Pearl River, NY – For Rockland County anglers trying their luck on this opening day of fishing season, their chances of landing the big one have greatly improved thanks to the successful effort of Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern) to have the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) stock the Sparkill Creek in the Town of Orangetown with hundreds of brown trout.
“Fishing is a tremendous opportunity to not only increase people’s appreciation for our natural resources, but also encourage them to sustain our environment,” said Assemblywoman Jaffee. “Protecting access to local fishing is an important investment in preserving the health and beauty of our outdoors.”
Hugely popular with fishermen throughout New York, the DEC’s stocking program each spring places hundreds of thousands of hatchery-raised trout in waterways across the state, including many streams and lakes in Rockland County. However, the DEC initially indicated the Sparkill Creek would not be one of those stocked in 2011.
Local sportsmen fond of fishing the Sparkill and concerned with its exclusion contacted Assemblywoman Jaffee and requested her help in persuading the DEC to reconsider its decision.
Jaffee, a long-time proponent of environmental conservation and sustainability, shared the anglers’ belief that preserving opportunities for outdoor activities, such as fishing on the Sparkill, are critical to encouraging citizen engagement in environmental issues and immediately agreed to help.
In conjunction with a petition effort by area fisherman, led by local members of the New York State Outdoor Guides Association, Jaffee contacted leaders at the DEC and requested they revisit their decision to not stock the Sparkill.
As a result of this combined effort, the DEC ultimately agreed to reverse its decision, and on March 22nd 680 brown trout were stocked in the Sparkill Creek. Today, fisherman plying its waters will directly benefit from the dedication of local sportsmen-volunteers, as well as a little help from an Assemblywoman who shares their love of the outdoors.
“The easy part in all this was getting the DEC to stock the fish – the hard part will be getting them to bite!” Jaffee added.