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Lee Wulff Conservation Award

Judy Van Put
Posted 8/1/23

This past week has certainly provided a variety of summer weather – sure to please just about everyone – from those who like “as hot as it gets!” as we experienced on Friday, …

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Lee Wulff Conservation Award


This past week has certainly provided a variety of summer weather – sure to please just about everyone – from those who like “as hot as it gets!” as we experienced on Friday, to the picture-perfect sunny summer day on Sunday, with a refreshingly cool morning, low humidity, blue skies and puffy white clouds. Frequent rains have helped our garden vegetables grow in abundance and have kept river levels quite favorable for trout fishing.

On Sunday afternoon, the Beaverkill at Cooks Falls was recorded as flowing at 400 cubic feet per second, well above the 110-year median average flow of 140 cfs. The highest flow recorded over 110 years on this date was 5000 cfs in 2009, while the lowest flow was recorded back in the drought year of 1965 when just 39 cubic feet per second trickled past the gauging station.

Water temperatures have fluctuated as the air temperatures have, ranging this past week from a few mornings of 64 degrees to a peak of almost 76 degrees F on Friday afternoon with much of the week in the high 60s to 70.

Hatches this past week continue to be small Blue-Winged Olives, Caddis in various sizes and colors, small Sulphurs, Light Cahills and Isonychias. Don’t forget to carry along some terrestrial flies which can be useful after a rain shower or thunderstorm, as well as some nymphs if you enjoy fishing below the surface during those periods.

Last week Streamside featured information on the Black Ant, a terrestrial pattern that is the second-favorite of former President Jimmy Carter. And just this past week the Catskill Fly Fishing Center has announced that former President Jimmy Carter has been selected as the 2023 recipient of The Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum’s Lee Wulff Conservation Award.

At the age of 98, President Carter is not only the oldest living president, but is the nation’s longest-lived President. He is known for his conservation efforts, in fact it was stated by Will Shafroth, President of the National Park Foundations, “President Carter will go down in history as one of the most effective and greatest champions of national parks of any U.S. President.” 

Carter has protected more than 150 million acres of public land, creating 39 National Park units, and protecting more than 5,300 miles of wild and scenic rivers, including designating more than 73 miles of the Upper Delaware  Scenic and Recreational River from Hancock to Sparrowbush as part of the National Parks System. 

This designation also assisted the upper Delaware in maintaining its status as a vital part of the local economies and for fundraising initiatives of local conservation agencies throughout the region.

In 1984 the former president and his wife, Rosalynn, traveled to Sullivan County in response to an invitation from the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum to become a major fundraiser for the fledgling non-profit grass-roots organization, and enjoy five days fishing on the Beaverkill and Delaware rivers. 

An avid fisherman since childhood, both the former president and his wife Rosalynn Carter have enjoyed fishing well into their 90s.

The CFFCM stated that the 39th president of the United States is known for his environmental leadership and accomplishments in the areas of national energy policy and wilderness protection, as well as his lifelong commitment to social justice and basic human rights, and that “Carter’s commitment to conservation and the establishment of irrevocable public spaces make him an ideal recipient for Wulff’s namesake award.”

The former president’s enormous contribution is evident in the beautiful state-of-the-art museum building. A larger-than-life image of him taken while fly fishing in the Catskills is prominently displayed in the museum’s permanent collection, along with letters and supporting memorabilia from his historic visit and fundraising drive in 1984. 

The decision by the CFFCM to honor President Carter has prompted some to share stories and remembrances of the time the Carters spent in Sullivan County; the museum will share these and other stories leading up to the formal presentation of the award at the annual Hall of Fame Ceremony this fall, on Saturday, October 7, 2023. 

The Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum (CFFCM) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and sharing the unique heritage of fly fishing in the Catskills through education, public programs, interactive exhibits and events. They state:

Situated in the birthplace of American dry fly fishing, today the CFFCM operates a museum and contemporary education center amidst a stunning 50-acre campus. 

Located on the banks of the Willowemoc Creek, the Center provides a vibrant cultural hub with a global reach to fly fishers around the world. CFFCM is a place for the luminaries of fly fishing to engage anglers and naturalists of all ages and levels of experience, to enrich the future of fishing, and to ensure the sustainability of the delicate ecosystem on which it depends.

For more information on the CFFCM and the Hall of Fame Ceremony, please contact the Center at (845) 439-4810 or Email: office@cffcm.com.


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