Where Does NYS Drinking Water Come From?

Many reservoirs and dams comprise New York State’s water supply system. They are used to store water for residents and businesses. These lakes, rivers, and reservoirs each provide for the city’s drinking water, irrigation, and other needs.

The Ashokan Reservoir, Rondout Reservoir, and Cannonsville Reservoir are some of the most notable reservoirs in New York State. These interconnected water reservoirs hold more than enough water to meet the needs of residents and businesses for years to come.

This article will explore some of the major water reservoirs located throughout New York State.

1. Ashokan Reservoir

The Ashokan Reservoir is one of New York City’s deepest reservoirs, with a maximum depth of 190 feet (58 m). It is located near Catskill Park. The name of the reservoir means “place of fish” because it is home to many different species of fish.

The 8,300-acre (3,400 ha) reservoir was first created in 1907 by the city of New York’s Board of Water Supply, and it has since been used for various purposes.

Swimming and diving are strictly prohibited in the Ashokan Reservoir because they pose a serious threat to the quality of the water. When swimmers or divers enter the water, they can stir up sediment that can pollute the reservoir. In addition, swimmers can introduce bacteria and other contaminants into the water.

2. Rondout Reservoir

The Rondout Reservoir is a key part of New York City’s water supply system and serves as the distribution center for over half of the city’s Delaware System. Located in the Catskill Mountains, the reservoir is surrounded by forests and wilderness areas.

With an elevation of 840 feet (256 m) above sea level, the Rondout Reservoir is one of the highest in New York State. Its water comes from a 60,800-acre (24,604 ha) watershed and other reservoirs connected through the Delaware and Neversink tunnels.

The Rondout Reservoir was built between 1937 and 1954 to provide New York City with a clean and reliable water supply. In the years after World War II, the state built four reservoirs to satisfy its growing water demand. The first of these reservoirs was Rondout Reservoir, which has a capacity of 49.6 billion gallons (225 billion liters).

To fish at the Rondout reservoir, you must have a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)-issued permit and the appropriate New York state license. Fishing is only permitted during certain seasons, so check before heading out. The Rondout reservoir is a great place to fish for trout, bass, and other freshwater fish.

3. Cannonsville Reservoir

The Cannonsville Reservoir is located in Delaware County, New York. It is the westernmost and largest of the state’s reservoirs. The 4,703-acre (4,700 ha) reservoir is fed by the Delaware River’s Western Branch and other tributaries.

The Cannonsville Reservoir has limited rooted aquatic vegetation. Aquatic vegetation provides food and habitat for fish, wildlife, and humans. It also helps to improve water quality by filtering pollutants and providing oxygen to the water. The lack of rooted aquatic vegetation in the Cannonsville Reservoir may be due to several factors, including low nutrient levels, high water temperatures, and limited sunlight penetration into the water.

There are restrictions for boating at the Cannonsville Reservoir. Only row boats are allowed on the reservoir, and all boats must be registered and inspected by the DEP.

The new restrictions are aimed at protecting the reservoir’s water quality. Rowboats are less likely to disturb sediment than motorized boats, and inspection by the DEP will ensure that boats are not carrying any invasive species.

To fish at the Cannonsville Reservoir, you must acquire an access permit from the state’s DEP. The Cannonsville Reservoir is home to various fish species, including alewife, smallmouth bass, and black crappie.

4. Pepacton Reservoir

The Pepacton Reservoir is one of New York City’s main water supply reservoirs. The reservoir is also located in Delaware County, New York, on the Southern edge of the state’s three Catskill Mountains reservoirs.

The Pepacton Reservoir was created by damming the East Branch of the Delaware River. The reservoir began supplying water to New York City in 1954, and it currently provides about 25% of New York City’s drinking water. As much as 430,256 acre-feet (530 billion liters) of water flow through the reservoir at full capacity.

The reservoir is full of trout, bass, and catfish, and is a popular spot for anglers of all levels.

The shallower waters are perfect for fishing from the shore or a rowboat in the spring. You can cast your line just about anywhere and have a good chance of catching something. Fish congregate in deeper areas as the weather warms up and the water level drops.

If you want to catch fish during summer, you’ll need to head out into deeper waters. You’ll find most of the trout, bass, and catfish here.

The reservoir is home to large fish, and it’s no secret that the Pepacton Reservoir is a popular destination for anglers from all over the region. If you’re looking to catch a trophy brown trout, there’s no better place to go than the Pepacton Reservoir.

