Thursday, September 29, 2011

Very Important Reading

Don't Buy This Shirt Unless You Need It

by Yvon Chouinard & Nora Gallagher
Late Summer 2004

Near the headquarters of Patagonia, on the central coast of California, the Chumash Nation enjoyed a good life for thousands of years. They lived in small villages and possessed fur blankets, intricate baskets and soapstone pots decorated with shells. They painted elaborate abstracts in mountain caves. In every village were game-playing fields and sacred buildings. Almost every day, most Chumash enjoyed a cleansing sweat in the village temescal. In each village was a granary for stockpiling food that would later be distributed to those in need.
Chumash traded exquisite olivella shells for black pigment, honeydew melons, pine nuts, wild tobacco and various herbs and salt. By the 16th century, theirs was a complex society of hunters and gatherers with a far-reaching, sophisticated trade network.
Other nations along the western coast shared this life. Gerald Amos, a member (and former chief) of the Haisla Nation in Kitamaat, northwest Canada, recalls a friend of his father who would leave home in the dark to paddle to his trapline four miles by water. He would spend the day walking the lines, checking and resetting the traps. “Along the way back to the boat, during the late fall and early winter, the coho salmon would be still in the creeks that they passed, so they would stop at one of these creeks and take a couple of coho, which they would clean and pack home in their backpack together with what-ever animals they had taken in their traps. The fish provided them with their supper later that night."
Such lives are often called subsistence, which brings to mind the barest, hardscrabble survival. But there is another way to look at them. At Patagonia we choose to call them “economies of abundance.” In an economy of abundance, there is enough. Not too much. Not too little. Enough. Most important, there is enough time for the things that matter: relationships, delicious food, art, games and rest.
Many of us in the United States live in what is thought to be abundance, with plenty all around us, but it is only an illusion, not the real thing. The economy we live in is marked by “not enough.” We once asked the owner of a successful business if he had enough money and he replied, “Don’t you understand? There is never enough.”
We don't have enough money, and we also don’t have enough time. We don’t have enough energy, solitude or peace. We are the world’s richest country, yet our quality of life ranks 14th in the world. As Eric Hoffer, a mid-20th century philosopher, put it, “You can never get enough of what you don’t really need to make you happy."
And while we work harder and harder to get more of what we don’t need, we lay waste to the natural world. Dr. Peter Senge, author and MIT lecturer, says, “We are sleepwalking into disaster, going faster and faster to get to where no one wants to be.”
We might call this economy, the one we live in, the economy of scarcity.

Lest you think the economy of abundance is gone with the old Chumash, consider Europe. Europeans still buy only a few well-made clothes and keep them for many years. Their houses and apartments tend to be smaller than ours; they rely on public transportation, and small, efficient home appliances and cars. Europeans enjoy a 25 percent higher quality of life than Americans (while we consume 75 percent more than they do).
Or, look at the people of Bhutan, whose king insists on measuring “gross national happiness.”
Any person or nation can grow fatter and fatter, richer and richer, sleepwalking toward disaster. Or we can choose to remain lean and quick, wealthy in beauty and time and, that word that inspired our forefathers, wealthy in happiness.
In Patagonia’s environmental campaign this year, we looked at the plight of wild salmon and what it might take for us to become what Ecotrust calls “a Salmon Nation,” a nation of people who make choices that contribute to the health of whole watersheds and the economies of the people who live in them. A salmon nation is a nation of abundance, where people live in a way that fish can thrive. If you think this is an impossible dream, check out Seth Zuckerman’s essay "The Gift: Salmon Recovered" and learn how wild salmon rebounded in Alaska after the state employed sophisticated tools like sonar, stream bank counters and airborne spotters to ensure their salmon were not overfished. In the last two decades, commercial catches in Alaska have more than doubled.
At Patagonia, we are dedicated to abundance. We don’t want to grow larger, but want to remain lean and quick. We want to make the best clothes and make them so they will last a long, long time. Our idea is to make the best product so you can consume less and consume better. Every decision we make must include its impact on the environment. We make ski jackets that are the right jackets, with no compromises, yet they are elegant enough to wear over dress clothes in a storm in Paris. (Most ski jackets sit in the closet nine months out of the year.) We want to zero in on quality.
In the economy of abundance, wild salmon are given back rivers in which to run. Trees grow to their natural height. Water is clean. A sense of mystery and enchantment is restored to the world. We humans live within our means and, best of all, we have the time to enjoy what we have.

Riverkeeper News Update: September 29, 2011


Raw Sewage Continues to Flow into Beacon Harbor
No More Dumping! Bill Protecting NYC Waterways Passes
Visitors from Japan Share Stories from Fukushima
Fracking Call to Action!
Help Save River Herring and Shad
EcoSalon on Indian Point to be Held October 13
Whole Foods Market Opening in Yonkers Benefits RvK
Architects’ Sailing Challenge Benefits Riverkeeper

Beacon discharge sewage spill

Raw Sewage Continues to Flow into Beacon Harbor
Raw sewage is flowing into the Beacon Harbor from a pipe at the northeastern corner of the Harbor. Discovered by a member of the public on Saturday, September 17, the discharge has been flowing for at least 10 days.  Riverkeeper sampled the discharge and strongly advises members of the public to avoid contact with the water in Beacon Harbor until the cause of the discharge has been determined and testing confirms that water quality has returned to acceptable levels.

