Labor Day - and the end of summer vacation. It’s been a hectic up and down summer weather-wise and fishing condition-wise - starting with low water and drought conditions, then rain - heavy rain along with showers - day after day after day. We experienced heat index temperatures last week of up to 100 degrees F on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, only to have to reach for our flannel shirts and sweatshirts the very next day!
The DEP was pouring water down both the East and West Branches of the Delaware, where water temperatures were well up into the 70s! and on August 9, a 63-car train traveling west from New Jersey to Binghamton along the West Branch of the Delaware River (with four locomotives) derailed east of Binghamton near Hale Eddy Road, and up to 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel was spilled into the West Branch Delaware River and at least two rail cars were in the river. Reportedly one car contained corrosive material and 13 cars contained hazardous contaminated soil, the rest were either empty or carried construction debris or non-hazardous soils. The train derailment was believed to have been caused by railroad tracks and a culvert washing out due to heavy storms and flooding. The fast-moving flood water made it difficult to capture the oil and as a result. As can be imagined, wildlife and water quality was greatly affected, with oil slicks seen and smelled downstream of Lordville on the main stem Delaware just a few days after the derailment.
At this writing, are rivers and streams are higher than the average flow, and temperatures are not too bad.
A check of the USGS website on Monday afternoon, September 3, showed that the Beaverkill at Cooks Falls was flowing 267 cubic feet per second, which is more than 2 1/2 times the average level for September 3 of 107 cfs over 105 years of record-keeping - not surprising with all the showers and downpours we received over the past few weeks. The maximum flow recorded on the Beaverkill on September 3 was 2320 cubic feet per second in 2003, and the minimum flow recorded on that day was just 31 cfs in 1962!