Comments

Ken Hashimoto Thu, 07/19/18 - 17:18 The Volunteer DEP Watershed Stewards have submitted a petition online in Objection to the Proposed changes to the Recreation Rules with respect to two issues, ONE- A prohibition on Transfers within or into closed boat areas. This change fails to address any of the reasons given by DEP for this change, except that we agree it will reduce DEP paperwork with respect to transfers. At the same time it causes multiple undue hardships upon the current Boat Tag holders and contravenes their rights of ownership of personal property. TWO- a 10ft from the High Water Mark rule that is physically impossible to achieve compliance at this late without causing chaos in already overcrowded boat areas and potentially causing environmental damage in areas not used until now. The current Rules wording should be left unchanged. The WF Volunteer Watershed Stewards have worked closely with DEP Recreation to improve the relationship and communications with the Access Permit holding Fishing community and do not want to see all the goodwill established over the last few years be wasted by misguided reasoning. The On-Line Petition has gathered over 200 signatures in just 3 days attesting to the strong opinion of the Access Permit holding public. The Petition can be viewed at: https://www.change.org/p/david-s-warne-assistant-commissioner-nycdep-objection-to-dep-2018-proposed-changes-to-recreation-rules

George DeGaetano Fri, 07/20/18 - 7:29 I frequently fish Croton Falls and Kensico Reservoirs, and I am one of the volunteer DEP Stewards. Many people have already articulated their concerns over the implementation of the proposed new rules via email or online petition, so I will be brief. I believe that the "10 foot" rule as well as the rule regarding transfers of boats in closed areas will not only fail to achieve their stated objectives, but they will profoundly affect fishermen in a negative way. Regarding the second concern, I think that great strides have been made these past 5 or so years in building up good will between the DEP and the local fishermen, and I feel the implementation of these two rules. . . without at least some grandfathering provisions. . .will negatively affect this.

Ken Hashimoto Fri, 07/20/18 - 14:25 Further to my previous comment, please see attached the full text of the online Petition in Objection to the proposed DEP Rules. As of this writing there are now 220 signatories in objection.

Tom Sangermano Fri, 07/20/18 - 23:50 There is a better way than the current proposals for the NYDEP to reduce costs, increase boat acquisition opportunities, and increase revenue. 1) Enable volunteer DEP Land Stewards to refer a list of abandoned or expired sticker boats to the NYDEP and in the process save valuable NYDEP manpower expenses. 2) Inform all boat owners that they can enter their unused/unwanted boats for participation in the in-place NYDEP boat auctions. This will reduce unused boats on the reservoir and give interested anglers more opportunities to acquire boat on a closed reservoir via the auction. 3) Increase revenue with the NYDEP assessing a fee as a percentage of individual boat auction sales to defray expenses. These steps will achieve the NYDEP goals while it is questionable if the proposed regulations would. The current transfer process should remain and the 10’ shore buffer should be abandoned. On June 26, 2018, Chris Wilcox died at the age of 38. He previously worked at Four Winds Hospital helping special needs children. He found peace and comfort in fishing and wanted to share his love of fishing with children. Now his family is trying to establish the Chris Wilcox Reel to Real Foundation. Before his untimely death, I was thinking of selling my Cross River boat to him. If the NYDEP boat transfer prohibition goes into effect what could his widow do with the reservoir boat? 1) Sell it at a steep discount because the buyer would have to drag it off the reservoir and store it on private property. 2) Abandon it – and then the NYDEP would keep 100% of the auction proceeds. If the current transfer process is maintained his widow could: 1) Sell it at a competitive price and contribute the funds to the Foundation. 2) Transfer the boat to the Foundation. 3) Sell it to a friend or family member that would honor Chris Wilcox’s fishing passion. Obviously, these last options show much more compassion and fairness.

MICHAEL MONTESANO Sat, 07/21/18 - 21:08 I would like to comment on the NYC DEP proposed rule requiring boats to not be stored within 10 feet of high water line. This will have the effect of making 90% of all boats on all NYC reservoirs relocate. This is undo hardship on all boat owners. Moving that many boats will damage vegetation that the rule is trying to protect. Also, older fisherman like myself will now have to drag a 200lb boat over 10 feet uphill in many instances as most reservoir storage areas are not level so this is no easy task. Perhaps 3 ft would be more appropriate. Also, if you don't enforce the rule, as soon as I move my boat someone will take my spot by the lake and deny my access point.