Read full press release

RvK historic water quality data for Beacon Harbor

More on Sewage Right to Know for New York State

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Illegal Dumping

No More Dumping! Bill Protecting NYC Waterways Passes
Riverkeeper commended the New York City Council for passing Int. 53-A, a bill which will increase transparency and strengthen enforcement against illegal dumping in New York City’s waterfronts. The bill will require the Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Sanitation, and Department of Small Business Services to coordinate enforcement efforts through a formal plan and to issue a biennial report detailing the implementation of the coordinated plan.

Read full Press Release

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Visit from Japan
View the Video on YouTube

Visitors from Japan Talk About Fukushima
Riverkeeper was proud host to a Japanese delegation, including a farmer and her two teenaged children from the  Fukushima region. They shared first-hand accounts of the impact of the nuclear disaster on their lives and listened to what is being done in the battle to shut down Indian Point.  Prior to arriving at the Riverkeeper office, the delegation appealed to the UN High Commission on Human Rights to recognize and address the plight of children in the Fukushima region. The farming family asked specifically to meet with local organizations who are working to close Indian Point and traveled half way across the world to plead with us not to let what happened in Fukushima happen here. 

Images on Flickr
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fracking protest signs

Fracking Call to Action - October 21

The DRBC has scheduled a special meeting from 10:00 am to 12 pm on October 21, 2011 at the War Memorial in Trenton, NJ to “consider adoption of the regulations”, which would lift the current moratorium on gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin. This would allow fracking to begin in areas of the Basin where the state has given the go ahead (Pennsylvania currently allows fracking; New York will not allow fracking at least until the completion of its fracking environmental impact statement). The DRBC gas drilling regulations would pose a major threat to the New York City Watershed, as the Basin area currently provides 50 percent of the clean, unfiltered drinking water that nine million New Yorkers depend on daily.

Please join us at the steps of the War Memorial at 7:30 am to line up for the hearing. There will be more details on logistics of this event so please check our website for updates.
More details
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shad and herring

Help Save River Herring and Shad

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council is to meet Oct. 11-13 in Galloway, N.J. and is expected to advance new protections for river herring and American shad at sea that will contribute to the resurgence of their coastal populations.

The plan, Amendment 14, includes a range of options to monitor and control the unrestricted catch of river herring and shad by ocean fishing vessels targeting squid or mackerel. From 2005 to 2009, only 8 percent of mackerel and 4 percent of Loligo squid fishing trips were monitored by observers—much lower than similar U.S. fisheries.
Learn More
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eco-salon fall 2011 graphic

EcoSalon on Indian Point to be Held October 13

Riverkeeper invites you to attend a conversation on Thursday, October 13, in New York City on our campaign to close the Indian Point nuclear power plant.  Our guest speaker will be Hamilton Fish, publisher of the Washington Spectator, president of the Public Concern Foundation, and former publisher of the Nation magazine.  We will discuss Riverkeeper’s work to prevent the relicensing of Indian Point to operate for another 20 years, as we head toward critically important federal and state hearings on the fate of the plant.  All proceeds will support Riverkeeper’s Indian Point Campaign.
More Information and to Purchase Tickets

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Whole Foods Opening graphic

Whole Foods Market Opening in Yonkers Benefits Riverkeeper

Whole Foods Market, the world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket and America’s first nationally certified organic grocer, will open the doors to its Yonkers store on Wednesday, October 19 at 9 am.  The new location will open with a traditional bread breaking ceremony. Opening day will be celebrated with tastings, vendor sampling, special sale items, a limited number of signed copies of Robert F. Kennedy's book, the Riverkeepers and more.  Plus, 5 percent of the total sales from opening day will be donated to Riverkeeper! Join us on the 19th!

Learn More

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Architects regatta 2011
Photo courtesy

Architects' Sailing Challenge Benefits Riverkeeper
Riverkeeper thanks the New York Architects’ Regatta Foundation for making us a beneficiary of the 11th annual New York Architects’ Regatta Challenge, held on September 15th.  We are delighted to be a not-for-profit partner in this event that celebrates sailing on the Hudson.  Sponsorship proceeds from the event will support Riverkeeper’s work to protect the Hudson River and its tributaries, and the New York City Watershed which supplies drinking water to nine million New Yorkers.  Special thanks to Dan Frisch at Daniel Frisch Architecture and Dan Allen at Allen + Killcoyne Architects for bringing this partnership to Riverkeeper.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ongoing Sewage Discharge at Beacon Harbor Poses Public Health Risk

water quality header

View as webpage

Water Quality Notification:

Ongoing Sewage Discharge at Beacon Harbor Poses Public Health Risk
Beacon discharge sewage spill
Water flowing out of spillway and into the harbor.

Raw sewage is flowing into the Beacon Harbor from a pipe at the northeastern corner of the Harbor. Discovered by a member of the public on Saturday, September 17, the discharge has been flowing for at least 10 days.  Riverkeeper sampled the discharge and strongly advises members of the public to avoid contact with the water in Beacon Harbor until the cause of the discharge has been determined and testing confirms that water quality has returned to acceptable levels.

