June 10, 2009: Reservoir recreation a positive step

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To The Editor:
On May 31 two Catskill Mountain Club directors, Ann Roberti and I, along with three others enjoyed an exhilarating kayak paddle on the recently-opened waters of the Cannonsville Reservoir. This was kind of a test run for the group to see how the required steam cleansing of our watercraft would go and to check out a launch site facility. We must report that the cleaning process went very well. We went to the JMT enterprises on Chamberlain Brook Road where the proprietors, Joe and Monica, were friendly, informative and efficient. Joe steam cleaned while Monica did the computer and paperwork and issued our day-pass stickers, which were attached to the bow of our crafts. All this took about 45 minutes in total for all five of us.
We launched at the south side of the Apex Bridge where we left our cars on a well-graveled parking area. As we paddled out to the west toward the main body of the Cannonsville we encountered a DEP police launch with three very polite officers that observed our stickers, wished us a great paddle and waved us on. We avoided a very strong head wind by adhering to the lee shore, investigating inlets, coves and of course all the wonderful drift wood and other flotsam. We stopped at another launch site were we indulged in our P&J sandwiches and Gatorade. Now we crossed to the other side of the reservoir where we decided that we had done about 3.5 miles, about enough, turned and enjoyed the return trip riding a nice tailwind. On Ann’s goading we picked up some scrap flotsam for eventual proper disposal of which we hope the DEP will take note.
All and all, this was a great first-time paddle and we recommend all other paddlers to try this great opportunity on this pristine and beautiful NYC reservoir. With luck and no glitches on this DEP pilot project we anticipate paddles on the Pepacton and the Ashokan and other NYC reservoirs in the future. Information on this pilot project is available on the DEP website – http://NYC.GOV/html/watershed_protection/recreation.shtml, including local outfitters who rent boats that can be used on the reservoir. Immediate issuance of the required DEP access permit is also available on this website.
Thank you NYC DEP and all others involved in getting this wonderful recreational opportunity available to all of us.

Jack McShane,
Andes