Around the Watershed: News and Events

Smart Phone App Available for NY Outdoor Enthusiasts

Posted on: July 18th, 2017 by Leslie_Zucker

The NYS Dept. of Envi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion (DEC), in part­ner­ship with Parks­By­Na­ture Net­work®, has launched the New York Fish­ing, Hunt­ing & Wildlife App for iPhone and Android. The app pro­vides up-to-date infor­ma­tion on fish­ing, hunt­ing and wildlife watch­ing on today’s lead­ing mobile devices. Using the app’s advanced GPS fea­tures, users can iden­tify and locate New York’s many hunt­ing, fish­ing and wildlife watch­ing sites. You can also gain imme­di­ate access to species pro­files, rules and reg­u­la­tions, and impor­tant per­mits and licens­ing details.


The Trib Now Available

Posted on: July 14th, 2017 by Leslie_Zucker

The sum­mer edi­tion of the stream program’s newslet­ter called “The Trib” is now avail­able. Learn more about a major stream restora­tion project to begin on the Beaver Kill in July. The project is located in the Mink Hol­low sec­tion of the Beaver Kill near Lake Hill in the Town of Wood­stock. Also fea­tured is the Lit­tle Beaver Kill stream assess­ment, the beau­ti­ful ripar­ian plant jew­el­weed, other news items and upcom­ing events. View The Trib.

Stream Champions Needed!

Posted on: July 6th, 2017 by Leslie_Zucker

The AWSMP and Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion (CCE) of Ulster County are seek­ing mid­dle and high school aged youth to pro­vide mobile edu­ca­tion & out­reach on Catskill trails with streams lead­ing to the Eso­pus Creek and Ashokan Reser­voir. Catskill Stream Cham­pi­ons will lead edu­ca­tional activ­i­ties for the pub­lic on trails and at out­reach events. Par­tic­i­pants will attend a Job Shad­ow­ing Day at the New York City DEP office in Kingston to explore careers in envi­ron­men­tal sci­ence. To enroll, down­load the appli­ca­tion guid­ance and con­tact 4-H Pro­gram Leader Melanie Forstrom at  Appli­ca­tions are due Wednes­day, July 19. There will be an ori­en­ta­tion and work ses­sion at the CCE Kingston office on July 21 at 9am. Enroll now for a chance to learn more about the Catskills and share the love of streams with others!

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Video Project Documents the Little Beaver Kill Stream Assessment

Posted on: June 30th, 2017 by Leslie_Zucker

A new com­mu­nity arts project called “Catskill Waters” is doc­u­ment­ing the Lit­tle Beaver Kill stream assess­ment in the Town of Wood­stock. Keiko Sono, the pro­ducer of Catskill Waters and res­i­dent of Bearsville, joined the AWSMP stream assess­ment crew along the Lit­tle Beaver Kill this week. Keiko filmed the crew explain­ing the stream assess­ment process and how it results in a stream man­age­ment plan. The Catskill Waters project will run through 2017. The project includes doc­u­men­ta­tion of the Lit­tle Beaver Kill stream assess­ment, col­lec­tion of landowner sto­ries, cre­ation of art­works, and pre­sen­ta­tion of every­thing recorded on the Catskill Waters web­site. To learn more about par­tic­i­pat­ing in the project, visit and email or call Keiko at (845) 616‑4635. The project is par­tially funded by the AWSMP through the Stream Man­age­ment Imple­men­ta­tion Pro­gram (SMIP).

Keiko Sono interviews Allison Lent, AWSMP Stream Assessment Coordinator with the Ulster County Soil & Water Conservation District, June 2017.

Keiko Sono inter­views Alli­son Lent, AWSMP Stream Assess­ment Coor­di­na­tor with the Ulster County Soil & Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict, June 2017.

Winston Gedicks, stream assessment intern, enters data into a Trimble GPS as Tiffany Runge, AWSMP Watershed Technician with the Ulster Soil & Water District looks on, June 2017.

Win­ston Gedicks, stream assess­ment intern with the Ulster County Com­mu­nity Col­lege, enters data into a Trim­ble GPS as Tiffany Runge, AWSMP Water­shed Tech­ni­cian with the Ulster Soil & Water Dis­trict looks on, June 2017.