Riverkeeper’s Patrol Boat was on its monthly water quality patrol when the report of the spill was called in to us on Sept. 17. Lipscomb reported the discharge to the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) through its 24-hour dispatch number on Sunday Sept. 18. Riverkeeper also notified the Beacon Harbormaster and Beacon Pool staff.

Boat Captain John Lipscomb returned to the harbor on Friday the 23rd to investigate the discharge, found the discharge was still flowing, and sampled for sewage contamination.  The sample taken directly at the discharge pipe hit the limits of Riverkeeper’s on board lab system at >24,196 Enterococcus per 100/ml. That is more than 397 times greater than the EPA guideline for acceptable water quality - 61 Enterococcus per 100/ml.

Beacon discharge sewage spill map

The Public Has the Right to Know about Sewage in our Waterways

New York State and Dutchess County have no laws that require public notification of a sewage discharge into public waterways such as this, even when the discharge is in an area where the public is known to come into direct contact with the water. Riverkeeper is currently working with State Senator Adriano Espaillat to pass a Sewage Right to Know Law for New York State that will require public notification of all sewage discharges into our waterways. Eleven other states currently have sewage notification laws and some New York counties have one, or are in the process of adopting one.


Monday, September 26, 2011

October 21, 2011 is Don’t Drill the Delaware Day!

Riverkeeper Event

Save the Date! Fracking Call to Action – October 21

Fracking demonstration

View more images on our Flickr site

October 21, 2011: 10:00AM to 12:00PM
Patriots Theater at the War Memorial, 1 Memorial Drive Trenton, N.J. map

For over three years, environmental groups have been fighting to protect the Delaware River Watershed from pollution from toxic gas drilling; 69,800 people filed comments with the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) during the comment period on their draft natural gas development regulations, breaking all past records of public interest. In August, Riverkeeper filed a lawsuit along with other environmental groups seeking to stop the DRBC from moving ahead with these inadequate regulations without completing environmental studies required by federal law.

But now the DRBC has scheduled a special meeting from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm on October 21, 2011 at the War Memorial in Trenton, NJ to “consider adoption of the regulations”, which would lift the current moratorium on gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin. This would allow fracking to begin in areas of the Basin where the state has given the go ahead (Pennsylvania currently allows fracking; New York will not allow fracking at least until the completion of its fracking environmental impact statement). The DRBC gas drilling regulations would pose a major threat to the New York City Watershed, as the Basin area currently provides 50 percent of the clean, unfiltered drinking water that nine million New Yorkers depend on daily.

If you want to make a statement about gas drilling and fracking in the Delaware River Watershed, come stand with us on October 21 in Trenton. This is our chance to stand together and insist on protecting our water!

The members of the DRBC – the Governors of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware and the Army Corps of Engineers as the federal representative – will decide the future of this Basin, the Wild and Scenic Delaware River, and the water supply for over 15 million people regionally with their action on October 21. We need to tell them “Don’t Drill the Delaware!”

We will be sending more information on how to get to this hearing and other logistics in October. In the meantime, please mark your calendars and plan to make your voices heard on October 21!

October 21, 2011 is Don’t Drill the Delaware Day!

More information

Sunday, September 25, 2011




Risks to human health are present at every step of the hydraulic fracturing gas extraction process. This includes the potential for contamination of drinking water sources through surface spills, well casing failures, blowouts, and other events, migration of drilling and fracking fluids during drilling or fracking or over time to ground water sources and aquifers through naturally occurring fissures, well blow-outs and well casing failures, noise and VAD (Vibro-Acoustic Disease), radioactive contamination and air contamination by emissions from venting, pipeline leaks, compressor stations and the intense truck traffic required over each well’s life-cycle.

Despite these known hazards, the oil and gas industry is exempt from important provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and other federal environmental laws. The absence of federal regulatory oversight has left it up to individual states to regulate this industry and adequately enforce those regulations.


Many of the chemicals used in the fracking process are proven toxins. These include benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene, naphthalene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, methanol, formaldehyde, ethylene glycol, glycol ethers, hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, and others, which are hazardous if inhaled, ingested, or contacted by the skin and are considered caustic, carcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic. Of the hundreds of chemicals tested by Endocrine Disruption Exchange, they report that 93% of them affect health and 43% are endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors are man-made chemicals that, when absorbed into the body, mimic hormones or block hormones and disrupt the body’s normal function. They have been linked to infertility, ADHD, autism, diabetes, thyroid disorders. Even childhood and adult cancers have been found to be linked to fetal exposure to endocrine disruptors.

In addition to the chemicals used in fracking, the wastewater that is a byproduct of the drilling process picks up salts, naturally occurring radioactive material, barium, magnesium and various other volatile organic compounds, which are also carcinogenic. It has been definitively concluded that the wastewater contains radioactivity and other toxic materials at levels that are frequently geometrically higher than the level that federal regulators say is safe for wastewater treatment plants to handle.


