Shandaken Tunnel Flows Reduced

Posted on: October 17th, 2016 by Leslie_Zucker

The NYS Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion (DEC) has request­ed that New York City dras­ti­cal­ly reduce the flow from the Shan­dak­en Tun­nel to the Eso­pus Creek.

NYS DEC and the NYC Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion have post­ed pic­tures and addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion about this this on their Face­Book pages at:

Here is the text from the DEC post:

Anglers: Please don’t fish the Eso­pus Creek from the Shan­dak­en Por­tal down to the Ashokan Reser­voir right now.

If you live near, or fish the upper reach of the Eso­pus Creek (see map), you prob­a­bly have noticed that the water lev­el has dropped and the creek has become brown with sus­pend­ed sediment.
Nor­mal­ly, water from the Schoharie Reser­voir enters the Eso­pus via the Shan­dak­en Por­tal, sup­ple­ment­ing the nat­ur­al flow of the creek and help­ing to main­tain its trout population.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, drought has reduced water lev­els in the Schoharie Reser­voir and the por­tal has been bring­ing high­ly tur­bid (sed­i­ment laden) water into the Eso­pus. DEC Fish­eries staff are con­cerned that this tur­bid water will hurt the stream ecosys­tem and trout spawn­ing, which begins soon. In response, we have reduced the amount of water from the Schoharie Reser­voir to the Esopus.

Water lev­els in the Eso­pus will drop fur­ther, dras­ti­cal­ly reduc­ing aquat­ic habi­tat. Fish in the Eso­pus Creek could be very vul­ner­a­ble to anglers and nat­ur­al preda­tors. Nonethe­less, DEC Fish­eries staff believe the trout pop­u­la­tion will be bet­ter off than if the trout try to spawn in mud-laden water.

DEC will con­tin­ue to mon­i­tor the flow, water tur­bid­i­ty, and the stream ecosys­tem. We ask that anglers do not fish the Eso­pus Creek from the por­tal down to the Ashokan Reser­voir dur­ing these stress­ful conditions.

Emer­gency reg­u­la­tions will soon tem­porar­i­ly pro­hib­it fish­ing down­stream of the por­tal. We’ll let you know when this happens.