5. Schoharie Reservoir

Even after the Ashokan Reservoir and the Kensico Reservoir construction, New York’s water supply was still insufficient to meet the population’s needs. The Schoharie Reservoir, located on the northeastern edge of Delaware County, was built from 1920 to 1924.

One of the smaller reservoirs in New York, the Schoharie Reservoir, is a single 6-mile (9.6-km) basin with a full capacity of 17.6 billion gallons (67 billion liters). Since 1926, the Schoharie Reservoir has provided up to nine million New Yorkers with as much as 16% of their annual water supply.

Schoharie Reservoir is stocked with 20,000 walleye yearly, making it a top destination for walleye fishing.

Although it’s a little off the beaten path, Schoharie Reservoir is a top destination for walleye fishing. The reservoir is well-known for its large walleye population, and anglers come from all over to try their luck at landing one of these prized fish.

There are a few things that make Schoharie Reservoir such a great place for walleye fishing. First, the reservoir is extremely deep—in some areas, it reaches depths of 120 feet (36.5 m). This depth creates perfect conditions for walleye to thrive. Additionally, the reservoir is fed by cold springs, which keeps the water temperature cool even in the summer heat.

Schoharie Reservoir should be high on your list if you’re looking to catch a trophy walleye.

6. Neversink Reservoir

As New York’s officials realized that the state would require more water supply after World War II ended, they began constructing the Neversink Reservoir in 1941. The reservoir is fed by the Neversink river and provides water to over half of the people in New York City. It has a full capacity of 34.9 billion gallons (132 billion liters).

The two local towns of Neversink and Bittersweet have long histories, but their legacies came to an end when they were both condemned and flooded to make the Neversink Reservoir a reality.

The residents of Neversink and Bittersweet had to abandon their homes and livelihoods, leaving behind everything they knew and loved. It was a heart-wrenching decision for many, but one that had to be made.

The Neversink Reservoir is not as accessible as some of the city’s other Catskill reservoirs, but the journey is worth it. The reservoir is located 75 miles (120.6 km) northwest of New York City, and access is tightly restricted. The drive takes about two hours, but it is a beautiful drive through the Catskills. Once you arrive in Neversink, you can take a short hike to the reservoir.

Fishing is a great way to enjoy the outdoors when you’re in Neversink, and fishing at the reservoir is permitted in season with a DEP-issued permit plus an appropriate New York state license. The Neversink Reservoir is known for its abundance of trout.

Depending on the time of year, you may be able to catch different types of fish. Fishing can be a great way to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature if you decide to visit the reservoir.

7. Kensico Reservoir

The Kensico Reservoir links Armonk (North Castle) and Valhalla (Mount Pleasant), New York, and spans a little more than 3 miles (5 km) north of White Plains. The reservoir was formed in 1885 by the original construction of an earth and stone dam across the Bronx and Byram rivers. The Kensico Reservoir is fed by the Hudson River and its tributaries, which flow from the Catskill Mountains.

The Kensico Reservoir is not only a water source for New York City but also a popular spot for fishing and boating recreation. The reservoir covers an area of 2149.82 acres (870 ha) and is up to 121 feet (37 m) deep. The water in the Kensico Reservoir can either provide water to New York City or continue to flow below the spillway at the southernmost dam and eventually end up in the East River.

Fishing is allowed in certain areas of the reservoir, and many different types of fish can be caught, including smallmouth bass, grass pickerel, and brown trout. Registered aluminum rowboats are also permitted in certain areas. Motorboats and recreational watercraft like canoes, kayaks, and rafts are not allowed on the reservoir.

8. West Branch Reservoir

The West Branch Reservoir was constructed to provide a reliable water supply to the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn boroughs in 1895. It is located across Putnam, Kent, and Carmel, about 50 miles (80 km) from New York City.

West Branch Reservoir covers an area of 1,061 acres (429 ha) with an average depth of 29 feet (8.8 m) and a maximum depth of 52 feet (15.8 m). It consists of two basins and is divided and positioned on either side of Route 301.

The reservoir is home to various fish, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout, and panfish. Anglers can find good fishing opportunities year-round at the West Branch Reservoir. In the winter, the reservoir is a popular spot for ice fishing. In the spring and summer, the reservoir is a great place to fish for bass and panfish.