Exposure to any one or to combinations of this very long list of toxins carries adverse health effects that are also well known and include virtually every system of the body. Known adverse health effects include neurological, pulmonary, gastroenterological, dermatological, immunological, hematological, endocrinological, ophthalmological, reproductive, and genetic illnesses and abnormalities. Intense or chronic exposure to some of these toxins and combinations of toxins can result in death.

The time course for manifestation of illness related to the toxins associated with gas drilling may be months, years, or decades. Environment-related cancers can take 15 to 30 years to develop. In Louisiana, where the petroleum industry is well established, parts of the state are called "cancer alley" as a result of higher lung, liver and other cancers associated with the industry.


Contrary to the hard evidence, the drilling industry loudly proclaims that toxic exposures to those living near drilling sites, downwind from drilling sites, and downstream from drilling sites do not take place. This follows a pattern by other industries, such as the cigarette industry, to deny very obvious health consequences of using their “product”. In the 1970s the inhabitants of Love Canal finally succeeded in attracting attention to their plight only when they invited state and federal officials to visit their homes and to expose themselves to the noxious smells and visible chemical vapors and fumes that choked their throats and burned their eyes.


Crystal Stroud was a woman in good health before drilling began. She then started to experience loss of hair, tremors, heart palpitations, stomach cramps, loss of balance and slurred speech – symptoms often described by people at other drilling sites around the country. After a thorough investigation it was found that she had barium poisoning, which is extremely rare except for people who work and live near industrial sites. Her well water was tested and found to be contaminated with levels of barium, chloride, strontium, manganese, lead, methane, radiological material, and radon. Her health improved somewhat when she stopped drinking her water.

In Dish, Texas, Mayor Calvin Tillman reports that air pollution from drilling has ruined the quality of life for residents. They report problems with nausea, headaches, breathing difficulties, chronic eye and throat irritation and brain disorders. Results from a study by an environmental firm hired by the town and the Texas Railroad Commission found high levels of multiple chemicals used in fracking fluid, including benzene, toluene and xylene arsenic, barium, chromium, lead and selenium in residential water wells. Given the absence of such symptoms prior to drilling and with no other reasonable source of contamination identified, these findings point to inadequate containment of drilling associated toxins, resulting in correlated adverse health effects.

A recent study from Duke University confirms one plausible mechanism for exposure and adverse health effects related to drilling by demonstrating a significant increase of methane levels in the water supplies of communities near drilling sites. It is incumbent on our elected officials not to ignore this and other strong and compelling evidence and instead to use it to protect us from the dire consequences of unsafe gas drilling using hydrofracking. We cannot proceed blindly, compromising the quality of our water, air, and soils and significantly and negatively impact the health of our citizens for decades.

Prepared by Catskill Mountainkeeper,;; 845 482-5400

Friday, September 23, 2011

Noteworthy Dates



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The frackers are coming!

rvk banner 2010

Gas Drilling Fracktured Farmland

Photo courtesy Jay Simpson

The frackers are coming! And, they are intent on drilling and leaving behind a trail of destruction. In every state where high-volume fracking has been allowed, the result has been polluted water, dirty air and an industrialized, blighted landscape.

The fracking threat is real and imminent. Albany is gearing up to start permitting as early as April of next year despite the fact that the State admits it’s too short-staffed to handle fracking and that current, 40-year-old regulations must be substantially overhauled. If drilling is allowed to go forward under these conditions, we can kiss our world-class water supply goodbye and it will have grave repercussions for generations to come.

Riverkeeper is determined to stop this and will sue if state officials follow through with their plan to allow fracking before the necessary and proper safeguards are in place.

This is where we need you. With your financial support, Riverkeeper can take the steps to get Governor Cuomo’s attention and make sure he gets this critical issue right. Become a Riverkeeper member with a gift of $40 or more and you’ll make a direct and positive impact on your environment, the health of your drinking water, and the fight against fracking.

Thank you for supporting Riverkeeper’s efforts to protect our precious drinking water resources. With your help, we’ll make sure that nobody fracks with New York’s water!

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Paul Gallay signature

Paul Gallay
President and Hudson Riverkeeper

Join NowRiverkeeper is a member-supported watchdog organization dedicated to defending the Hudson River and its tributaries and protecting the drinking water supply of nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents. Contribute to this vital work, become a member today.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Japanese Form of Fly Fishing Gains Fans in the U.S.


James Card

Misako Ishimura with a Japanese tenkara rod in Arkansas. She began fly fishing in the Catskills in 1989.

Published: September 15, 2010
  • CROOKED CREEK, Ark. — Misako Ishimura waded knee deep into the current, the water temperature perfect for both swimming and soothing relief from the afternoon sun. But Ishimura, 58, had other things in mind as she swept back her rod and flicked the line upstream in a controlled, gentle cast. The soft-hackle fly dropped into the surface film and drifted near a rock undercut.

A shiver vibrated up the line, and Ishimura leaned back with her rod and brought in a scrappy longear sunfish. From a distance it appeared she was fly fishing in the usual style, but the long, supple rod that she cast had no reel, and the line did not run through guides. The line was knotted at the very tip of the rod and formed a direct connection between her and the fish.

That is the minimalist essence of tenkara, a form of traditional Japanese fly fishing that has begun to attract anglers in the United States.