J F Sat, 07/21/18 - 23:33 A proposed change in section 16-10.1 section W states "A Fishing Boat must not be stored in shoreline buffer zones, which are within 10 feet of the High Water Mark of the shoreline or as otherwise designated by NYCDEP." There are currently thousands of boats located in this area across the reservoir system. I have boats located in this zone, which have been there for over 20 years(That are not blocking access points to the water) and those boats allow me to take anglers who are ages 75-88 years old, who are not physically able to drag an aluminum boat distances longer than 10 feet to get on and off the water. This change will end their ability to have access to the water because the boats will no longer be reasonably placed so they can have access the water given their situations. Also the boat areas are already tight and overcrowded as is, if you force everyone within the first 10 feet of the shoreline to move, it will only create havoc and chaos at the bot areas. I suggest DEP keep the current language in regards to this which are " Boats shall not be stored in shoreline buffer zones, which are generally within ten (10) feet of the shoreline, but may be more or less than ten (10) feet as designated." As to prevent the massive amount of chaos and possible damage to boats that would occur when thousands of boats are being moved to get out of the 10 foot zone.

Arnold Porach Mon, 07/23/18 - 19:49 Im a third genaration dep fishermanI've had my boat on kensico for over twenty years.15 years ago after my knee surgery I moved my boat down away from everyone to be closer to the water. Over the years more boats moved and now I'm blocked in, there's now place to move back past ten feet, I'm about 6 foot away, its not right to move me behind all the other boats, I'm 53 and my dads 86, how are we suppose to drag a boat down to the water, I'm not blocking anyone. At one time I was the only boat at that spot. We fish kensico and cross river 2 to 3 times a week and never have had a problem.

Chris Malone Tue, 07/24/18 - 6:29 Efficient market will let people transfer buy or sell or and create most optimal market and spots. New 10 foot rule does not make sense as boats already have been in the water and some of the elderly or single fisherman or people with bad backs or disabilities will no longer be able to fish. Not to mention there is already overcrowding Of boats. There are plenty of boats already non compliant with old rules that have not been pulled and when I go fishing prime season , day, time I am one of only a couple boats on lake and have been on waiting list for several years to get on some reservoirs and this will only further ezxacerbate the problem as there will be less room for boats to be called. There should be no limit to the the number of boats or reservoirs one can be on as long as no motors are still not allowed. Electric motors should be allowed as there are no difference to oars . It will allow people to cover more water and buy less boats and spots opening it up to more and making it available to elderly or those with bad backs or dissablilites. people who already bought should be grandfathered in.

Gary Mitch Tue, 07/24/18 - 16:58 The sudden strict enforcement of a "10 foot rule" will probably create new conflicts between boat owners. Storage areas are overfilled, with many boats within a 10 foot buffer now. Owners needing to move their boats further away will result in doubling and tripling up of chaining on trees used by properly stored boats, crowding and probably blocking other boats in. As a solo, retiree fisherman I've always been able to drag my boat to the launch area up to now but fear that those days will end. I can't drag my boat over other boats.

Christian Edstrom Wed, 07/25/18 - 11:48 Section 1: Dear NYC DEP: Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed amendments to the existing rules governing recreational use of NYCDEP lands. Thank you also for the opportunities to use NYCDEP land for fishing, hunting, and hiking. The NYCDEP recreation program is a model for multiple use of a precious municipal resource. The following summarized my comments on the proposed regulations. 16-10(p): In section 16-10.1(p), I commend the NYCDEP for extending the term of the Fishing Boat Tags from 2 years to 4 years. This will decrease the administrative burden on both boat owners and NYCDEP. 16-10.1(u)(6): In section 16-10.1(u)(6), the NYCDEP is proposing the elimination of all transfers of Fishing Boat Ownership into or within closed Boat Storage Areas. The justification of the elimination is to reduce the number of boats stored in closed boat storage areas, enable those on the waiting lists to gain access to these areas, and reduce the administrative burden of processing excessive transfer requests. While I recognize the significant interest of NYCDEP in eliminating commercial uses of City Property and enable those on the waiting lists to gain access, eliminating all transfers of fishing boats in Closed Boat Storage areas is an overbroad response to these concerns, which can be better addressed via the proposed new limitations on boats in section 16.10.3, or strengthening those limitations related to closed Boat Storage areas. Significantly, eliminating all transfers of fishing boats within Closed Boat Storage areas forces boat owners who currently store boats within those areas to incur the expense of removal from the Closed Boat Storage area, should they wish to stop fishing from that area. This creates an undue burden on those boat owners, relative to boat owners whose boats are stored in areas which are not closed to new boats. Indeed, for owners whose ownership pre-dates the closure of the boat area, they are burdened by additional cost and effort due to no choice of their own, but an ex post facto change of the designation of the boat area and subsequent rules change. Additionally, eliminating transfers and instituting a burden of boat removal is unlikely to accomplish NYCDEP's stated goals of reducing the number of boats stored in closed boat areas or enable those on waiting lists to gain access. Indeed, it is more likely to create a situation where "zombie" boats are re-tagged, left in place, but infrequently used, reducing overall recreational use of NYCDEP properties. I believe that the goals of the NYCDEP can better be achieved by enhancing, implementing, and enforcing the proposed limitations on boats in section 16-10.1(u)(7) and in section 16-10.3. At minimum, allowing transfers within families or transfers for current owners should be allowed.

