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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Is your local stream a little low? Bushkill Creek says "Hold my Beer"

This morning, October 15th 2020, the water on Bushkill Creek was once again slowed to a mere trickle when pumps at Buzzi Unicem quarry turned off  for maintenance on an electrical transformer.  The planned shut down was slated to last 4 hrs, starting at 8am.  The pictures below show the effects on the stream in the town of Tatamy, from roughly 9:45 - 12:45pm.  During that time, the water flow went from low to basically 0.  A number of trout from fingerling size to over 12" were observed, and all were struggling in the few pools that had any water.  Numerous other small fish species and aquatic insects were left high and dry.  What can be done?  Share this on social media, follow the Forks of the Delaware Facebook page for updates, and consider contacting your local elected officials to voice your concern.  While some progress on the issue has been made, this has been a problem for 10+ yrs.

Below Main St Bridge, 9:45 am

Down Stream of Tatamy, 11:45 am

Downstream of Tatamy Bridge 12:45

Post-Mortem on the Cannonsville Reservoir Shutdown

From: Friends of the Upper Delaware:

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Post Mortem on the Cannonsville Reservoir Shutdown
Hi Everyone,

When we received the public notice from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) last Sunday evening that repair work to fix a leaking pipe at the Cannonsville dam would require the reservoir release to drop to 40 cfs on Monday and then to zero by Tuesday, we knew it was going to be a rough week.  In the days and weeks leading up to this event, it is our understanding that NYCDEP coordinated with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), but did not include any local voices.  These agencies should always involve Upper Delaware River (UDR) conservation, business and local resident interests in these decisions. Instead, we found out on Sunday night along with everyone else on their mailing list.
There have been many improvements over the years in the management of the New York City Delaware basin reservoirs and the protection of the prized UDR wild trout fishery. Cooperation and collaboration between UDR watershed stakeholders, the NYCDEP, NYSDEC, and the PFBC have also greatly improved. Unfortunately, it only takes one incident like this one to undermine this progress and erode public trust.
It is important to note that everyone recognizes that the water supply for the City of New York is of paramount importance when making reservoir management decisions in the upper Delaware basin. We understand and accept that reality. However, experience tells us that in these types of situations there are often multiple approaches available that can meet infrastructure maintenance needs and also minimize or eliminate impacts to the river below the dams.
FUDR received many thoughts and suggestions from informed anglers and concerned community residents about alternative approaches that may have diminished the negative impacts to the river and still accomplished the objectives of the repair and maintenance work at the Cannonsville dam. However, because of the short notice, we didn't have a chance to explore any of them with the resource management agencies.
As a result, by Tuesday evening large swaths of river bed were exposed, fish were put under stress and concentrated and confined in small spaces, and the likelihood of damaging impacts to aquatic insect populations (the foundation of the aquatic food chain) seems high. Community residents and anglers, who value their roles as partners in protecting the river system, felt ignored and helpless as the situation unfolded.
This incident once again highlights the need for diligent and ongoing communications between resource management agencies and the public, and a reminder that the Upper Delaware watershed below the dams carries enormous economic and ecological value for tens of thousands of residents and visitors. Even an event like this of relatively short duration can have a negative effect on the health of the river and communities and businesses that rely on this invaluable natural resource.
We hope the events of the past several days can be a learning experience from which better and more open channels of communication can be explored when future maintenance needs inevitably arise.
Here's a snapshot of river impacts on the West Branch from earlier this week.
Hale Eddy Gauge, West Branch - photo Steve Taggart 
West Branch, downstream of Hale Eddy Bridge - photo Steve Taggart  
West Branch, Upstream of Deposit Bridge (Pine Street) - photo Ron Chiavacci 
West Branch, PA Side across from Sands Creek - photo Sherri Resti Thomas 
For the River,

Jeff Skelding, Executive Director

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

MCWA plants more trees...

 If you can’t make it Saturday...

MCWA Planting Day at Park Place
Volunteers Needed!
We need your help to plant some native tree saplings at the new Gertrude Fox Conservation Area at Park Place! Parking is in the lot on Park Place just pass the Oasis Recovery Center at 3410 Bath Pike. 
Bring your shovel, bring your work boots and gloves, and bring a face mask. We will be observing social distancing while we are digging and planting.
ImageSunday, October 18, 2020 at 9 AM
ImageOASIS Community Center

Saturday, October 10, 2020

MCWA plants trees too!

 Another great opportunity with the MCWA! Please consider helping!:

 On Saturday, October 17, from 9 to 11, we will be planting tree seedlings along Monocacy Way. These were bare-root trees in March that we potted up into small 6- to 8-inch pots, and they’ve been growing well! Time to get them into the creek riparian buffer areas so they can really grow.

Parking for this stretch of Monocacy Way is in the Quiet Core lot on Schoenersville just east of the bridge over the creek, and directly across the street from St. Lukes facility there (the old racquetball club) and the entrance to Burnside. The address is 1440 Schoenersville Rd. 

Bring a shovel, gloves, drinking water and a mask. If you have waders, bring them, but they are necessary. We will organize it so that you will be able to work alone as we dig the holes, set the trees, and put protection around them, sort of like an assembly line.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

MCWA Fall Clean Up

 Please join our partners at Monocacy Creek Watershed Association as they clean up our stream.

Details below, or check out MCWA Facebook for more info : MCWA FACEBOOK PAGE



Monday, September 21, 2020

Monthly meetings are back...

Once again, the 4th Tuesday of the month has snuck up on us as we closeout summer.  Our monthly meetings will resume tomorrow, September 22nd (first day of fall!).  In order to ease into holding meetings in the current environment, we will be having a fishing evening at Illick's Mill, starting at 6 pm.  We will meet in (or near) the first Pavilion.  Please follow all guidelines for social distancing and mask wearing where appropriate. A brief discussion about indoor meetings, and ideas for speakers etc, and fish stories from the summer will take place promptly at 6pm.