Although the etymology is unclear, the name tenkara is thought to mean “from the sky” or “from heaven,” which may describe the situation from a trout’s point of view: a mayfly gently touches down on a coldwater stream, a free lunch from above. To the angler, the mayfly is an imitation on a hook and an effective and intimate way to connect with the fish.


Hurricane Irene Update: Good News for the Battenkill


Posted by: James Hathaway

Date: 09/19/11

We have received a lot of emails from readers concerned about trout populations in Vermont post-Irene. For the Battenkill, anyway, there is good news for anglers.

It is not often that Monday morning brings good news, so I was very pleased to get an email this morning from our local state representative here in Sunderland. She was forwarding me a report from Ken Cox, VT Fish & Wildlife Fisheries Biologist on the state of the Battenkill river post-Irene and the condition of habitat restoration Orvis funded a couple of years ago.

There is good news, indeed, and it's a fascinating read. Here is his letter in its entirety:

Subject: Status of Batten Kill post Irene
This message concerns how the Batten Kill has fared with Irene with respect to stream damages, habitat impacts, effects on habitat restoration, and trout populations.
Yesterday, Dan MacKinley, Scott Wixsom (both with the U.S. Forest Service, Green Mountain National Forest) and I inspected the lower Batten Kill which I define here as the VT 313 bridge by the Arlington recreation field downstream to the NY state line. Even though the river overtopped its banks inundating numerous locations throughout its floodplain, the river came through remarkably unscathed. Very little new bank erosion has occurred, most of the large wood habitat structures installed into the river since 2006 remain in place, and the riparian woodlands are intact. Overall conditions remain pretty much as they were prior to the flood, and we were unanimous in our conclusion that it is extremely unlikely that the recovering trout population experienced any setback as a result of the flood. If there is anything good to be said for the timing of Irene with respect to trout populations is that it occurred before the spawning season and the river substrate is loose and not overburdened with sediments. So, the prognosis for spawning and egg incubation success looks good pending “normal” winter and spring river conditions.
Being that the majority of habitat structures weathered this record flood event, we do not see any need to change their design and placement. There is no evidence that any of the large wood placed in the river resulted or contributed to damage to private property, roads and bridges. No doubt Irene caused much debris flow but most of this material appears to have originated from the Roaring Branch and Kelly Road washout. The new concrete arch bridge that replaced two old undersized culverts on Benedict Hollow Brook and designed to provide trout access to spawning habitat came through the flood fine and conducted water and any debris downstream without incident.
Dan, Scott and I attribute the ability of the Kill to come through the flood event so well to so much of the flood plain continuing to be accessible river overflow which allows the river to lose power that can be destructive to transportation infrastructure, personal property and stream and riparian habitat. Furthermore, much of the upper river flows through wetlands that have the ability to dissipate hydraulic energy, store water and capture excessive debris and sediments. Where trees remain on the river banks (which is the case throughout much of the river’s length) banks are held in place minimizing erosion and large debris is retained within the river corridor.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Fracking Clock is Ticking

The Fracking Clock is Ticking

Gas drilling credit:

Photo courtesy

Thank you for your ongoing support in the fight against the rush to fracking in New York State.  We are at a crossroads and the next few months are critical to how fracking will move forward here. Last week, the DEC released its revised fracking environmental impact statement and the clock began ticking on the public comment period.  That means we have less than 90 days to review and comment on draft regulations that the DEC will not even release until sometime in October.  In addition, DEC has still not committed to wait to begin permitting until regulations have been finalized.

Please take action today and tell Governor Cuomo and Joe Martens to stop the rush to fracking in New York.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

2011 Annual Fishing Newsletter

As you read through the Fishing Newsletter this year, you will notice the multitude and wide variety of activities and actions that Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) performs in order to provide quality fisheries and fishing opportunities to anglers. Every now and then it's worth stepping back and considering all these efforts within the context of the goals and objectives of the Fisheries Bureau. Quality fishing can only be accomplished through successful fish management, protection of the aquatic habitats upon which the fish depend, and access to our public waters.

Our two primary goals for fish management are very straight forward:

  1. Provide a diversity of quality angling opportunities through management of self-sustaining wild fisheries and the responsible use of hatchery-reared fish; and
  2. Protect, maintain, and restore native fish populations, life cycles, and genetic diversity and continue to provide angling opportunities whenever possible.

For the most part, we seek to maintain wild fisheries in streams and rivers and lakes wherever conditions allow. Hatchery fish are typically stocked in lakes and reservoirs where natural reproduction is lacking or where fishing pressure is high and there is a demand for greater angling opportunities.

You will notice in the write-ups of the hatcheries that the western hatcheries provide most of the trout and salmon to our lakes, while the eastern hatcheries at Miles City and Fort Peck provide most of our walleye and northern pike. You may be interested to read about some of our more recent unique efforts at hatcheries to produce redband trout and channel catfish along with our successful importation of tiger muskies. Our hatcheries also provide an increased role in helping with native species management. The Miles City Hatchery helps produce pallid sturgeon to help with recovery efforts of this endangered species, while the Yellowstone, Washoe Park and Murray Springs hatcheries play vital roles in cutthroat trout restoration efforts. Cutthroat restoration efforts sometimes include the need for chemical (rotenone) rehabilitation. In 2010, several notable projects are described, including Cherry Creek in Region 3, Sage Creek in Region 5 and Blossom Lake and the South Fork Flathead projects in Region 1.

