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This discussion is about the West Branch of the Delaware River

The Discussion

Al514September 10th, 2008, 3:30 pm
Central New York

Posts: 142
Dear Sirs/Madams:

I am an avid user of the Upper Delaware River. I have walked its banks, waded its pools, canoed its riffles, watched eagles and ospreys fish along side me, talked to families and youth groups as they enjoyed the same precious ecosystem. I purchased one of the first New York State "lifetime super sportsman" licenses and can assure you that I have a sincere interest in all of the natural wonders that make upstate new York a fantastic place to live. As a father, I continue to hope that my two sons will be able to someday experience the beauty of the Upper Delaware River. As an educator, I take students to the river to learn about what a unique treasure it is. I know of no other watershed where striped bass, American shad and sea lampreys can be seen in abundance, having traveled over 200 miles from the ocean without encountering a dam or other major barrier.

I have been extremely concerned over the water resrictions imposed in the past two years that have routinely reduced West Branch flows to levels not before seen. However, the current FFMP cuts previous flows of 280 cfs - 340 cfs at the Hale Eddy monitoring station to flows of less than 150 cfs. The mighty Delaware looks like a very small creek at these flows. Wild trout are compressed into a very small thermal refuge where their survival is compromised, huge areas of river bed are dry and exposed, killing the aquatic organisms that form the base of the food web in the ecosystem. People cannot fish over much of the river's length, taking a boat "ride" or canoe "ride" means exiting the water craft and dragging it over extensive areas only a few inches deep.

I urge you to look at the Upper Delaware River at its current flows before the September 24 vote on FFMP. Please allow this unique and precious river gem to be spared. I am grateful for your time and consideration of my request.


This is an e-mail I recieved from someone who I, and other people I know, respect as a person and Fly Fisherman. It was sent to numerous people, so members of this forum might already have recieved it. Does anyone have any more information on what exactly is giong on? I checked the flows on the USGS Website, and they have been quite low the past few days. Does anyone have the address of where to send a vote, or a website address of where to vote? Thanks.
MartinlfSeptember 11th, 2008, 3:58 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2911
I received the following email yesterday. I don't think we can vote, but we may influence those who can:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
DRC Fins Newsletter

The Upper Delaware Needs Your Help




Dear Friends,

The Upper Delaware River System needs your help. As most of you know the current Flexible Flow Management Plan (FFMP), has been disastrous for the West Branch and upper main stem of the Delaware River. The inconsistent flows have done everything from flowing excessive water in the early spring to flowing a mere trickle in the summer months when cold water is needed most. If these trends are allowed to continue, the wild trout fishing on these waters could be in serious danger.

Some of the more notable issues have been temperatures on the main stem that are lethal to trout as early as June 11th, well before July or August when it may normally occur. The readings at Lordville have often exceeded 75 degrees even during in this abnormally cool summer. The previous trigger for cold water, thermal release was in Hankins, 8 miles further down stream. This flow plan will eliminate miles of cold-water trout habitat. The yo-yo water level conditions caused by the FFMP on the West Branch can be devastating to the fish and the aquatic insects as well as the wildlife. The water in the spring would go from 80cfs to 1500cfs in a matter of hours if the water spilled over the top of the reservoir. The FFMP stopped the spilling by releasing 1500cfs automatically and brought the levels down in the reservoir and then they would cut the flow back to 80cfs until the reservoir would spill water over the top again and the process would start over. This process not only destroys aquatic life by leaving it stranded when the water quickly recedes, but also effects all wildlife along the river. If the reservoir is full, let it spill. If you don't want it to spill then release the appropriate amount to keep it from filling over a extended period of time, not all at once. On September 5th the water went from 900cfs to 115cfs in a matter of hours. This drop killed aquatic insects such as mayflies, stoneflies, and caddis flies, by stranding them on dry land and was a massive shock to the fish population that had their habitat shrunk to 1/8 of its normal size in a few short hours.


On September 24th in Trenton, NJ the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) will vote to adopt this water code which will put into place the current experimental water release plan, FFMP, that has been in operation and responsible for this travesty since October 2007. This plan has proven to be anything but flexible and threatens the life and ecosystem of the Upper Delaware River. Since this system was introduced it has done nothing to protect the trout or the ecosystem of the Delaware River. This is irresponsible, and demonstrates a serious lack of planning and forethought especially when there is an acceptable solution. It has been researched that a steady flow with a release between 400-600cfs would be much more beneficial to the river and would have the same over all effect on the river and the reservoir levels, eliminate the yo-yo effects, stop needless over releasing in times of good water conditions and protect the trout and aquatic habitat that is so important to all of us on the Upper Delaware. We need a plan that protects the people from floods, the ecosystem and wildlife from erratic water flows and continues to provide water to NY. FFMP only works for New York, not the river or its people.

