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February 28, 2007

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Catskill Anglers Win Esopus Silting Case

Esopus Creek, one of New York’s renowned Catskill-region trout streams, was once loaded with big wild rainbows and often lined with eager anglers. The numbers of both has declined in recent years, largely due to silt added to the fishery via the New York City water-supply chain. Last Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from NYC in a lawsuit brought by sportsmen and environmentalists, and the city must now pay $5.2 million in fines for violations of the Clean Water Act. Whether this decision will actually stop the discharge of muddy water into Esopus Creek is still up in the air, but it is at least a partial victory for Catskill anglers and may well have much larger implications, as water agencies from across the United States that sided with the city may find that their own practices are likewise subject to the federal law. Read the full story here.

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