Of course all fish management efforts would be much more difficult were it not for the efforts of our fish habitat section, where the primary goals are:

  1. Preserve and protect aquatic habitats;
  2. Restore and enhance degraded habitats; and
  3. Restore and maintain adequate water flow in streams and satisfactory water levels in lakes and reservoirs.

This is why you will see write-ups of the many habitat enhancement projects our biologists conducted this past year. You will find that we have been involved in significant efforts in the Bitterroot, Blackfoot, Big Hole, Red Rock, Jefferson, and Tongue rivers—to name a few! Much more can be found in this newsletter, including a discussion of our latest management plan (Upper Missouri Reservoirs—Canyon Ferry, Hauser and Holter) and descriptions of efforts to optimize balance fisheries opportunities on large and small reservoirs alike.

For more detail on the Fisheries Bureau's goals and programs and how our activities help us achieve those goals, visit us online where you will find a copy of the "Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Strategic Plan-The Road Ahead."

2011 Annual Fishing Newsletter

Download of the PDF file may take several minutes even with a HIGH SPEED connection.

2011 Annual Fishing Newsletter

Pages 1–56
2010 Bison Regulations 2.8 MB
eBook Version

2010 Bison Regulations

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Personal History: Birth of an Angler


Posted by: Gordon M. Wickstrom  
Date: 09/15/11

Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado, just a few years before this story takes place.

It was after morning recess in Mrs. Winter’s sixth-grade class at Mapleton School in Boulder, Colorado. I remember the moment precisely, when the boy behind me, right in the middle of the lesson, leaned over his desk and my shoulder to whisper in my ear that if I’d take a nickel down to Woolworth's at Broadway and Pearl, I could buy this fishing “thing” with which I could catch lots of fish out at East Dagues Lake.
There’s no way for me to explain why my imagination was so immediately galvanized, if not downright obsessed. I could think of nothing else the rest of the day. And that was strange because I knew nothing of fishing. My father had never fished; though assorted of my uncles sort of had, and one of those had taken me at the tender age of five, out to Johnson’s Trout Farm, where I was allowed to pull out a lot of pan-size rainbow stockers.
But that was the extent of it. Granted that, as a small boy, I had doted on what was to be known as Goose Creek and is now lost under melancholy development. It was a lovely, small brook flowing east along the other side of this great old hill. There I could chase garter snakes, watch minnows and red-winged blackbirds, and generally dream away an afternoon with the sandwich my grandmother had made me.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Elwha River Dam Removal to Make History this Saturday


September 13, 2011 | Dams & Dam Removal, Restoring Rivers

Amy Souers Kober
Senior Director of Communications

elwha river - just down from the dam
Elwha River in the gorge just downstream of Elwha Dam. Photo by Thomas O'Keefe.

We’re making history this Saturday. That’s when the biggest dam removal ever begins on Washington’s Elwha River.

It’s a major river restoration effort, and the world will be watching. It isn’t every day we get to celebrate a success like this. But starting Saturday, we’ll get to witness a river coming back to life before our eyes.

This isn’t just about tearing down a couple old dams. It’s about restoring the soul of this river, and the culture of a people.

Here’s a quick Q&A to help you appreciate why this river restoration effort, during The Year of the River, is so special.

Where is the Elwha River?




Another Big Reason Why Fracking is Wrong for New York State

Learn the Facts and Take Action Now

For the past two weeks disastrous flooding has overwhelmed our region. Imagine the catastrophe that would have taken place if the floodwaters that raged through our communities carried the waste from hydraulic fracking. Not only would the waters have destroyed everything in their path, the residue would have left highly dangerous toxic chemicals and radioactivity. On top of the damage and suffering we have already experienced, we would also be dealing with the health impact of the poisoning of our water, land and air.

Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is experiencing horrible and dangerous conditions that create important lessons for us in New York. This picture of a flooded wellpad in Pennsylvania is triggering the very threats that we have outlined above.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) proposes to ban well pad development in 100 year floodplains, but there’s a critical catch – they acknowledge that the flood maps are out of date, have been unreliable in the past, will not be updated until late 2012 after permitting is proposed to begin – and we all know first hand that 100 year floods are now happening in places they never have before.   

Lastly, the dSGEIS was released after much of the recent rains and floods – and after the Governor and the DEC toured many of the affected areas. In the face of this graphic illustration of the threats of flooding and fracking the report was still rushed out to meet an artificial deadline and not withheld until this new data could be included as logic, sensibility and caution would dictate. As a result there is not a single reference to recent 2011 storm events in the entire dSGEIS, even in the section entitled “Analysis of Recent Flood Events”.   In fact this section of the report that deals with the potentially most serious issue related to fracking is ONLY 2 PARAGRAPHS and only references floods from 2004 and 2006 in one sentence.  Prior to Hurricane Irene there have been at least six deaths in the Sullivan County area in past five years blamed on flooding (see "Flooding is Deadly as County Gets Drenched" Sullivan County Democrat, October 5, 2010).  This willful attempt by the DEC to ignore the most critical issue around fracking is shameful.

