Posts Tagged ‘Little Beaver Kill’

Register Now for Snow Shoe Stream Walk!

Posted on: January 13th, 2022 by Leslie_Zucker
People snow shoeing on a woodland trail

Register now for a Winter Snowshoe Stream Walk with the Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program (AWSMP) along the Little Beaver Kill, located at the Kenneth Wilson Campground Nature Trail, 859 Wittenberg Road, Mount Tremper, NY 12457. 

There will be two snowshoe sessions at 10:00 am to 12:30 pm and 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm on Saturday, February 5, 2022. If there is not enough snow for snowshoeing on this date then the “no-snow date” will be Saturday, February 12, 2022.

Participants will meet at the Kenneth Wilson Campground parking area by 10:00 am (first session) or 1:00 pm (second session).

This event, which is free of charge, is open to residents of the Ashokan Watershed. Generally, the Ashokan Watershed overlaps the towns of Shandaken, Olive, Woodstock, and Hurley in Ulster County, and Lexington and Hunter in Greene County. Participants must be at least 8 years of age or older to attend, and children must be accompanied by an adult

Covid-19 safety protocols will be in place. Outdoor masking is not required where physical distancing can be maintained. Proof of vaccination or a negative rapid test the day of the event is required for participation. Contact Dani White if you have any special needs at daw287@cornell.edu or 845–688-3047 ext. 100.

Stream partially covered with snow and ice

Snowshoes and walking poles will be provided, though participants are encouraged to bring their own gear. Those with limited or no experience snowshoeing are encouraged to attend. Instruction on how to snowshoe properly and safely will be given before venturing out on the trail.

Each walk session will be approximately 2 hours in length on NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Wild Forest land. During the walk, educators from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County will share information about local streams and protecting water resources, and we will investigate signs of local wildlife. There will be frequent stops to point out interesting features of the stream or to discuss environmental topics.

The event is free of charge but space is limited. Please register early to hold your spot. Reg­is­ter online or contact Dani White at the AWSMP office at daw287@cornell.edu or 845–688-3047 ext. 100.

Monday’s Bankfull Flows

Posted on: December 4th, 2020 by Tim Koch

Monday November 30th, 2020 was a rainy day in the Ashokan watershed. A home rain gauge in Boiceville measured approximately 4 inches over the course of the day.

In response to the significant precipitation the Beaver Kill, Little Beaver Kill, Bushkill, and Esopus Creek at Cold Brook reached bankfull discharge. Bankfull discharge is the stream flow that completely fills the channel in a geomorphically stable stream. Any flow that exceeds bankfull will put water onto the adjacent floodplain.

Cross section of a geomorphically stable stream where the entire channel is filled during a bankfull flow.

Streams that have berms or levees, are incised, or otherwise unstable do not have such a clear relationship between bankfull discharge and channel geometry.

In the Northeast, a bankfull or greater flow happens once every 1.5 years, on average. However, “on average” means that some years see multiple bankfull events while others have none. Monday’s event was the second time in 2020 that the Little Beaver Kill has equaled or exceeded its bankfull discharge of 909 cubic feet per second (cfs).

2020 Hydrograph of the Little Beaver Kill. From USGS.

Bankfull flow events are important because over time, these flows move more sediment than any other discharge, larger or smaller. This is because bankfull flows happen regularly, every 1.5 years on average, as opposed to big floods that move a lot of sediment but are more infrequent.

Due to the geomorphic importance of bankfull discharge events, the AWSMP regularly visits stream restoration sites, culvert replacement projects, and other stream reaches following bankfull events to take photographs and monitor any changes observed in the channel.

AWSMP staff from the Ulster County Soil & Water Conservation District inspect a restoration site on Woodland Creek following a bankfull flow in November 2019. Photo by Tim Koch.

Watershed Animal Spotlight – The American Beaver

Posted on: May 18th, 2020 by Leslie_Zucker

North American Beaver (Castor canadensis)

North American Beaver (Castor canadensis)

 

Have you ever looked at a stick and thought it looked super tasty? No? Well if you were a beaver you would eat tree bark and leaves, as well as aquatic vegetation. Recently, Matt Savatgy, our Watershed Youth Educator, and I took a field trip to the Little Beaver Kill in Mount Tremper.  We kayaked up the Little Beaver Kill (making sure we were socially distant) looking for evidence of beavers for our new video series the Watershed Animal Spotlight. The star of our first episode is the American Beaver.

The Little Beaver Kill has a thriving beaver population, and we were able to see many examples of beaver activity along the stream.  There was an assortment of dams, lodges, and canals that showed how busy the beavers have been. Beavers can build all of these because they are perfectly adapted for life in the water. Some of their aquatic adaptations include waterproof fur, transparent eyelids that allow them to see underwater, and webbing between the toes of their back feet that helps them to swim more efficiently.

Be on the lookout for large piles of sticks in ponds and streams, it just might be a beaver lodge. If you want to learn more about beavers, check out our new video by visiting the AWSMP YouTube Channel or using the following link: https://youtu.be/38DsNHU-4yA