The Delaware like you’ve never seen it

Take a virtual tour through river habitats with the UDC

Posted 2/27/24

NARROWSBURG, NY — It used to be that checking the health of a river meant taking samples from some sites and then extrapolating the findings to the rest of the stream.

This method is now …

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The Delaware like you’ve never seen it

Take a virtual tour through river habitats with the UDC


NARROWSBURG, NY — It used to be that checking the health of a river meant taking samples from some sites and then extrapolating the findings to the rest of the stream.

This method is now outdated. A new GPS technology used recently on the Upper Delaware River collects data continuously throughout the entire stream much more quickly and less expensively than the old sample-site method.

Over five days, a High-Definition Stream Survey (HDSS) was conducted along 80 miles of the Upper Delaware River to identify trout habitat and conservation opportunities. James Parham, director of research and development for Trutta Environmental Solutions, will deliver the presentation at the next meeting of the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 7.

Trutta conducted the survey in collaboration with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, PA Fish and Boat Commission, Trout Unlimited, and Friends of the Upper Delaware River. 

HDSS is expected to help decision-making while establishing a baseline for future impact assessments. It also supports the NY-PA Joint Fisheries Investigation Plan by providing continuous habitat insights unattainable through conventional methods.

The UDC’s monthly meeting to follow the presentation. It will include status reports from the Delaware River Basin Commission, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, National Park Service and the UDC executive director; discussion of old and new business; and public comment.

High-Definition Stream Survey, Upper Delaware River, trout, James Parham, Trutta Environmental Solutions, Upper Delaware Council, Narrowsburg, NY


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  • barnhllo

    No virtual tour can provide what my memory provides. Check out my REAL memory tour of the Delaware:


    The East Branch

    Early’s Eddy to the Beech Tree

    Reflections by Lloyd Barnhart…..2009

    Unlike my Beaverkill, I never really owned the Delaware;

    It was too far from me as a boy…farther as a man.

    My regular visits made me sort of a tenant:

    I got there often over the years; still visit whenever I can.

    My Grandfather Early first introduced me to the East Branch;

    Took me to the Beech Tree and initiated a lifelong affair

    With some of the finest fishing holes you have ever seen

    And the feisty smallmouths that can always be found there.

    It was at Beech Tree that I learned to collect natural bait,

    Catching crabs, hellgramites and stonecats as a boy.

    Grandpa didn’t just teach; he helped me learn.

    Days together on the river brought us both great joy.

    Beech Tree Eddy was/is pretty big water

    When compared with my Beaverkill, way upstream.

    There, the East Branch was both wide and deep:

    Difficult to fish…or so it would seem.

    But Grandpa taught me well over time,

    To read the flow and spot the rocks where bass could be found.

    Thanks to him…by the time I had become a young adult,

    I had acquired a knowledge of bass fishing that was fundamentally sound.

    With which I can turn a bucket of stonecats into a mess of bass,

    Reading pickup and line run that others might not see.

    I know when to let ‘em run…when to set the hook.

    On my best day at the Beech Tree, I caught 23.

    Over the years, many generations of our family, young and old

    Fished for bass from the same shoreline rock at the Beech Tree.

    As evidence thereof, Mom has a composite (calendar) photo

    Showing Brian and Aggie…Justin and me.

    We’re all sitting on the very same rock

    Where Grandpa Early often sat.

    With no photo of him on which to rely,

    I’ll resort to my memory for a picture of that.

    Just upstream from the Beech Tree Eddy,

    Smaller and swifter, is the City Brook Run.

    Bass there are scrappy….real fighters.

    They never failed to provide us with a great deal of fun.

    Fishing was different in the fast water there.

    Bait moved quickly…hits were hard…runs short.

    After hookset, the fast-moving water added to the fight.

    Game fish and strong current made for great sport.

    City Brook Run became Fred Davis’s personal honey hole.

    He liked to fish it downstream, from the upper end.

    Only rarely could I coax him to join me

    At the Beech Tree down round the next bend.

    Gerald, Francis and Russell once joined Larry and me

    For an afternoon of fishing at City Brook Run.

    We hammered the bass….the bass hammered back.

    Can’t remember how many we caught, but it sure was fun.

    Bass and fallfish were not the only creatures we encountered there.

    Unfortunately, there were/are snakes aplenty in/around City Brook.

    Grandpa Early once said, “If you are looking for a rattler,

    Upstream, by the railroad, is where you should look.”

    Upstream from City Brook, you’ll find Tar Hollow.

    It’s a big river hole…but quite easy to read.

    If ever I struck out at Beech Tree and City Brook,

    It was to Tar Hollow that I’d quickly proceed.

    Its upstream pool, fed by riffle and brook

    Held an abundance of smallmouths, feisty and fat.

    Then after a stepdown and slight bend in the flow

    Tar Hollow was a long river flat.

    Bass could be caught from one end to the other,

    From the white rock to the cool of the brook;

    At the stepdown, and on down through the flat,

    With the right size stonecat on the fisherman’s hook.

    Easily accessible, Tar Hollow is heavily fished,

    But I can’t recall ever striking out there.

    I never left Tar Hollow without fish on the string.

    Even a fair day’s fishing there was extremely rare.

