Senator Bonacic speaks at the opening of the Cannonsville Reservoir to Expanded Boating

 Starting this Memorial Day weekend, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection will be opening up parts of the Cannonsville Reservoir for recreational kayaking, canoeing, sculls, and for small sailboats, like Sunfish. Access is from sunrise to sunset and will run from Memorial Day weekend to Columbus weekend. The Delaware County Chamber's tourism office is producing a brochure outlining all the information you need to know on the rules and regulations for the Cannonsville. You can receive a copy by calling 866-775-4425 and leaving your name and address or by emailing your request to info@greatwesterncatskills.com

Two steps are required to access the Cannonsville. First the boater will need a DEP Access Permit, which you can get online at www.nyc.gov/wsrecreation or at local sports stores. Second is the Recreational Boat Tag, which you get once your boat has been steam cleaned. All craft must be steam cleaned prior to being placed on the water and permits affixed to the boats. The Recreational Boat Tag will last from 1-7 days. Full season Boat Tags will be issued by the DEP's Downsville office and will permit owners to leave their boats locked up at launch areas.

There will be eight launch sites at various locations around the reservoir where paddlers can put in their crafts (Mormon Hollow, Dry Brook, Speedwell, Patterson, Apex, Fish Brook Beers Brook, and Dryden Brook). Trailers are not allowed in the water and there is no camping at these sites. Sailors will have only one access point (Dry Brook) and a more restricted section of the reservoir where they will be allowed to sail. This runs between the Trout Creek and Cannonsville bridges. Sailboats must be of the kind that have a removable centerboard / daggerboard.

Al's Sports Store, will be renting out canoes, paddles, life vests and roof pads and tie down straps - basically everything you'll need to get you out on the water. For larger groups they will provide delivery and pickup service. They also are one of the designated steam cleaning locations - located in Downsville. Al Carpenter thinks business will be great. "Opening the Cannonsville Reservoir for recreational boating by families and fishermen alike should be a great boost for tourism in the area."

Boat Cleaning

Five boat cleaning businesses will be in operation in the towns surrounding the reservoir - Downsville, Deposit, Sidney Center and Walton - and are detailed on the free brochure on detailing the new pilot program. The cleaning process will take about 20 minutes per boat, so make sure you give yourself enough time if you have a few boats. These vendors can issue a temporary pass and get their watercraft steam cleaned. When you visit these locations, please remember to support these local vendors and purchase your supplies from them. For those wishing to obtain a full-season pass, steam cleaning services will be provided by the DEP Downsville Operation's office located on NYS Route 30. Call 607-363-7009 to schedule an appointment.

Boat Rentals

You can still have fun on the reservoir even if you don't own a kayak or canoe. Here are a few options for renting boats - though you'll still need to have the boat steam cleaned. Als Sport Store in Downsville will be renting out canoes and kayaks - call them at 607-326-3500 or visit www.alssportstore.com. Catskill Outfitters in Walton will be renting kayaks and canoes - call them at 607-865-8827 or visit catskilloutfitters.com. Border Water Outfitters in Hancock will be renting canoes and they can be reached at 607-637-4296 or at www.borderwateroutfitter.com. A little farther away rentals can be found at Tall Pine Campgrounds for mid week rentals of kayaks and canoes - call them at 607-563-8271. Old Town Kayaks in Halcottsville will have both kayaks and canoes available - call them at 607-326-4266 or visit their website at www.pleasantpheasantfarm.com. Catskill Outback Adventures will be setting up a weekend home in Margaretville during the summer. Saturdays they will bring kayaks and canoes to rent out to the public, complete with cartop accessories for transporting the boat. Call them for more info at 845-254-9888 or visit their website at www.catskilloutback.com.

Senator Bonacic has sponsored legislation to force the City to expand their recreational offerings in the Catskills.  That legislation passed the Senate. The City thereafter took the steps designed above, and others to start to meet their commitment of allowing historic recreational uses in the Catskills properties that the City owns.