Allison Lent and Tiffany Runge, both with the Ulster Soil & Water District assess a culvert during the Little Beaver Kill stream assessment, June 2017.

Alli­son Lent and Tiffany Runge, both with the Ulster Soil & Water Dis­trict assess a cul­vert dur­ing the Lit­tle Beaver Kill stream assess­ment, June 2017.




New Student Video “All About Water”

Posted on: June 28th, 2017 by Leslie_Zucker

Stu­dents at the Ben­nett Inter­me­di­ate School in Boiceville are shar­ing their knowl­edge of water in a 22-minute edu­ca­tional video that is now avail­able online.

The stu­dents – all mem­bers of the “Water­shed Detec­tives” after-school sci­ence club, were moti­vated to con­vince oth­ers of water’s impor­tance and what can be done to pro­tect and con­serve water. The group of fourth– and fifth-graders served on the video pro­duc­tion crew as direc­tors, actors, cam­era, light and sound tech­ni­cians, cue-card hold­ers, and script planners.

The video is a resource for ele­men­tary school sci­ence teach­ers and aligns directly with sci­ence con­cepts learned in class. Stu­dents pro­duced the video over 2.5 months with help from Water­shed Detec­tives club leader Matt Savatgy, who wrote the movie script with input from club mem­bers. Savatgy, a youth edu­ca­tor with Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion of Ulster County, said the stu­dents didn’t want peo­ple to take water for granted.

Stu­dents in the video describe how water plays an impor­tant role in their daily lives. And the sci­ence club mem­bers had plenty of fun and chal­lenges to over­come dur­ing shoot­ing. Stu­dents had to reshoot scenes due to unfore­seen sit­u­a­tions such as back­ground noise, peo­ple walk­ing in on takes or the actors “fum­bling” their lines. The stu­dents did a water bot­tle flip as the very last fun thing.

The video was made pos­si­ble with fund­ing from the NYC DEP pro­vided to the Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram in sup­port of edu­ca­tion and outreach.

The video can be watched at

Students Alexis (Sasha) Nielsen, 10, and Landry Mack, 10, at the Bennett Intermediate School practice their lines for a student-produced science video with help from Extension Educator Matt Savatgy.  Courtesy of David Laks, 2017.

Stu­dents Alexis (Sasha) Nielsen, 10, and Landry Mack, 10, at the Ben­nett Inter­me­di­ate School prac­tice their lines for a student-produced sci­ence video with help from Exten­sion Edu­ca­tor Matt Savatgy. Cour­tesy of David Laks, 2017.

CSBI Spring ’17 Projects

Posted on: June 26th, 2017 by Leslie_Zucker

A report on spring stream buffer plant­i­ngs from Bobby Tay­lor of the Ulster County Soil & Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict.…The Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram con­tin­ues to improve ripar­ian buffers in the Ashokan Water­shed with assis­tance from will­ing landown­ers through the Catskill Streams Buffer Ini­tia­tive (CSBI) Pro­gram under the Ulster County Soil & Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict. Spring is often a busy plant­ing sea­son for improv­ing stream­side health through instal­la­tion of native plants in stream­side areas. Moist soils and cool tem­per­a­tures allow plants to estab­lish with less effort than in the sum­mer months.

Two projects, the Bushkill Bio­engi­neer­ing Project and the Native Ripar­ian Buffer Project at the Catskill Inter­pre­tive Cen­ter  in Mt. Trem­per received some addi­tional plant­i­ngs this spring through the CSBI program.

CIC-1 2017 CSBI Credit Bobby TaylorCIC-2 2017 CSBI Credit Bobby Taylor

At the Catskill Inter­pre­ta­tive Cen­ter, native silky dog­woods were har­vested from a healthy pop­u­la­tion grow­ing in a wet­land on the prop­erty. Each res­i­dent dog­wood shrub donated 3–4 stems that were cut into 2–3 foot long straight stakes, soaked over the week­end and dri­ven upright into the moist soil adja­cent to the creek, where they will sprout roots, then leaves, and even­tu­ally grow into shrubs within just a few sea­sons. This prac­tice known as “Live Stak­ing” takes advan­tage of a dog­woods nat­ural abil­ity to regen­er­ate from cut­tings. Over 150 stakes were installed along the creek upstream of the walk­ing bridge for vis­i­tors to enjoy.

