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The Catskill Region is the source of 90% of the drinking water supply for 8 million people in New York City and portions of the Hudson Valley. Six giant reservoirs capture rain, snow and stream flow from many rivers and tributaries that begin in the mountains. The reservoirs have always been a destination for anglers in row boats, but only recently have other non-mechanized craft been allowed to ply their waters. Outdoor enthusiasts can now enjoy boating on the Cannonsville Reservoir, Neversink Reservoir, Pepacton Reservoir and Schoharie Reservoir during the boating season.
Reservoir boaters must obtain Recreational Access Permits from the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and have their canoes, kayaks, small sailboats, sculls and rowboats steam cleaned at DEP-approved sites.
Access Permits can be obtained quickly and easily at steam cleaning sites, or online. Go to Recreation on DEP’s website, www.nyc.gov/dep.
Boat tags, allowing temporary and seasonal use of a specific reservoir, are issued at steam cleaning sites.
The Catskill Reservoir Paddler Patch
The CWC, the NYC DEP and the Watershed Post have teamed up to provide the Catskill Reservoir Paddler patch. Paddle or sail at least one reservoir as follows:
Schoharie (May 26-June 30)
Neversink (July 1-31)
Cannonsville (August 1-31)
Pepacton (September 1-October 13)
Provide one of the following:
- a date-stamped photo from your boat looking back at the launch site
- a photo/scan of your DEP access permit
- a photo/scan of your boat rental/steam-cleaning receipt
Email your proof, along with an address where the badge should be mailed, to firstname.lastname@example.org.