Christian Edstrom Wed, 07/25/18 - 11:51 Section 2: 16-10.1(u)(7): In section 16-10.1(u)(7), NYCDEP is proposing that NYCDEP, at its sole discretion, may impose limits on the number of transfers an individual can request per calendar year. I support this limitation, as a better way to achieve NYCDEP's stated goals, rather than the proposed change in 16-10.1(u)(6). Limiting the number of transfers (and total tags) that an individual can request per calendar year appears to be the simplest way that the NYCDEP can address the concern of eliminating commercial Boat sales of Boats within closed Boat storage. Additionally, if allowed by statute, NYCDEP could institute a nominal fee for transfers, or even a scaled fee where the first few transfers incur a nominal fee and transfers above a certain number per year incur a larger fee. This would address both the commercial transfer of boats and the burden of processing excessive transfer requests. 16.10.3: In section 16.10.3, NYCDEP proposes new limitations on boat tags. Generally, I am supportive of these limitations as a better way to achieve NYCDEP's stated goals more generally than the limited and burdensome restrictions in 10.1.(u)(6). In fact, to achieve NYCDEP's stated goals of reducing the number of boats stored in closed boat storage areas, enabling those on the waiting lists to gain access to these areas, reducing the administrative burden of processing excessive transfer requests, and eliminating boat transfers that may be facilitating commercial uses of City property, which are not allowed without NYCDEP’s approval, these changes will be the most effective. The currently proposed limitations are: (i) Limit the number of valid Fishing or Recreational Boat Tags any individual can hold at one time; (ii) Limit the number of Reservoir-specific valid Fishing or Recreational Boat Tags any individual can hold at one time To achieve the stated goals around Closed Boat Areas, I would recommend that the NYCDEP also institute a limitation, in section 10.3 to limit the number of Boat Tags any individual can hold for a Closed Boat Area. 16-08(h)(2): In section 16-08(h)(2), I support allowing of placement of trail cameras on City Property two weeks prior to opening of the archery deer hunting season. I also appreciate the clarification of blaze orange rules in section 16-08(k). Again, Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed amendments to the existing rules governing recreational use of NYCDEP lands. Respectfully, Bjorn Christian Edstrom Chappaqua, NY

Martin Friedman Wed, 07/25/18 - 13:06 The rule below is incorrect as it was amended approximately 7-10 years ago to read year round boating. Therefore, I object to either your not aware that it was amended, or your trying to reverse what was already changed. I also disagree with your new proposal to move the boats back 10 ft from the shoreline. d) Fishing Boat Season. On the Amawalk, Bog Brook, Boyds Corner, Cross River, Croton Falls, Diverting, East Branch, Kensico, Middle Branch, Muscoot, New Croton, Titicus, and West Branch Reservoirs, and on Lake Gilead and Lake Gleneida, Fishing Boats with valid Fishing Boat Tags may be placed on the water during any Ice Free Period. On all other New York City Reservoirs, Fishing Boats with valid Fishing Boat Tags may be placed on the water between April 1st and November 30th of each year during any Ice Free Period.

