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