Adirondack fishing season opens soon, with pandemic likely to suppress tourism
By Ry Rivard
A weekly newsletter by the Adirondack Explorer
For the past few days, it’s been surprising to learn what remains normal.
One thing is spring trout stocking, which the New York Department of Environmental Conservation plans to continue as usual.
The department put out data this week that shows it plans to put about 687,707 trout in North Country waters this spring and early summer — 164,690 in Franklin and Essex Counties alone.
“Fishing is good for the mind and body,” the state’s top environmental official, Basil Seggos, said in a statement.
His boss, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is a big angler, though it’s hard to know when he’ll be able to relax again.
Fishing conditions are good, Seggos said, because of the mild winter, which means warmer temperatures and well-fed fish. The state stocks fish in both the spring and fall.
But he also encouraged anglers to “act responsibly by practicing social distancing and staying safe.”
That means if a parking lot is packed, go somewhere else, and, if anglers are sharing a boat, they should stay 6 feet away from each other. Which means some people may need a bigger boat.
In Other News
Last week, I reported on concerns about the health of staff working for small water systems. If they get sick, there could be a risk to water quality and supply. After that ran, Jamie Herman, the head of the New York Rural Water Association, said they’re working on a list of people who could potentially assist in communities if the local water staff got sick.
It’s unclear how many people will be out of work or for how long because of coronavirus-related social distancing rules, but some governments and companies have acted fairly quickly to provide flexibility to people behind on their bills. National Grid, for instance, isn’t going to be shutting off power or gas to anyone behind on their bills until at least May, which is doubly important for people with private water wells that require power to operate. Some water utilities across the state have made similar commitments, but policies vary.
Officials around Lake Champlain are trying to keep the ferries between the two states going. Right now, the drop in business because of coronavirus is reducing the frequency of trips, which officials say endangers public health for patients who may have a hospital closer to them by water than by land.