Reservoir boating proves to be a popular attraction

Nearly 1,000 tags were issued for recreational boating on watershed reservoirs this season, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced last week.

The expanded program authorized recreational, non-motorized boating on the Pepacton, Neversink, Schoharie and Cannonsville reservoirs. Boating access began on Memorial Day weekend and continued through Columbus Day weekend.

Pepacton is tops
The Pepacton Reservoir, which stretches 23 miles from Margaretville to Downsville, was easily the most utilized body of water in the program with more than 650 permits issued. The Neversink, Cannonsville and Schoharie followed in terms of popularity.
A breakdown of usage showed that 697 kayaks were utilized, 241 users chose canoes, 31 rowboats, 12 small sailboats and two sculls.

Permits for recreational boating were free, but the program required that all boats be certified as steam cleaned before being entered into the reservoirs. A number of businesses throughout the area obtained certification as steam cleaning stations.
DEP statistics indicate that out-of-state residents obtaining boating permits came from Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia, Kansas and Florida.

Recreational boating on New York City-owned reservoirs began three years ago as a pilot program. The success of that venture led to the expanded program this year.

Program praise
“Opening some of New York’s most scenic land and waterways for recreation has proven immensely popular with both local residents and visitors from out of state,” said DEP Commissioner Carter Strickland in a media release. “We will continue to look for opportunities to attract even more visitors to the region and help stimulate the local economy.”

“We had a great summer for boating, I’m really pleased,” said Executive Director of the Catskill Watershed Corporation Alan Rosa. “It was good for the local economy and gave hundreds of people a new way to enjoy the Catskills. We’re looking forward to next year.”