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April 25, 2014
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Cool trout during heat wave; Releases from the reservoir

Conservation groups urge officials to formalize a process for keeping a stretch of the river cool.
TRR photo by Amanda Reed


But the release added, “‘The frustrating part is that there is plenty of cold water available, and it should have been released prior to air temperatures reaching 90-plus degrees,’ said Lee Hartman of the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited.” Reservoir levels before the releases were four percentage points above the levels normal for this time of year.

At a meeting of the Water Use Resource Management Committee of the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) on July 16, Columbia professor emeritus Peter Kolesar said that, since 2007, there have been 21 thermal stress events, and each associated heat wave had been accurately predicted by the National Weather Service. He and others have been lobbying officials to adopt a program that would automatically trigger releases from the reservoir when a heat wave is coming, but earlier this year officials said they preferred to consider the releases on a “case-by-case” basis.

Members of the UDC agreed to re-affirm their position that they are in favor of adopting the Thermal Stress Relief Protocol created by Kolesar and Jim Serio.

On July 22, Skelding said the release from the reservoir had the intended effect, and kept the water temperature at just under 75 degrees.


FUDR hires first executive director

The board of directors of the Friends of the Upper Delaware River (FUDR) has announced the hiring of Jeff Skelding as the group’s first executive director.

Skelding most recently served as director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. He has spent decades working in various positions with the National Wildlife Federation and other conservation-minded groups.

“We are excited to have Jeff on board to help the protection and enhancement of the Upper Delaware community reach the next level,” said Dr. Peter C. Bousum, secretary of the FUDR board.

Dan Plummer, board chairman, added, “The mission of FUDR is to protect, preserve and enhance the ecosystem and cold-water fishery of the Upper Delaware River system and to address any environmental threats to our area for the benefit of local communities, residents and visitors to the region. We see Jeff Skelding as the right man for the challenges we face.”

“The river played a vital role in shaping my occupation,” Skelding said. “Comprehensive watershed protection must address a mosaic of often complex economic, social, cultural and ecological considerations. That’s hard work. But with increasing frequency, this integrated approach is producing results across the country that benefit people, communities, wildlife, and water quality. With your help, I look forward to putting this agenda into action.”