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Old 12-26-2019, 08:28 PM   #1
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West Canada Creek In Shambles

I usually make it out to the year round catch-and-release trophy section of the West Canada a few times each winter, and gave it a try today--my first time since the Halloween storm that devastated so many homes a bit downstream. Suffice it say that that stretch is an absolute wreck! Case in point--there's a particularly hard to access spot I've always enjoyed drudging to with probably a 100 ft. long "island" with numerous trees--well that whole island is gone!! The starting point at Trenton Falls has been completely transformed as well. I'm no fish biologist, but with such an upheaval of every square inch of the creek bed, its hard to imagine much spawning success from last fall, let alone the survival of very many fish from such a torrent. I'm not sure if the DEC has any plans to help that stretch recover, but I hope they come up with something.

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Old 12-27-2019, 06:26 PM   #2
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I feel like this happened to a lot of creeks when Irene happened back in 2011 and several streams really went downhill for fishing several years afterwards.
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Old 12-29-2019, 11:50 AM   #3
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The scouring of the stream bottom dramatically (negatively) effect the insect life in the stream and all the other micro organisms for that matter. Without the bottom of the food chain the fish haven't got a chance. Will take several years for everything to return. But it will, nature is good that way.
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Old 12-29-2019, 12:05 PM   #4
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Somewhat tangentially related- given that scouring is a natural process and nearly all Adirondack rivers are subjected to it at least occasionally:

In some (rare) instances, entire ecosystems have developed that are actually dependent on frequent (annual) river scouring- particularly by ice in the winter/spring. The Hudson River Ice Meadows near Warrensburg are an excellent example of this. In particular, some very rare plant species are entirely reliant on scouring. Within NY State especially, these species are only found in a small number of spots where rivers are subjected to frequent scouring.

In a way, frequently scoured ice meadows aren't too dissimilar from the alpine zones in the High Peaks- in their total combined size, in their dependence on climatic conditions that would normally be viewed as an "obstacle to life," and as well as the threats these ecosystems face from human impacts:
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Old 12-30-2019, 01:09 PM   #5
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Erosion and siltation kills streams
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Old 12-31-2019, 10:34 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by St.Regis View Post
Erosion and siltation kills streams
But they are natural processes, if you prevent mass wasting in one part of a stream, you will exacerbate it in another part. Often, the scour results in a more complex stream morphology that, when everything recovers a few years down the road, provides better habitat for both the fish and the inverts.
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Old 01-01-2020, 02:28 PM   #7
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I should have clarified that the source of the erosion and sediment that is caused by human disturbances is the problem. Clearing land for development and farming without proper e/s controls, lack of sufficient stream buffers/bank cover, loss of floodplains and low lying wetlands lead to uncontrolled runoff of pollutants and sediments that kill streams. Those are not natural processes
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Old 01-02-2020, 11:41 AM   #8
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But this post deals with catastrophic damage caused by an unusually large and intense rain storm, not the " slower death" that occurs from plowing right to the bank of the stream, or applying excess pesticides and fertilizers, as 2 examples. Likely there was damage from poor practices, as New Yorkers have a true talent for building in floodplains where the home rule localities sees an opportunity to maximize tax revenues, but the original, poster was talking about mass wasting brought about by too much water too fast, which I can attest was what the Halloween storm was, as I was out in it all day up in Pulaski, just the other side of the Tug Hill from WCC.
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Old 01-07-2020, 03:00 PM   #9
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re: WCC in shambles

That section by Trenton Falls bridge was altered heavily years before Irene hit in 2011 even. Used to make a nice curve to the right going downstream with a nice deep hole where I used to catch a LOT of big trout on dries. That whole piece was a nice tail-out pool, and fishing was great from the western bank, then it became almost straight line current to the larger pool down below, and much more difficult to wade fish from that side. The tree cover even got removed from a lot of the western shore from that flood almost 15 years ago and now you can easily see the power lines, when facing downstream, that were mostly hidden earlier.
WCC recovered from that flood, then recovered after Irene hit, and it will recover again after this storm eventually. For me, it just becomes a new game to figure out where the new trout lies are after each of these storms. Good Luck.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:27 PM   #10
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I fished Chittenango Creek the morning of the flood and caught a number of nice fish. The water was just a tad over 110 cfs. The following day it was as least 10 times that amount. I am also worried about the survival of any eggs deposited in redds since spawning was winding down. The water level dropped the next week and I had some decent fishing since. One pool used to have a huge tree across the stream that was carried downstream. At least for the moment the pool is better. Many of my favorite areas have been effected as well as some rather extensive hard (and expensive) work by the local TU group for the worse. Unfortunately, these weather event have been more frequent and powerful as of late - something that will likely continue...
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