R Fattizzi Wed, 07/25/18 - 17:58 I am opposed to both the proposed prohibition of private sales and the imposition of a new 10’ rule. As an older fisherman, it is already difficult to launch a boat given the crowded conditions at the assigned spots. Moving everyone back is going to make a bad situation much, much worse. Additionally, many of us have purchased our boats at fair market values and I find it very unfair to have a rule change suddenly make our boats worthless, or create a situation where we couldn’t even transfer them down to our own family members! This is all just very misguided, and poorly thought out. Neither of these proposals will improve either the crowded conditions we now face, or the wait time on lists for closed reservoirs.

Ronnie A. Fri, 07/27/18 - 22:28 I’m opposed to the following proposed changes: 1) The 10-foot rule: I fail to see how this can be implemented on the (EOH) reservoirs due to extreme overcrowding. There is simply no room... period. Not to mention the chaos and confrontations it will cause as boaters jockey for potential spots. Most importantly, it will be a major imposition on the older members particularly to those with disabilities. Clearly the DEP never surveyed the boat areas on the (EOH) reservoirs prior to proposing the 10-foot rule. 2) Prohibiting boat transfers within or into closed boat areas: I would not be opposed to this idea IF there was a limitation to a number of transfers per season. However, I’m completely against the idea of completely shutting down the transfer process. I should have the freedom and ability to pass down (transfer) my property (boat) to my kids and family members as per my right.

Tom Sangermano Sun, 07/29/18 - 16:24 Over the past 12 years, Westchester Fishing has attracted 1091 members. I am a founding member. Our focus continues to be fishing on the NYC reservoirs. There have been many comments on our website and our members are vehemently against the 10 foot rule and elimination of boat transfer transfers. If the NYCDEP truly wants to respect and recognize the public comments of dedicated fishermen, they will not enact regulations that are distinctly against fishermans wishes and will hurt fishing in NY. If this were an election, it would be like electing the candidate that got zero votes over a candidate with 100% of the votes. On a personal note, I had recommended that the NYCDEP boat auction include and be promoted to fishermen that did not use their boats as a way to increase the availability and reduce the price of boats to wait list fishermen. I also had recommended the on-site auction of reservoir boat. The expanded NYCDEP auction, with the inclusion of boat owner participation, along with expired tag boats, is not an issue if the NYCDEP eliminated the wasteful and expensive practice of pulling boats.

John Lynch Mon, 07/30/18 - 16:00 Remove sailboats as an allowable Recreational Boat Sails and center/dagger boards. Sails are a piece of dacron or some other low-permeable, low or non-absorbent material. (No longer permeable cotton.) They are two sided and can be laid on the ground or hung in the air and are completely accessible for cleaning. (My JY 16’s sail area for Jib and Main is only about 170 sq. ft.) The sail bag is made of the same material and fully cleanable. If the question is that sails are taken home, then we can create a lockable storage (small box – nothing elaborate - I can bring my own) at the launch site. P.S.: As for portability of sails, kayaks can easily be taken out, used somewhere else and brought back unnoticed. Sails generally, if brought home, are brought back un-used elsewhere because they are made for that particular sailboat. Center/Dagger Boards are either fully removable (dagger board) or capable of being fully lowered (center board) for cleaning. This is not unwieldy. That leaves the center/dagger board box. IT IS A HOLE IN THE BOTTOM OF THE BOAT with a top on it. This is quite similar to the enclosed peak and stern of kayaks. The flexible high-pressure hose can easily access the interior of the box. That leaves the unwieldly part as getting access to the “hole in the bottom of the boat. Well. Just like the kayak, lay the boat on the ground and roll it on its side. Again, (I hate to say this – but) allow the Cleaning Designee an extra fee for their time and effort. The following comments apply to the Pepacton Reservoir. Sailboating on the Pecpacton is low because there is no way to launch a sailboat without arraigning an appointment with a DEP employee to open the gates to the launching ramps. Once inside the gates, the process must be repeated to haul the boat at seasons end. Sailboats are not easily carried and mine requires the use a dolly (easily cleaned with the boat) and would be left with the boat at the launch site. There are no provisions (post, ring or stanchion) to secure the boat on the water side of the gate. We do not need racks, posts and rings at the upper end of the Perch Lake launch ramp would be enough. In Summary: What makes a sailboat unwieldly and difficult to effectively steam clean was not defined or identified in the release. I have done my best to identify areas unique to a sailboat that, to me, would be problematic, requiring additional time and effort for cleaning, and have suggested solutions to the problems. 1 - Lay out the sails 2 – Remove the dagger board, lower the center board 3 – Lay the boat on its side to allow access to its center/dagger board box 4 – This one hurts - - Allow an extra fee for the extra time and effort for cleaning. 5 – Once a sailboat is launched at the Pepacton Reservoir, it will be there for the season (it is on the water side of the gates). Having posts and rings would improve the security of leaving the boat.

