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Looks like I'll be painting tomorrow.

Posted on August 04 2020

We got what what we needed and then some.  The last three months have all been well below average in rainfall and July was the hottest on record. The tribs were drying up, exposing yearlings and fingerlings to predators and thermal stress.

While the new flow regime has provided a huge thermal refuge in the BR by keeping the temp below 75 at Lordville, the EB and BK have suffered the lethal  (to trout) combination of  historically low flows and high temps (several times over 80 degrees).

Today it started slowly with a light but steady rain that softened the ground and allowed much of the rain to soak in.  By late morning (about the time I made my dump run) the real rain started.  It came down hard for a good five hours.  At 2:30 little Humphreys Brook that runs down the three mile long road from rte 97 into Lordville was a roiling orange sea of mud.  The Town has recently done work on the drainage ditches along the road and the under the road culverts were hard pressed to handle the flow.  By 6:30, with the sun shining brightly the ditches had but a modest flow of clear water and Humphreys Brook was both dropping  and clearing rapidly.

The rest of the river system is on a different time schedule.  At 6:30 I went out for a look see.  Drove into the newly paved Buckingham lot,which looks beautiful now, but will be a muddy mess next May unless they extend the gravel parking area up nearer to the road. The river was rising with a lot of debris floating by.  The WB was rising rapidly, areas near the tribs were the orange/brown color while other areas farther from the tribs were just a dull gray color. As I write this the BK seems to be about to peak at around 12,000 CFS while the UE at Harvard is over 1.500 and still rising. That water has yet to hit the EB and the BR.

The fishing - If you are here now and have a boat or are going out with a guide,  you will be chucking streamers at fish eating browns in stained ( muddy)  water.  If you are a wade fisherman, you will be crammed into the WB above Oquaga's silt laden outpouring.  If you are just thinking about it, wait a day or two.  The action has been and probably still will be, from the 17 pool up to Stilesville and it will be clear enough and low enough to wade and fish there by Friday.

The UE badly needed the rain.  This summer  the temp at Harvard has exceeded 70 on many occasions, making the lower half of the UE ethically unfishable.  There needs to be an increase in the UE release to rectify the problem. An additional daily release of but 50 CFS would open up about seven  miles of blue ribbon trout stream to anglers all summer.  That said the UE at Harvard is at over 1,500 and still rising. It will be drift boats and streamers  there for the next several days.   

1 comment

  • Ed Smith: August 05, 2020

    Thanks for the update.Given the potential for crowded conditions and limited places to fish , waiting till next week to make the 3hour trip sounds like a wise choice.Thanks again

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