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Interesting read on bows in the D & FUDR restoration projects

2011/5/26 10:12
From Dauphin PA
Posts: 24
By Lee Hartman

Rainbow trout are sometimes regarded as the aquatic Johnny-come-latelies of the fish-rich Upper Delaware River. But they’ve got a century’s worth of residency there.
It may be a fish story, but by one often-repeated account, the rainbows descended from fish that were released as a result of a railroad train breakdown in the late 1800s. Canisters of fingerling trout—McCloud River rainbows from California, they say—were aboard a train that chugged to an unexpected stop near Callicoon, NY. Dan Cahill, a brakeman, happened to be an avid fisherman. Fearing the fish would go belly-up before reaching their destination, Cahill grabbed a few canisters and released the fingerlings into the Delaware. This happenstance stocking is believed to be the first introduction of the rainbow into the Delaware River.
The official version of the rainbow’s introduction to the river is not quite as romantic. Ed Van Put, a NYS Department of Environmental Conservation staffer, says the state’s Fish Commission was experimenting with stocking rainbows roughly 140 years ago.
Those trout came from the San Francisco Bay area and were called mountain or California trout. Records show that on March 31, 1875, a man named Seth Green received at the NYS Fish Hatchery at Caledonia 1,800 mountain trout eggs, sent by the Acclimation Society of the Golden State. Of these, approximately 300 fry were hatched.
Three years later, when the fish reached spawning age, Green collected some 40,000 eggs and later released nearly 25,000 fry in the Delaware system. The trout adapted well to their new eco-system, and the river’s many cold -water tributaries became their spawning grounds and hidden nurseries.
Rainbows of the McCloud strain arrived in 1878 at the Caledonia hatchery. Over time, these two strains became one in Green’s records. He called them all California mountain trout. As a West Coast species, the first rainbows had the instincts of steelhead ancestry. The July 4, 1885 issue of American Angler wrote the following:
“I am told that there was a batch put into the Beaverkill, one of the branches of the Delaware River, and that there have never been any caught near the locality where they were put in, but about 75 or 80 miles below, where they found very deep water and large eddies, that they were quite plentiful.”

Early 20th-century anglers were impressed with this new strain of California trout that, not surprisingly, fought harder than anything they have ever seen. Generations of natural selection and local environmental factors have hardened these fish into a distinct breed of trout, making them into one of the best wild stock of streamlined rainbows in our country. It is now considered by anglers as the “crown jewel” of the Delaware.
Among the Delaware tributaries where they now spawn are Sands and Cadosia creeks in the town of Hancock, NY. The two creeks do not have the regal reputation of famous trout runs in the region, but they are—to this day—a vital part of the aquatic system with the clean flowing cold water and proper cover for survival. The juvenile fish will live in the nursing waters for two years before entering the river to become the spirited, fierce-fighting trout that the Delaware is known for.
A transmitter study conducted by Trout Unlimited in the late 1990s revealed the movements of the adult rainbow trout. The “wild” Delaware fish normally resides in the Delaware and returns to the place of birth each spring, spawning twice in its four and sometimes five-year life span. A few of the cold-water critters were tracked at distances of 60 miles within a one-year period in their struggles to reproduce and find suitable spawning grounds.
In 2006, a 500-year flood devastated Sands and Cadosia creeks, sweeping away precious trout-holding pools, eroding banks and eliminating structure. Some of the remedial channelization intended to prevent future flooding also strips trout cover and increases stream bank erosion.
During the past two years, Friends of the Upper Delaware River (FUDR), based in New York and Pennsylvania, embarked on an ambitious project to restore the creeks. FUDR has partnered with the National Fish & Wildlife Service, the Town of Hancock and the Delaware County Department of Public Works, to restore Sands and Cadosia creeks for the purpose of mitigating flooding and restore fish spawning habitat.
Landowner participation is vital and to date we have a group of very engaged property owners that have partnered with FUDR. The initial $100,000 stream assessment study done by Landstudies, Inc. has been completed. A conceptual plan for their restoration is currently being finalized on Sands Creek and groundbreaking work is the next step.
For further information on the stream restoration project, visit

Posted on: 2013/11/25 17:30

Re: Interesting read on bows in the D & FUDR restoration projects
2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
Posts: 439
Thanks - excellent story and project! Here's hoping for the best with this restoration project. Please keep us informed, Kray, of any further news or updates.

