Log in Subscribe

The end of season/giving thanks

Judy Van Put
Posted 10/10/23

The “regular” trout fishing season in New York State ends this Sunday, October 15. On some rivers and streams the season is expanded by Special Regulations - such as in the Catch and …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

The end of season/giving thanks


The “regular” trout fishing season in New York State ends this Sunday, October 15. On some rivers and streams the season is expanded by Special Regulations - such as in the Catch and Release “No Kill” areas of the lower Beaverkill and Willowemoc - stream sections where trout spawning is unlikely to occur, being located far from the headwater tributaries. The special regulations were set up many years ago after scientific studies concluded that trout spawning is not likely to occur in these lower stretches of the river.

Trout prefer to spawn in the headwaters and smaller tributaries where waters are cold and clean, where coldwater springs provide a consistent temperature of about 41 - 42 degrees.

These relatively smaller sections of the stream contain less fish and therefore less danger of predation; it is for the protection of the eggs and young trout fry that mature spawning trout will head upstream.

We end the trout fishing season of 2023 on a high note. With consistent rain showers for these many weeks, water levels have been above average all summer long, which bodes well for trout growth. Higher water levels, especially in summer, are more highly oxygenated, and provide additional food and more room for the trout to grow.

And despite all the current events in the world that many find fault with, or become disheartened by, there are many positive strides that have been made here in our Catskill mountain region.

Over the past few weeks, the Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum has honored those who have fought for the protection of our environment - our beautiful mountains, clean air, rivers and streams, and trout that reside in them.

This past Saturday’s Hall of Fame induction and dinner honored those who have made a lasting contribution to the sport of fly-fishing; dedicated and concerned citizens who have gone the extra step to help insure that others may continue to enjoy the sport.

The induction concluded with the Lee Wulff Conservation Award, bestowed on former President Jimmy Carter, for his conservation efforts and protection of more than 157 million acres of land and 5,300 miles of rivers, including adding 73 miles of the Upper Delaware river from Hancock to Sparrowbush, to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

At the recent Annual Emerging Anglers Dinner, Beaverkill residents John and Patricia Adams were honored for a lifetime of environmental activism and achievement.

John is co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council, an international organization of scientists and lawyers who strive to safeguard and protect our planet.

Among many honors he has been awarded through the years, John was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2010 for his environmental achievements. Patricia, a teacher, writer and avid supporter of our local museums, was also recognized for her passion in protecting our environment. Along with her husband, John, she co-authored the book “A Force For Nature: The Story of the NRDC and The Fight To Save Our Planet.” In her speech at the Emerging Anglers Dinner, Patricia explained how NRDC joined the fight against Consolidated Edison, to defeat the pumped storage project on Storm King Mountain that ConEd had proposed in the 1960s. The project involved carving away the top of the mountain, and excavating tunnels down into the Hudson River, then constructing massive equipment to pump millions of gallons of water back up the mountain - to be utilized and then sent cascading back down through those tunnels into the Hudson, ultimately disturbing and destroying the fish population.

For nearly two decades the project was opposed by various groups, and appeals were made to no avail. Who would think that a utility as large as Con Edison could be stopped?

But in 1980, NRDC, along with ten other environmental groups, were successful in achieving what became known as the historic “The Hudson River Peace Treaty,” negotiating and signing an agreement with the energy company to cease the project - and donate the land for a State park.

Another success story involves one of the recent CFFC’S Hall of Fame recipients, Frank Mele, who sowed the seeds to fight City Hall —the largest City Hall in the country - to fight for controlled cold water releases from NYC reservoirs into the trout streams below. At that time reservoir releases were woefully inconsistent and totally inadequate, causing temperatures in the streams to rise into the 80s and resulting in major fish kills.

Frank organized “Catskill Waters,” an organization that met regularly in the early to mid-1970s, and organized a lobbying effort that included letters, phone calls and meetings with representatives of the DEP, the City of New York, politicians including NYC Mayor Ed Koch, Congressman Matt McHugh, Representative Jean Amatucci, Senator Warren Anderson, and anyone else who would listen. After years of activism, fighting and lobbying, legislation was drafted and was passed by ONE vote in the New York State Assembly. It became one of the most significant pieces of conservation legislation passed in the eastern United States.

These were huge undertakings that were accomplished by our friends and neighbors, who were not daunted by the size of the projects they tackled nor by the notoriety of those they opposed. These were victories that helped preserve and protect the lands and waters we all enjoy.

Today there are still opportunities to make your voice heard and your feelings known - whether through a simple letter written to the editor of a local newspaper, or a telephone call to an agency that you believe is not acting in the best interests of our lands and rivers and their fish and wildlife; or simply by joining and supporting organizations such as the Catskill Fly Fishing Center, the Catskill Fly Tyers Guild, Catskill MountainKeeper, Trout Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited or others. The baton has been carried by these friends and neighbors who have recently been honored, and it’s time for us all to take up that baton and continue the race, and make our voices heard. We have a lot to be thankful for, and for the beauty of our Catskill mountains, clean air and pure rivers and streams, and all who reside in them. Streamside will return in the spring.

Wishing you all a healthy, safe and enjoyable winter season!


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here