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Old 04-22-2012, 04:17 PM
fire instructor fire instructor is offline
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Location: Upstate NY (Albany Area)
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Default Re: West Canada River- NY

I honestly don't know enough about it as a fishery. I only fished there once, many years ago, before I took-up fly-fishing.

However, with my work hat on (I am Chief of Training & Exercise for NY State Office of Emergency Management), I can tell you that Hinkley Reservoir water release has been a huge political hot-potato in at least 2 or 3 of the last 10 years, with local battles between the Canal Authority, the power producer (Brookfield?)), the county water authority, and several other parties. This has resulted in State Drought Taskforce Meetings, Legislative Hearings, and a handful of legal actions and other administrative and media vulgarities.

As it was explained to me (and I'm not 100% read-into the matter), the ultimate water rights belong first to the power producer, then the Canal Authority, and only THEN to the Water Authority, however the water authority is rapidly expanding and seems to need more and more water every year. So the fishery and the other recreational users, both above and below the dam, are the ones who suffer....

At least twice in the last few years, water levels dropped in late Summer to the point that boat owners couldn't get their mud-bound boats out. One year (2008 or '09?) it happened before Labor Day, and vacation property owners who usually pull boats and docks on Labor Day Weekend were left high and dry.

As the power producer and the Canal Authority draw off water for their purposes, the water level drops to the point that the Water Authority intakes can no longer be safely and effectively supplied. So in the end, it also becomes a health and safety issue....
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