October 12, 2007

Submitted by Joe Reina


Because of dry conditions and low water levels in Hinckley Reservoir, flows into West Canada Creek have been reduced to record low levels. As a result, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will be issuing emergency regulations closing this renowned trout stream to all fishing from its mouth (the Mohawk River) upstream to the dam at Trenton Falls. The regulations affect a 28-mile section of the Creek, take effect immediately, and run through Nov. 30, the end of the regular season.  However, catch-and-release fishing will be allowed beginning Dec. 1 on a stretch of the creek beginning at Trenton Falls Dam and running downstream for 2.5 miles to the Cincinnati Creek.


The low flows impact West Canada Creek's important trout fishery in many ways. Chiefly, low water in the riffles impedes fish passage and, as a result, trout and other fish are forced to concentrate in deeper pools. This makes them vulnerable to stress related to too-warm water temperatures, reduced food supplies and, potentially, low oxygen levels. The trout population would also be subjected to increased levels of angler catch rates and harvest.


It is hoped fall rains will relieve the low water conditions in Hinckley Reservoir and allow discharges into West Canada to be returned to normal, higher levels. The emergency regulations are designed to protect the trout fishery through the current stressful conditions, which will ensure a return to quality angling next spring and summer. DEC fisheries and law enforcement staff will be on the river beginning this weekend to advise anglers of the emergency regulations and suggest alternate fishing locations.


For more information, contact: Region 6 Fisheries Manager Frank Flack at (315) 408-4440 or Region 6 Natural Resource Supervisor Albert Schiavone at (315) 783-1635.