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September 25, 2006

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Trout River Catastrophe: Dam owner buries New York’s Chateaugay River in silt

I grew up just a dozen miles from New York’s Chateaugay River. For me and a number of fellow fishermen, this wild, chasm-walled freestoner—with its abundant and willing trout--has been a secret gem. With the river now all over the news, it’s no longer a secret. And with it now choked by 4,000 cubic yards of silt released from behind the Chasm Hydro Dam in violation of state regulations, it’s no longer a gem. In fact, state fisheries officials inspecting a three-mile stretch downstream of the dam after the spill found “few living fish or invertebrates.”

Take the time to read this Albany Times Union article. It’s important. With so many old, small dams unregulated by FERC, with state oversight so commonly underfunded, and with penalties so typically insufficient to deter anyone, a similar catastrophe could easily take place on your home river. Click here for the story.

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