What a difference a day makes! Just yesterday, Sunday July 22, The Beaverkill at Cooks Falls was flowing at just 76 cubic feet per second, well below the average flow - and we hadn’t tried to fish the Beaverkill or Willowemoc in a couple of weeks; concentrating our efforts on the tailgaters of the West and East Branches of the Delaware. But by this writing (Monday afternoon, July 23) is now at 277 cubic feet per second and is still climbing at 3 pm. This is above the average flow of 152 cfs over 104 years of record-keeping. Water temperatures over the past 6 days reached the mid to upper 70s, and ranged from a low of 66 to a high of 82 degrees Fahrenheit last Monday.
We are expecting rain showers to continue through the weekend - and just an hour ago a flash flood warning was issued for Monticello and eastern Sullivan County, as well as portions of central New York including Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, Schuyler, Steuben, Sullivan, Tioga, and Tompkins counties; and in northeast Pennsylvania, Bradford, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Northern Wayne, Pike, Southern Wayne, Susquehanna, and Wyoming counties. The flash flood watch is in effect through Wednesday evening. Recent showers and thunderstorms are beginning to saturate the soils in the watch area. Through Wednesday, showers and thunderstorms with very heavy rainfall rates are likely in the watch area. Additional rainfall due to training of showers and thunderstorms could result in several inches of rain which would lead to flash flooding. In addition, minor flooding may occur along the main stem rivers, but this is mainly a flash flood event for small streams, creeks and urban areas.
The East Branch Delaware River at Fishs Eddy, is still below average flow; registering 316 cubic feet per second as opposed to the 63-year average of 382 cfs. Water temperatures over the past weekend hovered between 66 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit, with a high last Monday afternoon of 81 degrees! Again, it is VERY upsetting to see this, as the East Branch is supposed to be a “Tailwater Fishery” and provide cold water releases from the bottom of Pepacton Reservoir to protect the trout.
And yet a check with the NYC DEP webpage showed that as of last Friday the Catskill reservoirs are actually a bit above the “Normal” range for their Total Storage - in fact a bit more water, with the % capacity currenly at 89.6% as compared to the “Normal” historic level of 89.2% full.