Addi­tion­ally, the native wild­flower and pol­li­na­tor seed that was planted at the Catskill Inter­pre­ta­tive dur­ing late fall of 2016 failed to ger­mi­nate fully. Soil & Water staff were back out at the Inter­pre­ta­tive Cen­ter in late May of 2017 to re-work the soil and try again at estab­lish­ing a native pol­li­na­tor friendly wild­flower mix that both vis­i­tors to the cen­ter as well as winged pol­li­na­tor friends can enjoy. Given the late sea­son when seed was applied to the site, reg­u­lar water­ing will be nec­es­sary through­out the warmer sum­mer months.

Moran - 3 Credit Bobby Taylor

The Bushkill Bio­engi­neer­ing project that was installed and planted late last fall received an addi­tional 250 native stream­side trees and shrubs to enhance the ripar­ian area. Win­ter­berry, ser­vice­berry, shrub dog­woods, choke­ber­ries, birch and sycamore will com­ple­ment the tens of thou­sands of wil­lows and dog­woods that were planted last fall. The landown­ers are very happy so far with their newly installed buffer that was designed to sta­bi­lize stream­side prop­erty and enhance both in-stream and ripar­ian habi­tat. Staff from Ulster County Soil & Water con­tinue to work with the landown­ers of the bio­engi­neer­ing project to remove inva­sive species as they sprout and keep the plants watered to ensure project success.

Moran - 4


New Interns Hit the Field

Posted on: June 20th, 2017 by Leslie_Zucker

Saman­tha Kahl, AWSMP’s Tem­po­rary Water­shed Edu­ca­tor reports on train­ing for this year’s sea­sonal stream tech­ni­cians. The tech­ni­cians, and occa­sion­ally Sam, will be in the field sur­vey­ing Ashokan Reser­voir streams this sum­mer. In Sam’s words.…

I just spent five days with seven Water­shed Corps (WCC) interns train­ing under the super­vi­sion of Mark Vian, Emily Polin­sky, and Danyelle Davis of the NYC DEP Stream Man­age­ment Program.

The first three days of the Stream Man­age­ment train­ing was con­ducted in a class­room at Ulster County Com­mu­nity Col­lege (UCCC).  Mark and Emily pro­vided us a solid (and fun) aca­d­e­mic back­ground detail­ing water­shed his­tory, the impor­tance of stream mon­i­tor­ing, and var­i­ous tools and tech­niques used in the field. They are foun­tains of infor­ma­tion regard­ing the NYC Water­shed, mak­ing the aca­d­e­mic por­tion both inter­est­ing and exciting.

WCCC Training 2017_Credit Emily Polinsky

From Left to Right: Justin Alecca (Brown hat, pur­ple shirt), Saman­tha Kahl, Bren­dan Keat­ing, Aaron DePetris, Amanda Caban­il­las (crew leader), Brid­get Bromm (UCCC), Erica DePalma (SCA), Mark Vian, Travis Ferry (RNSMP), Court­ney Brill, Emily Polin­sky, Aimee Hartwig, Win­ston Gedicks.

Due to inclement weather, we lost one of our field train­ing days, but our fear­less lead­ers made the most of our remain­ing two days out in the field. We trav­eled to the Frost Val­ley YMCA where we accessed the West Branch of the Nev­ersink River for our sec­ond round of train­ing. Mark, Emily, and Danyelle, as well as sea­soned WCC intern Amanda Caban­il­las, rein­forced our aca­d­e­mic edu­ca­tion by get­ting us in the stream for visual assess­ments and con­duct­ing stream cross-sections using laser lev­els and sta­dia rods. We also trained on spe­cific com­puter soft­ware (River­Morph) that pro­duces a graph of the cross-section data col­lected; the soft­ware pro­vides a visual rep­re­sen­ta­tion of how the streambed looks if you were to cut the stream in half.

Provisional Data XS1 FVMF

A stream chan­nel cross-section.

