Thursday, March 24, 2011

Registration Now Open for the June 5th Inaugural Cannonsville Adventure Triathlon

Today is the opening of registration for the inaugural Cannonsville Adventure Triathlon, a brand-new event in and around the Cannonsville Reservoir in the towns of Deposit, Tompkins and Hancock. The race features a 10K (6.2 mile) run, followed by a 3.9-mile paddle, and finishes with a 12-mile bike ride. The paddle, bike and run courses will feature some of the most breathtaking scenery in Delaware County, set along the pristine waters of the Cannonsville Reservoir and rimmed with the forested beauty of the Catskill Mountains. The race takes place in the final year of a three-year pilot program to expand recreational boating opportunities at the Cannonsville Reservoir, which means that permitted kayaks, canoes, rowboats and small sailboats are allowed on the reservoir. Previously, only fishing boats with proper permits were allowed. DEP is currently evaluating whether to extend the pilot.

The Cannonsville Adventure Triathlon, also being called the CAT Race, is a team effort led by the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, which is being assisted by Delaware County Economic Development, the town and village of Hancock, local and state highway departments, the Delaware County Sheriff’s office and New York State troopers, the Hancock Chamber of Commerce, Hancock Partners, the Deposit Chamber of Commerce, and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. Funding for the inaugural race is being provided by the Catskill Watershed Corporation.

“Delaware County has been working closely with the DEP on the three-year pilot boating program on the Cannonsville,” stated Jim Eisel, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors of Delaware County. “This race is a great way to cap off the third year and transition to a permanent program with a great annual event to celebrate the reservoir, outdoor recreation and hopefully a boost for our local businesses in Delaware County.”

“The Cannonsville Reservoir Pilot Boating Program is real-time demonstration of a collaborative project that has the potential to conclusively prove that economic development and water quality protection can coexist,” said Michael Triolo, Economic Development Director for the Catskill Watershed Corporation. “CWC has funded the pilot program to encourage boaters to use and enjoy the fabulous landscape and pristine water that are the reservoirs. We are particularly excited the CAT will bring in participants and spectators to what will hopefully become an annual event on not only the Cannonsville but also other DEP reservoirs.”

“It’s no surprise that Cannonsville Reservoir—with the astonishing beauty of its pristine waters nestled in the scenic perfection of the Catskills—is an ideal site for a triathlon,” said DEP Commissioner Cas Holloway. “Running, paddling and biking in this setting adds to the excitement of the race for the athletes and spectators alike. We are thrilled to be part of the Cannonsville Adventure Triathlon, an event that encourages tourism and benefits the local economy, while at the same time protecting the water supply for nine million people—nearly half of New York State.”

Glenn Nealis, Director of Economic Development for Delaware County, sees greater awareness for the Catskills as a destination for active travelers. “Outdoor recreation-based tourism is vitally important for the economic sustainability of Delaware County. The availability of boating opportunities on our rivers and reservoirs in conjunction with the development of events such as the Cannonsville Adventure Triathlon will help establish the Catskills as no lesser an attraction than the Adirondacks for outdoor enthusiasts.”

“Working with our local chambers and business leaders is an exciting opportunity to promote the outdoor recreational opportunities of Delaware County, which in return, helps to build a more sustainable economy,” stated Mary Beth Silano, Executive Director of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce.

Bill Gross, President of the Hancock Area Chamber of Commerce, is ready to welcome racers. “The Hancock Area Chamber of Commerce is excited and pleased to co-host the Inaugural Cannonsville Adventure Triathlon. We are looking forward to having the racers, their families and the spectators visit our community, and hope they find a home away from home here in our beautiful town.”

Race day will start with a pre-race meeting at 8:00 am in Deposit. Participants will be shuttled to the starting line, which is just east of the Roods Creek launch site. The race will start at 10:00 am with a shotgun start for the run leg. Runners will proceed east over the Cannonsville Bridge to the Patterson launch site where they will transition to their boat. They will paddle to a buoy set at the Apex Bridge, turn around and paddle back to Patterson. A short run up from the waters edge to the parking area will get racers to their bikes. They will head south on Route 268 and into the village of Hancock. The finish will be in front of the Hancock House Hotel. There will be an awards ceremony complete with a post-race dinner and live music.

Classes of racers will be individual and team/tandem, separated by boat length (regular and pro), and by gender (male, female, mixed) and age (in ten-year increments) with a minimum age of 18 as of race day. There will be awards in all classes that have a minimum of five participants. Registration cost is $70 for an individual and $150 for a team. Registration will be online only at the IMAthlete website at The CAT Race will be capped at 300 team and individual entries, thus ensuring an uncrowded and enjoyable race experience.

For more details, go to, which features race information, a link to online registration, ongoing race updates, volunteer and spectator information, Google maps of the race course, and nearby lodging, dining and activities.

DEP boating access rules require that the canoes and kayaks be steam cleaned prior to the race. To ensure all boats are properly cleaned, racers must make appointments at any of the five local boat cleaning businesses prior to race day and then deliver their boat to the Patterson launch site, where the boating leg begins and ends. Security at the boat launch will be provided from Friday through Sunday by local law enforcement and monitored by DEP Police. There are five area boat cleaning businesses surrounding the reservoir from Downsville to Deposit, to Walton and Sidney Center. All race participants (individuals and each team member) must acquire an Access Permit from DEP. Permits are free and easy to obtain online at The Access Permit number is required to initiate the registration process online.

