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Columbia-Greene Trout Unlimited Chapter #569

New York State's Catskill Region

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Ten Mile Creek Needs Help
Date: August 31, 2006


Albany Times-Union (NY)
By Robert Streeter


Trout are always on the minds of die-hard trout anglers. They dream of catching a big brown on a perfectly tied dry fly, or having a monster steelhead grab a streamer on a cold winter day.
Yet as much as they dream of catching trout, most of these anglers spend just as much time thinking of ways to save them.

Such is the case locally on Ten Mile Creek. This pleasant little stream is located in Albany and Greene counties, and is having more than its share of problems. Ten Mile Creek had a number of habitat improvements, including pool diggers and other structural measures, with "had" being the operative word.

A decade or more of flooding has pretty much eliminated the habitat improvements. In addition, the flooding has caused extensive erosion, silting in spawning areas, changing what was once a neat little trout stream into one in dire need of some help.

Coming to the aid of Ten Mile Creek are the anglers of Trout Unlimited and other area conservation groups. Member Bob Novak has been trying to get some restoration work done on the stream. Novak and other members have been working with Department of Environmental Conservation fisheries biologists to restore the stream. In fact, the required DEC permit is still in place.

Trout Unlimited members are also working with Greene County Soil & Water, the town of Durham, and many others, including local landowners, to get this work under way.

What is slowing things to a standstill is funding. Landowners along the stream are generally amenable to working with the volunteers; the problem is in securing the funding. For example, one landowner may have several hundred thousand dollars in damage.

Trout Unlimited members are trying to secure grants from the Department of Interior and United States Fish and Wildlife Service, in addition to attempting to get emergency grants from FEMA. Trout Unlimited headquarters has also been contacted for grant money through the Embrace a Stream Program.

Manpower and equipment are already available. In addition to Trout Unlimited members from two area chapters, the Boy Scouts are interested in helping pick up debris along the stream. The town of Durham has volunteered the use of its heavy equipment and manpower.

Hopefully everything will come together so that this project can get going and the restoration work will take place.

On a larger scale, other trout habitat projects are shaping up. Trout Unlimited recently released a detailed report on the status of brook trout throughout the northeast. The good news in the report is that New York state was among the states with the strongest brook trout populations.

Even with this good news, the report states that brook trout have been eliminated or greatly reduced from about half their historic range in our state.

While this is not the ideal situation, efforts and opportunities exist for improving the fate of the brook trout. Volunteers and state officials are working to protect remaining habitat and restore brook trout to areas where they have long been absent. Initial results include expansion of brook trout in the Adirondacks via the state's pond reclamation program. Brook trout populations are also improving in some streams as well.

A full copy of the brook trout report is available at

Finally, trout and salmon are going to be one of the topics of a symposium of the American Fisheries Society's 136th annual meeting in Lake Placid, Essex County, Sept. 10-14. Among the topics at the symposium will be brook trout conservation and restoration work, Great Lakes salmon and trout management, and steelhead management from the Great Lakes to the West Coast.

This event will feature the top fisheries biologists from across the country as they get together to compare ideas on trout and salmon management.

Obviously, we have come a long way in terms of restoring many waters and in managing existing populations of trout and salmon. This work was done by many hands, volunteers and professionals alike. Hopefully these efforts will bear more fruit in the future.


©2007 Columbia-Greene Trout Unlimited