We at Wild Trout Flyrodders consider the Upper Delaware River system in the Catskills as a Watershed and a fishery that all of us in the souther tier of NY should be concerned about. This includes the West Branch, the East Branch, the Beaverkill, the Willowemoc, the Neversink, as well as their various tributaries. In addition WTF considers the East Branch as our "Home Waters." To reflect our interest and concern for this river WTF has applied to and has recently been approved by the Federation of Fly Fishers for an Adopt-A-Stream designation for the East Branch of the Delaware River. In 2013 we will be placing signage on the river at Tomannex State Forest and possibly at Jaws to reflect that.
Reflecting the above, WTF has permitted through NYS DEC and the Army Corps of Engineers several trout habitat improvement projects on the East Branch and is in the process of funding and implementing them.
In addition, NYS DEC has two angler access easements on the East Branch for which the paperwork has been completed, but the funds have not yet been transferred to the land owners. These are the Long Flat access, which is already built, and the Gannett access at the Downsville Transfer Station, which is not yet built---though many anglers already use it. DEC has recently informed us that these funds have been approved in the most recent budget and so we may be working with DEC to build and/or fund the construction of steps needed to access the river at the Gannett easement in 2013.
WTF has applied to FFF to classify the Delaware River Watershed as an Endangered Fishery:
WTF and FFF strongly believe that hydrofracking in the Marcellus Shale deposits should not be allowed by either NYS DEC or the DRBC within sensitive environmental areas such as the Delaware River Watershed. Because of this WTF applied to FFF for Endangered Fisheries designation for the Delaware River Basin.
However, due to the Governor's office continued push to allow hydrofracking in our state, and possibly in our watershed, we have begun a baseline water monitoring program. We anticipate this baseline testing will occur in 2013.
In event that fracking is allowed within the watershed, we intend to create a continuing water quality monitoring program, most likely in conjunction with the Delaware Riverkeeper and Trout Unlimited. If you’ld like to volunteer, please let us know.