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  1. #1
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    Decree states about to ratify new FFMP

    I was up at FUDR's Water, Water Everywhere annual conference at the West Branch Angler Resort on Wednesday. All 5 Decree parties sent their representatives which was great, and those of us there had unfettered access to them all day to ask questions, discuss concerns, etc. If you haven't been following along, the new plan will be an improvement over the old one and allows for new studies to help end the ridiculous yo-yo flows we have all grown to hate. Turns out, they dislike them as well, but need to create better mechanisms to avoid those dreaded 1,000 cfs increase/decrease in 10 hour periods.

    Here were the bullet points they shared:

    10+ year term with 2 phases (5 + 5) expiring in 2028

    Montague and Trenton flow objectives: same as old FFMP in 1st Phase

    Diversions: NJ 100/100/90/80 MGD available for 5+/5 years; NY (city) unchanged

    Spill Mitigation: Increased maximum void target (15% up from 10%) and extended L1b release periods

    Thermal Bank: 2,500 cfs- days, directed by NYSDEC

    Rapid Drawdown Bank: 1,000 cfs - days, automatically activated

    Release Tables: Improved allocation of FAW, higher releases for East Branch and Neversink


    So some improvements for certain, but never enough for our likes. But they truly seem to want to end yo-yo releases as the federally endangered dwarf wedge mussels keep getting exposed in the Lordville area every time they suddenly cut back flows out of Cannonsville. That and the local mayors are screaming at the way that yo-yo flows negatively impact eco tourism and hurts the local economies. Making this a full 10 year plan allows states to make better, longer term plans for water supply for their citizens that rely on the drinking water from upstate. It also sets benchmarks for studies to move flows further ecologically in time. Having science and not murky, backroom deals drive the process would be nice. It seems to be moving more in that direction. Big Spinner was there as well, and maybe he'll weigh in as well on his observations.


    My apologies for a real post; now back to fishing for pikes.

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  4. #2
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    flyI4 is offline Fishizzle, I use worms but I'm looking to upgrade!
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    Re: Decree states about to ratify new FFMP

    The thermal bank was a big thing that we needed added and I'm glad to see we will get that. It doesnt need to be perfect temps but its important to be able to ensure the trout get some protection when temps approach lethal levels. The yo yo flows have arguably been the biggest issue to the trout because for give or take 5 years straight now we have left the fish (and their reds) on the rocks during the fall spawn when montague related releases suddenly get cut due to downstream rain hitting and then the wb drops to 150-300 cfs in a matter of hours. It definitely caused us to lose nearly an entire year class of fish last year as evidenced by the lack of small fish on the wb this year. Stilesville going from 1500-150 in late october will do that. If anything, it would be better if we kept the wb low all fall so that the fish spawned in areas that are sure to be covered by water under even the lowest conditions. But montague target and historically low flows in sept prevent that. Did they explain how much higher the east branch flow targets are? I get pepacton is the crown jewel but an extra 50cfs there makes a huge difference and is a drop in the bucket in terms of volume/pepacton capacity. Seeing that river at 60-90cfs just makes you sick.

    Thanks for sharing Brian.

    JC


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    Re: Decree states about to ratify new FFMP

    Quote Originally Posted by flyI4 View Post
    The yo yo flows have arguably been the biggest issue to the trout because for give or take 5 years straight now we have left the fish (and their reds) on the rocks during the fall spawn when montague related releases suddenly get cut due to downstream rain hitting and then the wb drops to 150-300 cfs in a matter of hours. It definitely caused us to lose nearly an entire year class of fish last year as evidenced by the lack of small fish on the wb this year.
    I noticed that as well and was wondering about it. Last two years in fact, I've caught very few dinks and the average size of fish has gone up into the very high teens - which seems like a good thing, but I suppose means there's an imbalance in the fish population. Thanks for explaining that


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    Re: Decree states about to ratify new FFMP

    I'm also curious about higher release on the Neversink. Under FFMP, the Neversink @ Bridgeville usually runs at around 140 in July/August (unless there's a rainstorm...). You'll usually see temps peak at around 72(ish) under those conditions. If the river was pumping 210 it would probably stay in the strike zone...

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    Re: Decree states about to ratify new FFMP

    JC, no, they just alluded to more water in those two systems is all. I'm a bit surprised an announcement hasn't been made that it is fully ratified and signed, but we heard they are working out wording issues and that the bulk of the deal was agreed to. I know the 15% voids surprised many. And I know that groups like FUDR and TU and others wanted to see more thermal bank protection, but it is something. It's always weird that all we ever needed to do was to put back the leaky valve in Cannonsville and 90% of our issues would be resolved.

    But I do see steps in the right direction and finally we are seeing science being applied instead of scoffed at. But time will tell how far DeBlasioville will allow flows to go away from the Big Apple.

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    Re: Decree states about to ratify new FFMP

    All improvements except the 15% void. The void, in my opinion is what has greatly contributed to heavy siltation in the WB. Prior to the voids, which in reality, are totally useless and just a bone to the flood groups, we would get the springtime flush and alewive dump when the reservoir thawed. Since the implementation of the voids, it just does not happen. Last year was an anomaly. I get it to appease the flood people, but the timing of the voids should be changed. The WB needs that annual spring flush of high water and the fish certainly benefit from that slug of alewive protein, especially the post spawn bows.


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    Re: Decree states about to ratify new FFMP

    Quote Originally Posted by jchtrout1 View Post
    All improvements except the 15% void. The void, in my opinion is what has greatly contributed to heavy siltation in the WB. Prior to the voids, which in reality, are totally useless and just a bone to the flood groups, we would get the springtime flush and alewive dump when the reservoir thawed. Since the implementation of the voids, it just does not happen. Last year was an anomaly. I get it to appease the flood people, but the timing of the voids should be changed. The WB needs that annual spring flush of high water and the fish certainly benefit from that slug of alewive protein, especially the post spawn bows.
    Agreed and it is the reason we are seeing a lot more burrowers like green drakes on the West these days.

    A sinking fly is closer to Hell - ​Unknown

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