Green-lighting fracking now and under the conditions proposed by the DEC will create a runaway train. Six months or a year from now when it becomes all too clear that New York is becoming the next Pennsylvania, it will be too late! The New York Times said Monday that the Governor’s administration “must not rush the process of creating detailed regulations that will be crucial to reducing risks to the environment.”

At this point, the only way to prevent being railroaded is to rally public opinion and let the Governor and the DEC know that New Yorkers do not want to repeat the tragic mistakes we have seen elsewhere and do not want to endanger our families’ health. 

The link between fracking and increased rates of asthma, infertility, ADHD, autism, diabetes, thyroid disorders, brain disorders, many types of cancer and other health conditions is documented, real and what you will be facing.

Based on extensive study and scientific evidence, Catskill Mountainkeeper has called for a ban on fracking because there is no safe way to do it. Nonetheless, we are working as hard as we can within the existing process to raise critical issues, pursue the best options available and widen the discussion of the impacts of drilling.

With each passing day the importance of acting right away becomes more urgent – so please act today:

1. Forward this message to your friends, family and neighbors and ask them to forward it on. Get educated, especially about the health issues and threats.  Please use the Catskill Mountainkeeper website as a resource.

2. Help us obtain signatures by health professionals to a letter asking the Governor and DEC Commissioner to rectify the omission of the study of human health impacts in the dSGEIS.  For full text of the letter click here; if you are a health professional click here to sign on.

3.  Sign our petition to ask Governor Cuomo and DEC Commissioner Martens to extend the comment period to 180 days.

4.  Commit to going to as many of the public hearings as possible so that the force of our numbers will help the Governor see that New Yorkers don’t want dangerous fracking.  We will notify you when the dates and locations are announced.  

5.  Call President Obama TODAY at 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414 to tell him to reinstate the Safe Drinking Water Act and that you do not want Fracking. If the phone lines get jammed, send him a message here

6. Help Catskill Mountainkeeper to continue to help you. Leading this fight is an expensive undertaking.  In addition to travel, research, staff time and public outreach we are now gearing up for the legal fight, the next step. Please give generously.

or mail a check to:  Catskill Mountainkeeper, PO Box 381, Youngsville, NY 12791


About Catskill Mountainkeeper
Catskill Mountainkeeper is an independent, not for profit, 501c3 community based environmental advocacy organization, dedicated to creating a flourishing sustainable economy in the Catskills and preserving and protecting the area's long term health. We address issues of water integrity for the Delaware and Susquehanna River Systems, the defense of the vast woodlands that encompass the Catskill Forest Preserve and the New York City Watershed as well as farmland protection. We promote "smart" development that balances the economic needs and concerns of the Catskill regions' citizens and the protection of our abundant but exceedingly vulnerable natural resources.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Trout Survival After the Floods


Posted by: Drew Price  

Date: 09/12/11




Vermont's Williams River Raging

When you see a trout stream transformed into a frightening, raging torrent—as the
Williams River was—you have to wonder how a trout could survive such power.

photo by Len Emery

My home state of Vermont was recently ravaged by flooding from the rains of Tropical Storm Irene. Tiny creeks became rushing torrents, midsize rivers hit record levels, and the state’s largest rivers flowed over parts of their floodplains that rarely see water. The devastating impacts of this flooding on the residents of the Green Mountain State have been widely broadcast, and recovery will take a great deal of time. I wondered about the impacts of this flooding on the local fisheries, so I began to research what happens to fish during floods.

Eminently Adaptable
Fish are incredibly adaptable animals. Stream-dwelling trout, for example, live in an environment that has a tendency to change a fair amount. Spring flooding is part of the normal cycle for these and other animals, and they have learned to make it through this annual event for millennia. A flash-flood event is somewhat similar, albeit far more abrupt.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Better Way To Save Your Catch

Sketch and Release logoSketch and Release, You catch it, We sketch it

Unique Fish Portraits by Josi Etter

Here is the alternative to a plastic mount of your fish. The modern way of fish taxidermy: Have Your fish painted!!!

From your photograph or description we create an original and unique watercolor painting of your fish.

Send us your fish photograph...

Photograph of Salmon

...and we create an exact life-size replica:

FWP schedules fishing reg meetings across Montana


Proposed fishing regulation changes for 2012-15 will be the topic of a series of open houses held by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks this week and next.

The changes, which would go into effect March 1, 2012, include regulations in the Western, Central and Eastern fishing districts. Details on the proposals are available for review on the FWP website at Click "Proposed Fishing Regulations for 2012-2015".