The entire group is com­prised of intel­li­gent and ded­i­cated stu­dents from all back­grounds; each of them con­tribut­ing to the train­ing in their own amaz­ing way. A friend from the Round­out Nev­ersink Stream Pro­gram shared with us the ben­e­fits of Chaga mush­rooms and where to find them; a UCCC stu­dent shared his fly tying sto­ries with us; while oth­ers shared expe­ri­ences from their lives and their rea­sons for enter­ing the envi­ron­men­tal field. It was great to be in the field and work with stu­dents and pro­fes­sion­als learn­ing about geo­mor­phol­ogy, all of whom respected each other and gen­uinely cared about stream man­age­ment prac­tices. In my opin­ion, we all came out of the train­ing with the knowl­edge and field expe­ri­ence nec­es­sary to be suc­cess­ful in our desired fields.

Another Successful Family Fun and Fish Day

Posted on: May 23rd, 2017 by Brent Gotsch

IMG_2410   IMG_2403

AWSMP’s Fam­ily Fun and Fish Day! has been pop­u­lar since it began six years ago and this year was no excep­tion. About 20 fam­i­lies attended with chil­dren of var­i­ous ages to fish for free in the lake at the Ken­neth Wil­son State Camp­ground. Many of the par­tic­i­pants had never fished before today. Bluegill, pump­kin­seed, and cat­fish were some of the fish caught by anglers dur­ing the day. Bass were observed but were too timid to take a bite on anyone’s line. A big thank you goes out to our part­ners at the New York State Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion for pro­vid­ing fish­ing tackle and bait, and to the vol­un­teers from Trout Unlim­ited who pro­vided instruc­tion on every­thing from how to bait a hook to how to cast a line. We hope that you join us next year for this fun, fam­ily friendly event!

AWSMP Welcomes New Educator!

Posted on: May 15th, 2017 by Brent Gotsch


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AWSMP is pleased to intro­duce a new addi­tion to our team! Saman­tha Kahl has been hired by Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion of Ulster County as a part-time Water­shed Edu­ca­tor work­ing with AWSMP through Novem­ber. She will be assist­ing with all aspects of our pro­gram­ming, includ­ing both youth and adult edu­ca­tion projects. Prior to work­ing with the AWSMP, Saman­tha worked for Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion of Suf­folk County as a Water Qual­ity Tech­ni­cian where she uti­lized Geo­graphic Infor­ma­tion Sys­tems (GIS) com­puter soft­ware to cre­ate visu­ally appeal­ing maps for their marine fish­eries pro­gram. She also assisted with many events related to fish­eries and stormwa­ter man­age­ment edu­ca­tion. In her free time she enjoys tying fly fish­ing ties. Saman­tha is excited to be a part of our team and to learn more about our water­shed and fresh­wa­ter fisheries.

Family Fun and Fish Day returns for 2017!

Posted on: May 3rd, 2017 by Brent Gotsch

Fish­ing with the fam­ily is a great way to con­nect with each other and expe­ri­ence the great outdoors!

Back by pop­u­lar demand for a sixth year in a row, AWSMP in coop­er­a­tion with the New York State Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion (DEC) is host­ing “Fam­ily Fun & Fish Day” at Ken­neth Wil­son State Camp­ground located at 859 Wit­ten­berg Road, Mount Trem­per, NY on Sat­ur­day, May 20 from 11:00am to 1:30pm.

All fish­ing sup­plies will be pro­vided, though you are wel­come to bring your own if you have them. No fish­ing license is required.

Reg­is­ter by May 18, 2017 in order to par­tic­i­pate. Reg­is­ter online now by click­ing here. For more infor­ma­tion on the event con­tact Brent Gotsch at 845–688-3047 Ext. 3, or by email at DEC charges a $6 fee per car for admis­sion to the camp­ground — all other activ­i­ties at Fam­ily Fun and Fish Day are free.

DEC fish­eries staff and vol­un­teers with local Trout Unlim­ited chap­ters will intro­duce youth and oth­ers to the sport of fish­ing and pro­vide edu­ca­tion on fish iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and aquatic ecol­ogy. Other fam­ily friendly activ­i­ties include a bar­beque, and arts and crafts under the pavil­ion start­ing at noon. Please let us know in advance if you have spe­cial needs related to the day’s activities.