Please help the river by doing your part. After reading this email please contact all of the state agencies involved including the, NJDEP, NYDEC, NYDEP, PADEP, PA Fish and Boat Commission, and the DRBC and tell them that you oppose the FFMP and the destruction it is causing to our river. Please send your comments in opposition to the FFMP to All of the attached addresses below.

Thank You,

Ben Turpin



Michelle Putnam
NJ DEP Commissioner
Michelle.Putnam@dep.state.nj.us

Lisa Jackson
NJ DEP Commissioner
lisa.jackson@dep.state.nj.us

Joe Miri
Representative for NJ Governor at the DRBC
Joseph.Miri@dep.state.nj.us

Tom Brand
E-mail Address(es):
Thomas.Brand@dep.state.nj.us

Carol Collier
Executive Director for the DRBC
E-mail Address(es):
carol.collier@drbc.state.nj.us
Doug Austen
Executive Director of PA Fish and Boat
E-mail Address(es):
dausten@state.pa.us

James Tierney
Deputy Commissioner of the NY DEC
(2nd in command under Peter Grannis)
E-mail Address(es):
jmtierne@gw.dec.state.ny.us

Len Lichvar
Pres of PA Fish Commissioners
E-mail Address(es):
lennyll@yahoo.com
Mark Klotz
New York DRBC Rep
E-mail Address(es):
maklotz@gw.dec.state.ny.us

Norm McBride
Head of Region 4
NYDEC
E-mail Address(es):
Ndmcbrid@gw.dec.state.ny.us

Pamela Bush
Sec. For DRBC
E-mail Address(es):
Pamela.Bush@drbc.state.nj.us

Leroy Young
PA State Fisheries Manager
E-mail Address(es):
leyoung@state.pa.us

Mark Hartle
E-mail Address(es):
mhartle@state.pa.us

Norm Gavlick:
PA Fish and Boat Commissioner
NE District
norm@gavlick.biz



Contact Information
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Delaware River Club
1228 Winterdale Rd
Starlight, PA 18461

570-635-5880

drc@hancock.net




"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
LittleJSeptember 13th, 2008, 11:37 am
Hollidaysburg Pa

Posts: 251
I would love to send a letter to all the above listed, however I am not versed nearley enough on the deleware to send an educated letter. If any of you have and wouldn't mind p.m. it over to me to have a look at. I won't copy the letter, I would just like to know more about what it is we are asking for.
Thanks
Jeff
MartinlfSeptember 13th, 2008, 12:51 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2911
Jeff,

Here's my letter, partly cribbed from Ben's email:

The so called Flexible Flow water release plan currently in place and proposed for the Delaware River into the future threatens the life and ecosystem of the Upper Delaware River. Since this system was introduced it has failed to protect the trout or the ecosystem of the Delaware River. Researchers have demonstrated that a steady flow with a release between 400-600cfs would be much more beneficial to the river and would have the same over all effect on the river and the reservoir levels, eliminate the yo-yo effects, stop needless over releasing in times of good water conditions and protect the trout and aquatic habitat that is so important to all of us on the Upper Delaware. We need a plan that protects the people from floods, the ecosystem and wildlife from erratic water flows and continues to provide water to New York city. The people of New York state and Pennsylvania who live along the river benefit from a stronger economy when the river is well managed. More fishermen come, buying gas, filling hotels, keeping restaurants busier, bringing money to the region. I have cut my own visits to the region due to the poor fishing, and may stop coming altogether unless the flow evens out more. You have an opportunity to make the Delaware the crown jewel of eastern fly-fishing destinations, bringing economic opportunity to the area, and protecting some of the biggest, most beautiful wild trout east of the Mississippi. Please act to save the Delaware. Reject the Flexible Flow plan and put a better plan into action.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
LittleJSeptember 14th, 2008, 6:21 pm
Hollidaysburg Pa

Posts: 251
Thanks louis, my letters are on the way.
Jeff
LittleJSeptember 22nd, 2008, 8:13 am
Hollidaysburg Pa

Posts: 251
I recieved this e-mail today.. good work to those that sent letters.
jeff

FFMP Delayed

Cathy Meyers has notified us that she voted to delay the FFMP vote until at least December. Great job! There is no doubt that the number of letters recieved, (over 74 to date), has had an impact.

As you know the PA Fish & Boat Commission does not have any decision making authority regarding the DRBC. Dr. Austen had sent a strong, clear letter to Cathy Meyers asking for a delay on the FFMP vote.

This gives us time, but we still must get revised release schedules based on real numbers.

Thank You,

Norman R. Gavlick, M.B.A., CPRW
Commissioner
PA Fish & Boat Commission
Phone 570-283-9675
Fax 570-283-3077
norm@gavlick.biz



MartinlfSeptember 22nd, 2008, 1:29 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2911
Good work, Jeff. Trout Unlimited also asked for letters, and I sent them via their site too. Thanks for lending the weight of your voice.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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