Posted on: 2013/11/25 21:07

Re: Interesting read on bows in the D & FUDR restoration projects

2011/5/26 10:12
From Dauphin PA
Posts: 24
Here's an email sent out by FUDR.on 11-15-13

Hey Everybody,

We're keeping busy at FUDR and here's a brief summation of our latest activities that may be of interest to you:

PA TU Council Meeting in State College
FUDR was on the agenda at the PATU State Council meeting in State College, PA last month. It was an important opportunity for us to relay the most recent developments on our Upper Delaware River work including our support for the water release objectives set forth in the coalition endorsed "Equitable Apportionment Plan" (EAP) which we are promoting as we approach the 2014 adoption of the next management plan (OST-FFMP) for the Delaware River Basin reservoirs. (Thanks to the PA, NY, and NJ TU State Councils for supporting our very successful Water, Water, Everywhere Conference in October!)
NYC DEP Meeting
TU and FUDR representatives met with NYC DEP officials to discuss the EAP and to hear their suggestions and concerns.  It was clear from this meeting that some fundamental differences continue to impede the discussion including 1) perceptions about how much water is needed for drinking water diversions versus actual usage; 2) views on emerging stewardship needs below the reservoirs to protect and enhance the world class cold water trout fishery and other recreational attributes of the river that fuel local economies and; 3) satisfying the water needs of downstream states and communities.
FUDR, TU urge Upper Delaware Council endorsement of EAP
We presented the EAP to the Upper Delaware Council last week and it appeared to receive a very positive response. We're hopeful the UDC will choose to review and analyze the plan further and consider a formalized endorsement this year.  
Hancock Town Board adopts Resolution Favoring Increased Water Releases
Hancock Town Board passed a resolution highlighting the potential economic gains for people and businesses in Hancock of a healthy river and sustainable cold water habitat. Similar to the resolution passed by the Delaware County Board of Supervisors in May 2013, the Hancock resolution called for increased water releases from Cannonsville and Pepacton Reservoirs.  We will be working with other Upper Delaware River local governments to adopt similar resolutions in the coming weeks and months.
Upper Delaware River Economics Study on Recreational Value Continues to Move Forward
We met with the Delaware County Departments of Watershed Affairs and Economic Development and the author of the Upper Delaware River Economics Report to review and comment on the initial stages of the draft study. The purpose of the study is to illustrate the economic benefits to people, communities, and businesses of a healthy river and the water release levels necessary to sustain and enhance those benefits.  The report appears to be in good shape and on target for completion by the end of the year.
Good News for Sands Creek Restoration Project
At FUDR's request, Delaware County has agreed to partner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help advance the Sands Creek project along with other stream restoration needs in the Upper Delaware River portion of the County. This important partnership sets the stage for receiving federal implementation funding when construction is ready on the project in the spring.  
Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed/William Penn Foundation Conference
FUDR was well represented at this conference in Philadelphia to discuss and strategize around action steps to advance protection and restoration objectives throughout the entire Delaware River watershed. FUDR representation at the conference resulted in significant advances in communicating and raising awareness about the challenges and needs facing the Upper Delaware River. FUDR sits on the Steering Committee of the CDRW which helps us advocate for the protection and enhancement of the Upper Delaware River watershed at the regional and national level. 
Jeff Skelding, Executive Director
We need your help - to become an FUDR member, renew your membership, or make a donation, go to 

Posted on: 2013/11/25 21:54
"Excelling at making people angry since 1967"

Re: Interesting read on bows in the D & FUDR restoration projects
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 2841
Thanks for the info, Andy. We bow to the bow. Lucky to have these great fish in our backyard.

Posted on: 2013/11/26 7:07

Re: Interesting read on bows in the D & FUDR restoration projects

2011/5/6 17:55
From Harrisburg
Posts: 18
Great info! Very interesting

Posted on: 2013/11/28 0:09

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