Little Beaver Kill

View of the Little Beaverkill

The Lit­tle Beaver Kill is a 9.8-mile stream, flow­ing east to west in the south­east­ern por­tion of the Ashokan Water­shed, pri­mar­ily in the Town of Wood­stock. The 16.7 square-mile water­shed is bound by the lower ele­va­tion moun­tains of Ohayo, Ton­shi and Ticetonyk to the south, and Johns, Bee­tree, Tobias and Round­top to the north. The Lit­tle Beaver Kill is a major trib­u­tary to the Eso­pus Creek and the last trib­u­tary to join the Eso­pus Creek before the Ashokan Reser­voir. The creek flows through the ham­lets of Mon­toma and Wit­ten­burg and ends in Beech­ford near Boiceville in Ulster County, New York.

The Lit­tle Beaver Kill begins as two dis­tinct forks, a south fork that flows from Ohayo Moun­tain and a north fork that drains Round­top, Tobias, and Bee­tree moun­tains. The val­ley it occu­pies is much wider and less steep than many other Eso­pus Creek trib­u­taries. The Lit­tle Beaver Kill is con­sid­ered one of the more geo­mor­phi­cally sta­ble trib­u­taries in the water­shed due to a lack of infra­struc­ture influ­enc­ing the creek along most of its length.

Unique fea­tures of the Lit­tle Beaver Kill include two, large in-stream ponds and a high occur­rence of wet­lands. These water bod­ies pro­vide valu­able habi­tat and flood stor­age, but also neg­a­tively affect sed­i­ment trans­port and may lead to increased water tem­per­a­tures in the warmer sum­mer months.

On the south fork of the head­wa­ters, the Lit­tle Beaver Kill flows through Yan­kee­town Pond and an asso­ci­ated wet­land com­plex. This area pro­vides valu­able habi­tat for rep­tiles, amphib­ians, and song­birds that rely on wet­lands for their life cycle. Yan­kee­town Pond has a high den­sity of water lilies, an inva­sive flow­er­ing plant that roots itself in the bot­tom sed­i­ment while its leaves and flow­ers float on the water sur­face. The Town of Wood­stock Habi­tat Map­ping project car­ried out by Hud­so­nia included the upstream por­tion of the Lit­tle Beaver Kill as it flowed through Yan­kee­town Pond. See Hudsonia’s report for more infor­ma­tion on habi­tats and wildlife of the Lit­tle Beaver Kill watershed.

View of the Little Beaverkill, wetlands section

Down­stream of the ham­let of Wit­ten­burg, the Lit­tle Beaver Kill flows through a wet­land com­plex and pond at the NYSDEC Ken­neth L. Wil­son Day Use Area and Pub­lic Camp­ground. The pond at Ken­neth Wil­son Camp­ground pro­vides excel­lent fish­ing access for warmwa­ter fish, includ­ing Large­mouth Bass, Chain Pick­erel, Yel­low Perch, Sun­fish, and Bull­heads. Fol­low­ing Trop­i­cal Storm Irene, the Catskill Streams Buffer Ini­tia­tive restored a sec­tion of the ripar­ian buffer along the camp­ground park­ing area.

The United States Geo­log­i­cal Sur­vey (USGS) oper­ates a stream-gauging sta­tion at the down­stream end of the Lit­tle Beaver Kill at Beech­ford. This gauge has been col­lect­ing con­tin­u­ous stream flow data since 1997. The stream gauge col­lects water stage (height) and relates it to dis­charge. The gauge trans­mits real-time data avail­able on the web at: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?01362497

map of Little Beaver Kill watershed

Click to view larger image.

 

The Ulster County Soil & Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict has plans to carry out a stream fea­ture inven­tory of the Lit­tle Beaver Kill in sum­mer 2014. Once com­pleted, a sum­mary of find­ings and rec­om­men­da­tions will be avail­able on our website.

 

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