9. Amawalk Reservoir

The Amawalk Reservoir is a small reservoir located in Westchester County, New York, and it’s part of the Croton Watershed system. The reservoir was created in 1897 and was designed to hold 6.7 billion gallons (25 billion liters) of water at full capacity. Its drainage basin spans 12,800 acres (5,179 ha).

Water emerging from the Amawalk Reservoir flows into the Muscoot River, eventually reaching the Muscoot Reservoir. The water then flows into the New Croton Reservoir.

If you want to take a walk around the Amawalk Reservoir in New York City, you’ll need to get a free permit from the DEP first. The DEP watershed access permit is required for all visitors to the reservoir. Once you have your permit, you can explore the reservoir’s scenic walking trails and learn about its important role in New York City’s water supply system.

The Amawalk Reservoir is also a popular spot for fishing and is home to various fish species. Some of the most common fish species in the Amawalk Reservoir include largemouth bass, black crappie, and yellow perch.

The reservoir also supports a healthy population of trout stocked yearly by the state’s DEP. Anglers can also expect to find a few walleye in the reservoir, as well as black crappie and white perch.

Weed beds at the Amawalk Reservoir hold a wealth of bass and panfish. When targeting these species of fish, look for shallow weed beds near areas of open water. The weeds will provide cover for the fish, and the open water will give them access to the baitfish they feed on. Bass and panfish will often congregate in these areas, making them prime spots for fishing.

When targeting bass and panfish in weed beds, use lures that imitate the baitfish they feed on. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and plastic worms are all good choices.

10. New Croton Reservoir

The New Croton Reservoir was built in 1905 to provide New York City with clean water. The reservoir connects to the Croton Watershed in Westchester and Putnam Counties and is the last stop before emptying into the Hudson River.

The reservoir holds about 19 billion gallons (72 billion liters) of water and covers about 2,182 acres (883 ha). It has a maximum depth of 120 ft (26 m), making it home to many different fish species.

New Croton Reservoir is a hotspot for bass and crappie fishing. It is not uncommon for anglers to catch bass up to 7 pounds (3 kg) and crappies up to 3 pounds (1.3 kg). The best time to fish for bass is in the spring and fall, while the best time to fish for crappie is in the summer.

We all know that fish like to hide in the weeds, but did you know that they also like to hang out near downed trees and other structures in the reservoir? If you’re looking for a great fishing spot, try focusing on these areas.

However, ice fishing is prohibited at New Croton Reservoir to protect the water supply for New York City. The reservoir is a key part of the city’s water system, and ice fishing could damage the reservoir’s delicate ecosystem.

11. Boyd Corners Reservoir

The Boyd Corners Reservoir in Putnam County is located along Route 301, making it an easily accessible spot for a day of fishing. It’s only 40 miles from New York City. The reservoir is home to some great Bass and Pan fishing, with the occasional Qalleye being caught as well. Approved and registered rowboats are allowed in the reservoir.

Water from Boyds Corner Reservoir enters the Croton River. It then flows slowly into the City s West Branch Reservoir, where it mixes with water from the Rondout Reservoir, west of the Hudson, via the Delaware Aqueduct. At full capacity, the Boyd Corners Reservoir holds 1.7 billion gallons (7.7 billion liters) of water.

Boyds Corner Dam construction was completed in 1872. The use of concrete in the dam’s construction allowed for a much stronger and more durable structure than previous dams made from wood or stone. The dam is still in use today, providing water for the city of New York and its surrounding areas.

12. Bog Brook Reservoir

The Bog Brook Reservoir in Putnam County was added to New York City’s water supply system in 1892. It is located in the southern part of the state. The Bog Brook stores 4.4 billion gallons (16 billion liters) of water at full capacity. It connects to the East Branch Reservoir and serves as a storage reservoir.

Fishing at Big Brook Reservoir can be a great experience for anglers of all levels. The reservoir is stocked with all types of fish, including Largemouth Bass, Brown Trout, and Chain Pickerel.

Big Brook Reservoir offers a great way to enjoy the outdoors and catch some fish. So whether you’re looking to reel in a big one or enjoy the beauty of nature, Big Brook Reservoir is worth a visit. However, Anglers should know the regulations before fishing at the reservoir.

The McClain Family

We hope we helped. Please let us know of any place that you want to know about in NYS or if we did a poor job with any part of this. Our goal is to help as many people as possible.

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