    A photo of Justin and Brandon on my morning coffee mug

    Reminds me of fishing Tar Hollow with my Grandfather long, long ago.

    The picture shows the boys with a stringer of Tar Hollow bass

    Caught, as always, in the heat of summer with the water low.

    Typically Delaware, Tar Hollow yielded up more than bass.

    Larry and I caught good pickerel there…or were they pike?

    Fred and Justin often caught eels; We all caught fallfish.

    It was tough to tell what you had on the line when first feeling the strike.

    Gerald and I traveled to Tar Hollow several years back

    To find the water too high and too fast to even wade out.

    In desperation, Gerald tied on, of all things, an orange River Runt,

    And on two successive casts, caught two large brown trout!

    There’s more to the Delaware than Tar Hollow, Beech Tree and City Brook.

    Occasionally, we fished quite far upstream of our favorite three.

    Farthest up was Early’s Eddy, behind the Quickway rest stop.

    Although twice as big, it was much like the Beech Tree.

    Long and deep, Early’s could be tough to fish:

    Lots of wide flat water with an occasional rock.

    In character, it was much like the larger Peas Eddy,

    Way down the river, near the village of Hancock.

    The best rocks in Early’s were on the far side;

    To fish them, long casts were the order of the day.

    Here, we liked to use stonecats of a little larger size:

    Hook them on well…wind up and heave away.

    Big bass could be caught at Early’s, but never many.

    Catching them was tough…had to do everything right.

    Schulte and I discovered that when away from the rocks and into the shallows,

    More nice bass could be caught there, when fishing at night.

    Below Early’s, there are two river bend pools;

    Each dug out by a sharp drop and a right angle bend.

    Strong head end currents could move one’s line ahead of the bait,

    Requiring regular application of an upstream mend.

    First comes the Railroad Bend pool,

    Upstream from Fish Eddy along the right-of-way.

    Herzog and I had an experience there once:

    A perilous high-water crossing, we remember to this day!

    Downstream, below the Fishs Eddy bridge, was the Boathouse Bend,

    A place of bad memory for me….avoided for years.

    My cousin, Gary, had drowned there when we were just kids.

    Some 40 years later, I went back there with Larry to tackle my fears.

    As luck would have it, on his very first cast,

    Larry caught a huge bass, one of our best ever.

    Had I not gone there with him to fish that day,

    I probably would have avoided the Boathouse forever!

    I remember a day thereafter that Brian and I spent at the Boathouse:

    He was perched on what may well have been the offending ledge,

    That gave him a bird’s eye view of bait and bass.

    He saw pickup and run as he peered over the edge.

    “What do I do now, Dad?” He asked.

    “A nice big bass is running away with my bait.!”

    “Just watch your line,” said I, “To see when it stops.”

    “Then strike…strike hard, after a bit of a wait!”

    He observed closely as the drama unfolded.

    A lesson in bass fishing was never more easily learned.

    He was equipped thereafter for a lifetime of fun,

    After striking and landing a smallmouth, well earned.

    The heads of the bend pools were cool and oxygen rich.

    As such, they attracted rich trouters dressed in their tweeds.

    Most would quickly depart at the sound of our arrival:

    Stringers and buckets jangling as we struggled through the streamside weeds.

    There is one last place that I must mention:

    That long, smooth eddy alongside McCarter’s Flats.

    Many a family outing was enjoyed there,

    Fishing for bass with hellgramites and stonecats.

    The field alongside the stream at McCarter’s

    Provided the perfect setting for a family fish fry.

    We ate salads and potatoes along with our fish.

    Then enjoyed desserts and coffee as evening drew nigh.

    We have been long gone from Fishs Eddy;

    Family fishing and fish fries are things of the past.

    But the days that we spent there so long, long ago

    Provide happy memories that will last and last!

    My most recent trips to the East Branch

    Have been long distance day trips.

    A near three hour drive with family and friends,

    Punctuated with shared tall tales and humorous quips.

    We’d head straight for Tar Hollow

    And gather our bait in the downstream rift.

    The companionship, fish caught, and regular sightings of eagles and tanagers

    Made every such day an incredible gift!

    The highlight of each trip came at the end of the day:

    Limits, or not, we’d quit fishing by four.

    We’d pack up our gear and head up 17;

    Half an hour later, we’d be at my mother’s door.

    After filleting our fish and icing them down,

    We sat back with a drink and got ourselves ready

    To enjoy once again, a scrumptious meal

    Prepared by that Early girl from Fishs Eddy!

    Those end-of-day dinners with Mom

    Sure didn’t leave us any thinner.

    More than once, Larry or Fred quipped,

    “Forget the fishing…Let’s just go for dinner!”

    Alas, we may have to do just that:

    Our low water, warm water fishing is a thing of the past.

    Excessive water released from the Pepacton Reservoir

    Leaves the water much too cold…running much too fast.

    Oh, I’ll return to the East Branch often

    Through my memories and stories that we share.

    Of the many rivers that run through my mind,

    Perhaps clearest in recall is MY DELAWARE!

    Lloyd Barnhart

    West Sand Lake, NY

    formerly of Roscoe and Fishs Eddy

    Wednesday, February 28 Report this