Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Lackawaxen Eloquent...

Pic#1 The relatively clean Lackawaxen River runs into the polluted Delaware River (see below for explanation)

Pic#2 Common Merganser chics (AKA Jesus Ducks) literally run across the surface of the river. They do this when threatened by paddlers (or serious predators like Snapping Turtles). The baby Jesus Ducks can often be seen crammed together riding on the hen's back.

Pic #3 A mixed group of canoes and kayaks head for the next bend of the river.

It's been a long 2 years since I've paddled the Lackawaxen River and Monday offered a rare opportunity as PP&L agreed to do a special release from Lake Wallenpaupack for the Annual Delaware River Sojourn.

It is such a beautiful, classic mountain river with many nice Class II rapids and lovely Pocono scenery. Joined a mixed group of folks from the Hackensack Canoe Club and Mohawk CC. Extraordinary group of paddlers as everyone seemed to get totally into the river vibe with a minimum of yacking that can sometimes present a rude intrusion upon the river's magestic rhythm. We took the time to surf here and there and received free entertainment watching members of the Sojourn float through the rapids...without their boats...which they unexpectedly fell out of upon impact with the boulders.

On a more somber topic, the river above the Delaware Water Gap was choked with sediment and that has since reached Phillipsburg-Easton as of this morning. I ran into Sandy S of the National Park Service yesterday along Lackawaxen trip and she said we were witnessing the plume of muddy water that is slowly moving down the Delaware from the terrible flooding in the Beaverkill watershed that killed 6 people last week and caused massive erosion. The Beaverkill is an East Branch Delaware River tributary located in Sullivan County NY.

Watch for the nasty plume plume of muddy water, which is expected down here in Lambertville tonight.

On a positve note, by the end of the Lackawaxen trip the Delaware River at Lackawaxen was beginning to clear up. But it is big enough of a plume that is will linger in each section of the river for a day or so. Much of the sediment will fall out into the recently flood-scoured pools and eddies. And so the cycle goes.