feed the Delaware.

The solution to the ongoing crisis can be simple. When properly managed, there is plenty of water to suit everyone’s needs. But we are a stuck in an endless pattern of yo-yo water releases—up one week, down the next. Often, torrents flow downstream when the water is needed least, then releases are throttled down to a trickle when it is needed most.

FUDR has been a leader in the battle to get in place a more sensible water-release plan, providing both safety from flooding and a sustainable world-class fishery. We again call on the authorities to do something to fix this problem.

Why should you care if fish and habitat are dying? The answer is obvious if you fish the river system. But the well-being of the river is a vital issue for each of the 8 million people who live in the river’s vast basin and the 20 million—including residents of New York City—who use it for drinking water. Smart management of the river can mitigate flooding for those millions of residents, and its robust health is essential to the region’s economy, from factories that use the water to the tourism industry and all the ancillary businesses that serve recreational visitors.

Here is some background on what got us to this point:

  • New York City has been drawing drinking water from the Catskill Mountains since 1915. Its decision in the 1920s to dam the headwaters of the Delaware River led to a 30-year court battle that pitted downstream states against the city. In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court established a formula under which the four river states and New York City must share the Delaware system waters.
  • In 1961, the Delaware River Basin Commission was created to “bring the resource under collective and balanced control, and to ensure fair usage by its controlling members.” Its members are the governors of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, along with a federal representative.
  • The Cannonsville Reservoir on the West Branch was completed in 1964. The cold water that pours from the bottom of Cannonsville transformed the river into a wild trout Mecca, attracting fly fishing enthusiasts. Under its original design, Cannonsville released a consistent flow of no less than 325 cubic feet of cold water per second whenever water was allowed to flow—and that consistent flow is a key reason that the trout downstream thrived.
  • A crisis in 1981 became an important challenge to New York City’s ability to make decisions about water flows without considering the impact. With the threat of drought looming, New York City in June 1981 closed down all releases from Cannonsville, creating an environmental crisis on the river. River temperatures soared to 80 degrees, and a fish kill occurred. River advocates complained to the DRBC. Releases were restored to previous levels and the river system’s well-being was restored.
  • The crisis gave rise to the notion that the various parties with an interest in the river and its water should agree to a plan for release of water. This tinkering has continued year after year, with one plan after another devised as a temporary solution. There have been nine such plans, one worse than the next. (The current plan, the Flexible Flow Management Program, is designated as temporary, as well.)
  • In 2004, FUDR began actively advocating a minimum flow rate of 600 cfs out of Cannonsville from April 1st through the end of Septemeber. Conservationists generally agree that this rate best serves the aquatic life—along with fishing and recreational tourism on the scenic rivers. We have warned for many years about the dangers of holding too much water in the reservoirs during the summer months, when drenching rainstorms can race through the region.
  • Our worst fears came to pass when three major floods caused extensive damage, including loss of life, over a 21-month period--September 2004, April 2005 and June 2006. In each case, the U.S. Geological Survey cited “reservoirs filled to capacity” as a major contributing factor. Officials of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, the office that oversees the Catskills reservoirs, have pointed out repeatedly that they are in the business of delivering water to the city and are not particularly concerned with the issue of flood mitigation. The city is wrong. Courts have held that water-management decisions must be made based upon “equitable apportionment” that accommodates every reasonable use of the water, and that includes consideration of those who live or own property along the waterways.
  • It became clear over the past decade that a rational system of water releases was needed. In 2007, the four basin states and New York City agreed to the Flexible Flow Management Program. This summer’s events prove again that the FFMP works no better than the previous plans. Currently, the Flexible Flow Management Program sets a minimum summertime flow out of Cannonsville at barely half of FUDR’s recommended rate—325 cubic feet per second. In essence, the FFMP releases precisely the same amount of water that was released under the conservation release program as 25 years ago. Countless meetings, studies and negotiations have led us back to where we were in the mid-1980s. In fact, the new protocols are even worse for the trout because there is no longer a provision for sustained emergency releases during heat waves, as there was in 1985.
  • In February 2010, the Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission released a “white paper” analysis entitled, “Recommended Improvements to the Flexible Flow Management Program for Coldwater Ecosystem Protection in the Delaware River Tailwaters.” The scientific analysis details the benefits to the fisheries and river ecosystem that could be realized by increased releases. FUDR and other conservation groups publicly announced their support for the joint “white paper” as a great bridge plan until a better plan could be designed and implemented.
  • On the first day of summer this year, FUDR issued a “crisis alert” predicting deadly water temperatures as a result of reservoir releases that had been throttled back out of Cannonsville, although the reservoir was 92 percent full.
  • The crisis came to pass in early July, when air temperatures reached the mid- and upper 90s as a warm front stalled over the area. Water temperatures in the main stem soon spiked above 80 degrees.
  • On July 4, after intercession by FUDR, River Master Gary Paulachok recognized the potential crisis and gained approval from the water bureaucracy to increase the flow through an “extraordinary needs” provision of the flow management plan. But here’s the catch: the “extraordinary” solution could be used for just three days. After 72 hours of temporary relief for the aquatic life, the Cannonsville release valves were cranked back down.
  • On July 6, in the midst of the augmented water release, the water temperature reached 81 degrees on the main stem at Lordville, N.Y., just 9 miles from the junction of the West and East branches of the Delaware.
  • On July 9, as the extra water was ending--despite reservoirs still at nearly 90 percent of capacity—FUDR’s Plummer donned scuba gear and spent four hours surveying the fish in a pool near the Buckingham Access, 4 miles downstream from Hancock near the East-West branch junction. He found hundreds of eels, a handful of bass and a few dying American shad. He did not see a single trout, dead or alive. The water temperature in the pool was a consistent 77 degrees, top to bottom.
  • On July 12, according to New York City’s own data, as the trout were starved for cold water, the reservoirs were at 87 percent of capacity. Cannonsville was nearly 85 percent full.
This sequence of events was a keystone example of the ineffectiveness of the Flexible Flow Management Program. At the heart of the crisis is the flawed number on which New York City insists upon basing its reservoir outflow decisions. For some years now, a long-term trend has developed in which New York uses less water than it once did, due to conservation, among other things.

Currently, the city draws about 480 million gallons per day from the reservoirs. Yet its water-usage decisions are based upon the outdated figure of 765 million gallons per day. If the city would base its water-usage protocols on a more realistic figure—say, 500 millions gallons per day---there would be plenty of water, including enough for releases of 600 cubic feet per second from Cannonsville from April 1 through September 30.

Once again, Friends of the Upper Delaware River implores the Delaware River Basin Commission and the water bureaucracy to devise a new water-release agreement that includes a rational emergency response mechanism to deal with inevitable heat crises.

“We all have to face the fact that the current plan is not working,” said Plummer. “The inability of the various government entities responsible to respond with a rational, useful solution to the warm July weather makes this painfully obvious, especially to the trout.”