Hello from The Solitude

This Jay sat sentinel in an ice-covered rose bush this morning waiting for his morning portion of black oil sunflower seed.


We hope the New Year has been good to you so far.

I’ve been getting some questions from recreational boaters and fishers about the water level in the Reservoir, so I wanted to clarify a few details. Since I posted the photo and caption in the beginning of December, the water level has already gone up from 21.8% of capacity to 45.3% as of yesterday.

Rest assured, low water in the Cannonsville during the winter is common.  The NYC DEP releases water for several reasons. One is to keep the level up in the Delaware River for fishing and recreational purposes.

In addition, The DEP lets water out by order of the Rivermaster in Philadelphia.  If enough water does not flow down the Delaware, Philly’s water supply will be contaminated by salt water backing up into the bay.  Last year, the number of releases required was made worse by the drought.  The West Branch Delaware River was dammed to create the Cannonsville Reservoir, and think of where the River goes out to sea: The Delaware Bay.

And finally, if the reservoir level is not lowered before the snow melt and spring rains, there will be too much water in the Cannonsville. I know: Feast or Famine!

After 9-11, there was virtually no water in the Reservoir, as the DEP drained it as a safeguard against  tampering.  (At least that’s what we understood.). I can’t remember for sure what kind of precipitation we had in the winter of 2001-2002, but I do know that the level was back up in the spring.

If you’d like to keep track of it yourself, go to this link:


We’ve had lots of rain and snow so far. Yesterday was a complete day of rain. This morning, ice formed on the road surfaces and trees. The forecast for this week is low 40s with a bit more rain, so I am optimistic that the Cannonsville will be its old muddy self in April and its beautiful blue self in May.

Till next time.

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