Pepacton leads in popularity for recreational boating use

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By Brian Sweeney
The recreational boating program on the Pepacton Reservoir continues to be very popular as the first year of the program winds down.

Recreational usage at the Pepacton easily exceeds the boating activity at other reservoirs where the NYC Department of Protection (DEP) authorizes the program.

Figures from the DEP show that between Memorial Day weekend and September 10, there were 941 tags issued for recreational boating between the Pepacton, Cannonsville, Neversink and Schoharie reservoirs. A breakdown shows that there were 528 tags issued for temporary use and 413 seasonal tags.

There have been 642 tags issued for boating on the Pepacton, according to the DEP. There are three designated launch sites on the Pepacton and the Shavertown Bridge location has been utilized 302 times, the Arena site 241 times and Raynor Brook in the Town of Colchester on 99 occasions.

By comparison, there were 123 permits issued for boating on the Neversink, 102 for the
Cannonsville Reservoir and 74 for Schoharie. There are nine boat launch sites on the Cannonsville Reservoir, where a three-year recreational boating pilot program was introduced in 2009.

With this year’s expansion of recreational boating to four reservoirs, the DEP has authorized a number of vendors throughout the region to provide steam cleaning of boats for reservoir use and to rent boats for recreational use. The steam cleaning is a mandatory part of the program in an effort to present the spread of invasive species, such as zebra mussels, in the reservoirs.

Pepacton Bait and Tackle in Arkville has been the most active vendor with 177 permits issued. Catskill Adventures and Tours in Margaretville has issued 163 permits for boating use, Hogan’s General Store in Andes has issued 95 permits and 83 boating permits have been authorized by Pepacton Paddles in Margaretville.

In the Town of Colchester, Al’s Sport Store in Downsville has been the most active vendor, having issued 135 recreational boating permits.

Kayaks have been the most popular type of boat for reservoir recreation with 668 permits issued. Canoes, with 228 permits, were the second choice among recreational boaters. Rowboats were the choice of 31 recreational boaters, 12 people have utilized sailboats and permits were issued for two sculls.

DEP officials note that the total number of permits issued, 941, includes people who have obtained multiple boat tags at the same time and/or people who have received one tag on multiple occasions. Each tag is counted once.

Of this total, there have been 486 unique permit holders. This figure counts people one time, regardless of how many times they have been issued boat tags.