Apologies for the short notice.  Hope you can make it out for some fishing.

What: Monthly Meeting

Where:  Illick’s Mill Park

When: Tuesday Sept. 22nd. 6pm

Why:  Fishing

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Rainy Day Casting Practice

It’s never a bad time to practice casting,  but a rainy day can make it tough to get motivated to get out there and work on your cast.  Enter the 10 part video series by the legendary Joan Wulff, presented Winston Rods. Filled with tons of great information for every skill level, it’s a great way to work on your cast, from the comfort of your couch!

Check it out HERE .

Monday, August 24, 2020

Proposed Pebble mine sent back to the drawing board


Proposed Pebble mine sent back to the drawing board, sporting community applauds finding

August 24, 2020

Find Pebble Mine/Bristol Bay images and b-roll here 


Proposed Pebble mine sent back to the drawing board, sporting community applauds finding

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finds controversial project will likely result in significant degradation and significant adverse effects to waters, fish. 

ANCHORAGE, AK – Today, in a move welcomed by thousands of American workers, Alaskan communities, and the most prolific wild salmon fishery in the world, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) said it found the proposed Pebble mine would likely cause significant degradation and significant adverse effects to the waters and fisheries of Bristol Bay, and cannot receive a permit under the Clean Water Act as proposed, creating a significant barrier to the project moving forward.

“This is a great demonstration of democracy in action and a victory for common sense. The finding demonstrates that the voices of millions of Americans still matter and reflects the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence that’s been brought to bear,” said Chris Wood, president and CEO of Trout Unlimited.

“The more public scrutiny this mine faces, the more science that’s brought to bear in its review, the more it stinks. The resources that sustain this bucket-list destination for sport anglers, local communities and commercial fishing families are worth protecting. Thank you to the legions of supporters that helped us get here.”

Because of the proposed mine’s massive risks, for more than fifteen years Trout Unlimited has worked with communities, anglers, hunters, Tribes, businesses and local and national partners to galvanize opposition to this project. Hundreds of thousands of anglers, and hundreds of outdoor businesses have made their voice heard time and time again, most recently appealing to the Trump Administration directly. 

“This is a good day for Bristol Bay,” said Nelli Williams, Alaska director of Trout Unlimited. “No corner should be cut when considering a giant mine in the heart of a place this cherished and important. The Pebble Partnership put forward a half-baked plan with a litany of problems. Pebble had its opportunity to go through the process, but the project fails to meet the standards required. Kudos to all the decision makers involved for calling Pebble out on that.”

Over the two-year permit review process, many organizations, federal and state agencies, independent scientists, and countless individuals raised potentially fatal concerns about this project. Among them are the project’s destruction of streams and wetlands, its untested and incomplete water management and mitigation plans, unreliable tailings dam design, seismic activity near the deposit, and its huge economic costs. Those concerned about the proposed Pebble mine also cite threats to existing businesses, communities, and cultures that rely on the intact fishery, among various other issues.

“Today’s actions reflect just how bad this mine proposal is and how incompatible it is with the Bristol Bay region,” said Brian Kraft, owner of Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge, president of Katmai Service Providers and TU business member. “Some places simply are not compatible with large industrial, open-pit mine operations, and the Bristol Bay region’s spawning grounds certainly are one of those locations. This is a good day for the people of Bristol Bay that have loudly said for 16 years now that this is the wrong place for this mine. It’s a good day for Americans who care about clean water, healthy fisheries, and existing jobs that rely on those fisheries.”

The final Environmental Impact Statement documented nearly 200 miles of impacted streams, and 4,500 acres of impacted waters and wetlands (See FEIS at 4.22-15, Table 4.22-1.). The Army Corps said the function of the tailings facility was “uncertain,” and the Corps’ EIS contractor described it as “very similar” to the facility that failed catastrophically at the Mount Polley mine in 2014.

“This is a moment to celebrate,” said Williams. “The opposition to this project runs strong and deep, the science is clear, and there is no way this ill-conceived project can coexist with Bristol Bay salmon. The message is clear from sportsmen and women across the country to the Pebble Partnership: It’s time to pack up and go home. You’re not welcome in Bristol Bay.”

Trout Unlimited is the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America’s trout and salmon and their watersheds. Across the country, TU brings to bear local, regional and national grassroots organizing, durable partnerships, science-backed policy muscle, and legal firepower on behalf of trout and salmon fisheries, healthy waters and vibrant communities. We have worked in the Bristol Bay region for almost two decades along with thousands of supporters including dozens of businesses that depend on the fishery of the region. For more information on the Save Bristol Bay campaign go to or

Friday, August 14, 2020

Stream Clean up Reminder for 8/15/20

 The Monocacy Creek Cleanup date is tomorrowSaturday, August 15 from 9 until noon.

See the flyer below for the location in Bath.

Also: After last week’s heavy rains, an additional clean-up will be at Burnside Historic site in Bethlehem (near where Schoenersville Road and Elizabeth Street meet at the creek), from 9 to 11 am tomorrow. The Bethlehem Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) and Monocacy Creek Watershed Association are organizing this event.

We hope you can attend one of these events! Bring your friends and family to work with our upstream neighbors in Bath, picking up litter that has gathered in the creek over the last few months or join us at Burnside

Please share this with others who want to help beautify the creek and protect its fish, birds, and critters from litter and other debris!

We will have prepackaged snacks. Please bring your own drinking water.

And don’t forget your face masks—safety first!


Jane Cook
Monocacy Creek Watershed Association

[Questions? Call 610/216-2322 (cell) and leave a message if I miss your call.]

View the flyer HERE