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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 13-35

March 25, 2013

CONTACT:

Adam Bosch (845) 334-7868 / Chris Gilbride (718) 595-6600

Department of Environmental Protection Welcomes Anglers as Trout Fishing Season Begins

April 1 Marks the Start of New Electric Trolling Motor Pilot Program on Cannonsville Reservoir

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today reminds anglers that its upstate reservoirs and several other properties will be open for fishing when the season begins April 1. Twenty-two City-owned reservoirs and lakes, covering roughly 33,500 acres, will be open for fishing from shore or with fishing boats. Most offer fishing opportunities for cold-water species such as trout and warm-water species such as smallmouth and largemouth bass. New York’s trout season generally runs until October 15. However, the trout fishing season on certain New York City reservoirs is open year-round or closes later than October 15. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation outlines statewide fishing regulations on its website at dec.ny.gov.

“Spring has brought another trout fishing season to our upstate watersheds, including streams and rivers where early innovations contributed to the strong and unique heritage of angling in North America,” DEP Commissioner Carter Strickland said. “We are excited to offer expanded fishing opportunities on dozens of reservoirs and streams, including the new pilot program that allows for the use of electric trolling motors on fishing boats at Cannonsville Reservoir.”

April 1 also marks the start of a new pilot program that will allow electric trolling motors for fishing on Cannonsville Reservoir. The electric trolling motors can only be affixed to row boats or jon boats for the purpose of fishing. Electric trolling motors must be powered by sealed, marine grade batteries and cannot use gasoline or oil. In addition, the pilot program requires that electric trolling motors must be steam cleaned by a certified vendor, not exceed 55 pounds of thrust, and their batteries cannot exceed 12 volts. Motors can be stored along with boats at the reservoirs, but the batteries must be removed after each use. Those using trolling motors must also follow state regulations that require boaters to have a whistle, hand lantern, and anchor on board. They must also register their boats with the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

The one-year pilot comes after last year’s successful expansion of the recreational boating program, and it marks the first time that motorized boating of any kind will be allowed on a City reservoir. DEP will continue to monitor water quality throughout the trial period to ensure the electric trolling motors do not affect the drinking water supply. More information about the pilot program can be found on the Watershed Recreation page on the DEP website, nyc.gov/dep.

In addition to reservoirs, there are more than 191 miles of stream frontage on city lands in the watershed, including in areas where public access to water is otherwise difficult. Some open parcels that offer good fishing include:

  • Tremper Kill Unit: Comprises 202 acres and includes 1,580 feet of frontage along the Tremper Kill, less than three miles north of where it empties into the Pepacton Reservoir. Access is off Route 1 in Andes, Delaware County. A DEP access permit is not required.
  • Maplecrest Unit: Comprises 632 acres and includes 3,123 feet of frontage on the Batavia Kill. Access is off County Road 40 in Windham, Greene County. A DEP access permit is not required.
  • Fall Clove Road Unit: Comprises 340 acres and includes 1,612 feet of frontage along the Fall Clove, about four miles north of where it empties into the Pepacton Reservoir. Access is off Fall Clove Road in Andes, Delaware County. A DEP access permit is not required.
  • East Bramley Mountain Unit: Comprises 162 acres and includes 2,494 feet of frontage along an unnamed tributary of the Little Delaware River. Access is off East Bramley Mountain Road in Bovina, Delaware County. A DEP access permit is not required.
  • Roaring Kill Unit: Comprises 143 acres and includes 2,177 feet of frontage along the Roaring Kill in the Schoharie Reservoir Basin. Access is off Mink Hollow Road in Hunter, Greene County. A DEP access permit is not required.
  • Van Aken Road North: Comprises 23 acres and includes 1,733 feet of frontage along the Bear Kill, just upstream of the City’s Grand Gorge wastewater treatment plant. Access is off Van Aken Road in Roxbury, Delaware County. A DEP access permit is required.
  • Slater Road Unit: Comprises 17 acres and includes 1,412 feet of frontage along the Chestnut Creek, just more than 3 miles west of where it empties into the Rondout Reservoir. Access is off Slater Road in Neversink, Sullivan County. A DEP access permit is required.

Fishing on all City-owned reservoirs and lakes requires a free permit that can be obtained on the DEP website. Those with questions about permitting may also e-mail recreation@dep.nyc.gov or call (800) 575-LAND. Those fishing on streams that run across City-owned land should carefully check signs in those recreation units to determine whether a permit is required, or if that unit is a public access area that allows recreation without a permit.

DEP will also support an outreach effort on April 1 to educate fishermen and other outdoor recreationalists about the threat of invasive species. The outreach effort is being coordinated by the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) with support from at least 20 trained volunteers from several agencies, including DEP. Volunteers will be stationed at fishing access points in the Ashokan, Delaware, and Schoharie basins to inform fishermen about common invasive species such as zebra mussels, didymo, and the emerald ash borer, and ways to prevent spreading them. Invasive species of animals, plants, and microbes that are not native to North America can cause economic and environmental damage that result in an estimated $120 billion in damage each year in the United States. Some invasive species could threaten water quality by killing trees that naturally filter water, clogging intake pipes or introducing harmful algae or toxins into the water. To protect against the threat of invasive species, DEP requires all boats to be steam cleaned before they are used on reservoirs.

The breadth of fishing opportunities on City land underscores DEP’s concerted effort to open more City property in the watershed for recreation and boost the local tourism economy. There are currently 114,833 acres of city land open for recreation in the watershed, including the aforementioned reservoirs and more than 52,000 acres that are open for use without a permit. Increasing recreation opportunities in the watershed was among the goals outlines in “Strategy 2011-2014,” a comprehensive strategic plan that identified 100 initiatives to make DEP the most efficient, cost-effective, and transparent water utility in the nation.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.3 million in New York City, and residents of Ulster, Orange, Putnam, and Westchester counties. This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and others professionals in the upstate watershed. In addition to its $68 million payroll and $153 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.5 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program with over $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/nycwater, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/nycwater.

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600