Last year, DEP opened five additional square miles of Cannonsville Reservoir for recreational boating at the start of boating season. The recreational space was expanded westward from the Cannonsville Bridge to 500 feet from the Cannonsville Dam. The previous year DEP launched a three-year pilot program to expand recreational boating opportunities at Cannonsville Reservoir, which meant that kayaks, canoes, rowboats and small sailboats were allowed on the reservoir.

The Cannonsville Reservoir features nine boat launch sites that ring the shoreline, all outfitted with parking areas and port-a-johns. The waters, while flat, have currents and provide a great boating experience. Bald eagles nest along the eastern portion of the reservoir and can often be seen scouting the waters for fish. A free map with rules and regulations for boating on Cannonsville Reservoir is available by calling the Delaware County Chamber at 607-746-2281 or stopping by their office at 5 ½ Main Street in Delhi. The reservoir is open for recreational boating from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day weekend.

Placed into service in 1964, Cannonsville Reservoir is located at the western edge of Delaware County, southwest of the Village of Walton. The 16-mile-long reservoir holds 95.7 billion gallons at full capacity, has an average depth of 61 feet, and a surface area of 4,703 acres. Cannonsville is one of four reservoirs in the City’s Delaware system and the newest in New York City’s water supply. The Cannonsville watershed’s drainage basin is 455 square miles, the largest basin in the City’s system.

For more information about the CAT Race, sponsorship opportunities, or to volunteer, please contact Mary Beth Silano at For travel information on the Cannonsville area visit

For DEP-related inquiries contact Farrell Sklerov or Michael Saucier at (718) 595-6600.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Get Hooked On Fishing in the Great Western Catskills

New York State's trout season opens April 1 and for a growing number of fishermen, the lure of the Great Western Catskills makes Delaware County the place to be for this rite of spring.

Natural area trout streams, which eventually flow to the Delaware River, provide freestone stream fishing. These rivers combine with the Pepacton and Cannonsville Reservoirs to total 11,000 acres of water habitat. Constant reservoir releases of cool, clear waters have enhanced the West Branch and East Branch to create unique tailwater fishing. Optimal year-round trout conditions ensure the serious angler and the adventurous visitor the most challenging and demanding fly-fishing in the Northeast.

The Beaverkill, the East and West Branches of the Delaware River, the Willowemoc and the Bushkill are among the renowned trout waters that flow through Delaware County. The "Birthplace of Fly Fishing" has been popular among anglers for more than a century and each year Catskill rivers and streams attract new legions of fishermen.

While fishing in the region is great in every season (including ice fishing in winter!) the thrill of early season angling is unsurpassed. The sights, sounds, smells and of course the hatches of April and May converge to make Catskill Mountain fishing an unforgettable experience.

The easiest way to gather information about fishing in the Great Western Catskills is to contact the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, which offers a full-color fishing guide/map with public access points. The fishing guide may be ordered free of charge by contacting the Delaware County Tourism office at 866-775-4425, or by e-mail: Website visitors are welcome to sign up for e-mail updates at

For those in search of "trophy trout" the Pepacton and Cannonsville reservoirs present great spots to "land the big one." Fishermen on these waters will want to pack a camera, too. When their respective seasons open, trophy brown trout, smallmouth bass and pickerel, are among the species that challenge sporting enthusiasts on these waters. Fishing the reservoirs is truly a treat, especially if you live in the City and use some of the 1 billion gallons of water that are sent from the system each day. The New York City DEP, which oversees these waters, has made it easy to get fishing permits for the reservoirs by placing it online. Go to and search for Watershed Recreation. Regular DEC fishing permits are easy to get at almost any local sports stores.

Seasoned fishermen recognize that the way to "live large" while seeking the big one is to rent a private cabin with all the comforts of home - and great fishing just minutes away.
From Downsville down to Hancock and Deposit, camping, affordable motels, and cabin rentals abound. Fish beneath the historic covered bridge in Downsville where lodging options range from on river Pepacton Cabins (, the classy Yellow House B&B (, private house rentals like A Frame on the River at A House Around The Bend (, or the always affordable Downsville Motel ( - a favorites among anglers. The conveniently located Al's Sports Store in Downsville ( supplies everything an angler needs - from gear to a private river guide. When fishing time is over, the Old Schoolhouse Restaurant ( is a great place to dine and spin some fishing yarns.

For fishermen visiting the Hancock area (where the East and West Branches of the Delaware River converge), a full service resort such as the West Branch Angler ( is a great place to stay. The resort comes complete with a restaurant, an Orvis store, and knowledgeable river guides on staff. Bass Cabins ( is nearby too and let's you (or the spouse) combine fishing with a love of golf at their French Woods Golf Course. Hancock boasts a fine new hotel, great motels and B&B's both in and outside the village. After an exhilarating day on the water, anglers will enjoy telling fishing tales at the new Bluestone Grill ( This casual eatery serves lunch and dinner, topped off by a popular list of homemade desserts.

For those visiting the Deposit area and the lower edge of the Cannonsville Reservoir, lodging options include the Deposit Motel, the new Eagle Valley Cabins ( or private home rentals, such as Dream Catcher Lodge ( with one mile of river front access.
But landing trophy fish is only part of the experience. The Catskill Mountains have a special appeal that makes "just being here" a large part of the attraction - catching fish is a special bonus.

To learn more about fishing in the western Catskills and the Upper Delaware River region, or finding the right campground or lodging host to stay with, log on to:
When it's time to fish, visit the Great Western Catskills of Delaware County and "Let the magic of our mountains move you."