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.