In November, ESI’s Chief Operating Officer, Dan Kent, spent a day with a group of volunteers (socially distant) under the guidance of The Friends of the Upper Delaware (FUDR) traversing and wading the tributaries of the Delaware River south of Hancock, NY to count trout redds. Trout and other salmonids lay their eggs in pea sized gravel beds that accumulate in shallow riffles and backchannels, known as redds. An avid fly-fisherman with a diverse background in ecological monitoring and consulting that ranges from endangered species and vernal pool surveys, snake monitoring, freshwater and saltwater wetland consulting, Dan also observed and recorded stream conditions, flow characteristics and stormwater run-off impacts. The redd counts and the stream conditions will be compiled into a larger GIS database, to better serve future redd surveys and stream restoration projects. ESI plans to be part of that future effort in providing mapping and working with FUDR and industry partners to restore and maintain the river and its many tributaries. Annual redd surveys are essential data to maintain and enhance stream protection policies for the benefit of the fishery resource and recreational purposes.
Friends of the Upper Delaware River (FUDR), www.fudr.org is the leading advocacy voice for the river. There are many competing interests for Delaware River water and the tail waters below the NYC water supply reservoirs require a full-time advocacy voice to make sure water quality, the health of river based economies, and the world class wild trout fishery are top notch.
In 2020, FUDR worked hard alongside conservation partners and coalitions to:
- Engage in the implementation of two new policies that help keep the upper river cool during periods of hot weather to protect wild trout and curb erratic water releases from the NYC reservoirs that are harmful to the river environment.
- Ensure the Upper Delaware River will be classified as a “Wild Premier” trout stream and receive the highest levels of protection in the new NY statewide trout management plan.
- Generate more than $400,000 in new stream restoration project funding ($2.2 million for the UDR with our TU partners over the past 3 years!) to help keep the upper
watershed clean and healthy.
- Spearhead an educational campaign in New York to erect 14 new “Entering the Delaware River Watershed” signs that help give people a sense of place and pride in the river.