Locations, dates and times for the open houses include:

  • Glasgow - Sept. 7, 7-9 p.m.: Cottonwood Inn, Highway 2 E.;
  • Hamilton - Sept. 7, 6-9 p.m.: USDA Forest Service Office, 1801 North 1st St.;
  • Billings - Sept. 8, 7-9 p.m.: FWP Region 5 Headquarters, 2300 Lake Elmo Dr.;
  • Havre - Sept. 8, 7-9 p.m.: Duck Inn; 1300 First St.;
  • Missoula - Sept. 8, 6-9 p.m.: FWP Region 2 Headquarters, 3201 Spurgin Rd.;
  • Helena - Sept. 12, 7-9 p.m.: Montana Wild Outdoor Learning Center, off Hwy 12/Euclid at 2668 Broadwater Ave.;
  • Plentywood - Sept. 12, 7-9 p.m.: Sheridan County Library, 100 W. Laurel Ave.;
  • Darby - Sept. 14, 6-9 p.m.: Community Clubhouse, 106 N. Main St.;
  • Miles City - Sept. 14, 7-9 p.m.: Miles City Community College, 2715 Dickinson St.;
  • Bozeman - Sept. 15, 7-9 p.m.: FWP Region 3 Headquarters, 1400 S. 19th St.;
  • Great Falls - Sept 15, 7-9 p.m.: Region 4 Headquarters, 4600 Giant Springs Rd.

Comments must be received by Sept. 19. Send comments by mail to: 2012-15 Fishing Regulations; FWP Fisheries Bureau, P.O. Box 200701; Helena, MT 59601.

The FWP Commission will take final action on the proposals on Oct. 13 in Helena. For more information, contact your nearest FWP office or call Don Skaar at 406-444-7409.

NY seeks stop to wild hogs; may ban captive hunts

NY seeks stop to wild hogs; may ban captive hunts

APBy MARY ESCH - Associated Press | AP – 20 hrs ago
  • In this Aug. 24, 2011 photo, feral hogs walk in a holding pen at Easton View Outfitters in Valley Falls, N.Y. Wildlife officials in New York are devising a strategy to stop wild hogs from proliferating to the point where they’re impossible to eradicate, as they’ve become in southern states where roaming droves have devastated crops and wildlife habitat with their rooting, wallowing and voracious foraging. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

    In this Aug. 24, 2011 photo, feral hogs walk in a holding pen at Easton View Outfitters …

  • In this Aug. 24, 2011 photo, a feral hog walks in a holding pen at Easton View Outfitters in Valley Falls, N.Y. Wildlife officials in New York are devising a strategy to stop wild hogs from proliferating to the point where they’re impossible to eradicate, as they’ve become in southern states where roaming droves have devastated crops and wildlife habitat with their rooting, wallowing and voracious foraging. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

    In this Aug. 24, 2011 photo, a feral hog walks in a holding pen at Easton View Outfitters …

VALLEY FALLS, N.Y. (AP)Wildlife officials in New York may ban captive boar hunts as they try to curb a growing feral hog population before it gets as bad as it is in Southern states, where roaming droves have devastated crops and wildlife habitat with their rooting, wallowing and voracious foraging.

Feral swine are breeding in three counties in central New York, according to a federal study done last year with funding from New York's Invasive Species Council. The wild population statewide is likely in the hundreds , said Gordon Batcheller, head of the state Department of Environmental Conservation's Bureau of Wildlife.

That's small compared with Texas, where biologists estimate the feral hog population at around 2 million, but Batcheller said any number is bad because they're certain to multiply. Damage becomes more noticeable when the population reaches the thousands and the hogs stake out home territories rather than wandering widely.

Eurasian wild boars have become popular on private hunting ranches throughout the U.S. in recent years as an addition to deer and elk. Ranch owners deny they're the source of the free-roaming pigs, but Patrick Rusz, director of wildlife programs for the Michigan Wildlife Conservancy, said the animals started showing up in the wild soon after hunting preserves began importing them. Their distribution is clustered near preserves, he added.

"We're not talking about Porky Pig getting loose from the farm," Rusz said. "These are Russian wild boars. Those animals are Houdini-like escape artists and they breed readily in the wild. We've had domestic pigs for centuries and never had a feral hog problem until the game ranches started bringing these in." READ MORE:


Wyoming's Elk season opens with herds flush near Jackson


Associated Press | Posted: Saturday, September 10, 2011 4:20 pm


BOB ZELLAR/Gazette Staff

Elk hunting begins south of Jackson for those who hold special licenses for cow and calves. Most other areas around the Jackson Hole open Sept. 26

JACKSON — Elk rifle season begins with regulations focusing hunters on herds that don't face predators while protecting wapiti migrating from Yellowstone and the Teton Wilderness to avoid a future license lottery.

Hunting begins south of Jackson in the Fall Creek Herd for those who hold special licenses for cow and calf elk. Most other areas around the Jackson Hole valley open Sept. 26, when hunters will largely target branch-antlered elk in the Jackson Herd.

Read more:

Check station discovers zebra mussels on trailer



Juvenile zebra mussels were discovered on vegetation on a Billings boat trailer at a watercraft check station on Fort Peck Reservoir on Aug. 27.

Zebra mussels are a small, nonnative freshwater mollusk that have been invading rivers, lakes and streams across the nation. They are prolific breeders; each female mussel can produce up to a million eggs a year.

Eileen Ryce, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ Aquatic Nuisance Program coordinator, said Valley County’s traveling inspection station was set up at the Duck Creek fishing access site south of Glasgow when the vessel was examined.

Read more: