State bans fish­ing in Up­per Eso­pus Creek

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - Free­man staff

The pro­hi­bi­tion, 'due to pro­longed dry con­di­tions,' will re­main in effect through Jan. 31, 2017.

Fish­ing is banned on the Up­per Eso­pus Creek in Ul­ster County, above the Ashokan Reser­voir, through Jan. 31, 2017, the state Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion an­nounced Fri­day.

The 11.9-mile por­tion of the creek af­fected by the ban stretches from the Shan­daken Tun­nel in­let in Al­laben to the reser­voir, and it in­cludes the ad­join­ing por­tion of the Ashokan to where Traver Hol­low Stream en­ters the reser­voir, the depart­ment said.

The depart­ment said the ban has been put in place “due to pro­longed dry con­di­tions” and” to pro­tect trout and other fish in the creek.”

“The Eso­pus Creek and its trib­u­tary streams are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing low wa­ter flow, cre­at­ing a stress­ful en­vi­ron­ment for trout,” the depart­ment said in a state­ment emailed to the me­dia. “Dur­ing these lowflow con­di­tions, fish are more vul­ner­a­ble to nat­u­ral preda­tors. Ad­di­tional stress on these fish from fish­ing may im­pact their abil­ity to spawn and pro­duce the next gen­er­a­tion of trout.”

The ban comes about three weeks af­ter the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion asked an­glers to vol­un­tar­ily avoid fish­ing in the Up­per Eso­pus Creek due to muddy wa­ter and the creek’s low level.

Wa­ter typ­i­cally is sent from the Schoharie Reser­voir to the creek to sup­ple­ment the creek’s nat­u­ral flow and help main­tain its trout pop­u­la­tion. This year, though, drought con­di­tions have re­duced wa­ter lev­els in the Schoharie dra­mat­i­cally, the depart­ment said in mid-Oc­to­ber.

PRO­VIDED BY NYSDEC

Low and muddy wa­ter is shown in the Up­per Eso­pus Creek last month.

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