Mickey Goldfine Mon, 07/30/18 - 18:18 I'm writing concerning the proposed change to the "10 foot rule". I've been a Wetlands Commissioner in the town of Sherman CT ( I'm commenting as an individual boat owner of 30 years) for 15 years and I'm always aware of erosion and other land use issues especially near water. Many of the applications I review deal with shoreline management. This is an area I'm an expert in. The existing DEP recommendation reads "keep boats 10 feet from the buffer zone". A buffer zone typically has heavy vegetation to keep runoff from entering a body of water ( see below) . I suggest that the 10 feet next to the water are in fact a set-back and are not a buffer. The boats do in fact PROVIDE some PROTECTION to the shoreline from run-off especially when there is a slope leading to the shoreline as is the case with many boat storage areas. Shoreline erosion IMO is from wave action and runoff is prevented from entering the water to some degree by the boats. I could NOT find supporting documentation that moving boats 10 feet would provide an effective buffer. Furthermore I am 64 years old and disabled. I don't want any special rules for my situation. What I don't want is to be penalized for taking the time and effort to be close to the reservoirs.

Mickey Goldfine Mon, 07/30/18 - 18:23 PLEASE ADD the following information to my previously submitted comment. A setback is simply a measured distance, usually specified in local zoning ordinances, that separates the site of a potential source of pollution from any nearby waterway deemed sensitive for water supply purposes. A riparian buffer zone, on the other hand, is an area of land, usually a vegetated strip of some determined width, adjacent to a watercourse and purposefully designed to act as a physical barrier or filter where contaminants from tainted runoff are either stored or transformed before the water is discharged into a stream, lake, reservoir, or wetland area (Nieswand et al., 1990; Whipple, 1993). Buffers, particularly ones in their naturally vegetated state, play a significant role in mitigating adverse impacts on water quality due to development activity. ...

Tom Sangermano Mon, 07/30/18 - 18:59 Making boat transfers illegal will lead to less sales, less turnover of unused boats, and continued long wait lists. In addition restricting boat transfers will have a similar effect. In order to get unused boats from continuing to be just stored on the reservoirs and move them to interested new fishermen is to not only allow unlimited transfers but to promote and facilitate the transfer process. The increased number of boats for sale will reduce prices. The yearly NYCDEP auction should be on-site (without pulling boats) and individual boat owners should be able to participate.

Mickey Goldfine Tue, 07/31/18 - 10:27 Proposed 10 foot buffer--BAD IDEA.......This is a follow up to my earlier post regarding buffers. If the purpose of the setback is too improve the shore line and reduce runoff into the reservoir removing boats from the edge will make it worse. Assuming the boats on the edge were all gone tomorrow and no one moved their boats closer ( impossible!) here is what would happen. The people with boats in the "second row" would now drag their boats over the vacant area and into the reservoir. Previously most owners used a single launch site thereby keeping erosion to a confined area. This action will create a weaker shoreline and muddy areas in the 10 foot setback where previously you had none.

Thomas Mariutto Tue, 07/31/18 - 18:42 I take acception with the elimination of boat transfers and the 10 foot rule regarding boat storage. Storage space is limited and forcing people to relocate boats will cause even more problems than currently exist in almost all mooring areas. In some cases it will be physically impossible to move the boat according to the proposed rule. I will be unable, do to physical limitations, be unable to drag my boat any further away for the water than it currently is. Basically making it impossible for me to use my boats again. This is borderline discrimination against folks with disability. Lucky I am not disabled but this will certainly cause me and many other fishermen an undue hardship. If I needed to pass my boats along to a friend or family member I would be unable to do so with the proposed boat transfer ban. Which I also oppose. I have been fishing the NYC reservoir system for over 30 years and find specifically these two proposed changes to be overzealous and unfair and should be removed from the proposed changes.

Casey McCormick Tue, 07/31/18 - 22:41 Restricting transfers will prohibit anglers from, specifically older anglers, from passing their boat to younger relatives. In addition the 10’ restriction will also make it difficult or impossible for those elderly anglers to use their boats.

Gordon Loery Tue, 07/31/18 - 23:06 I would like to comment on the proposed changes to boat transfers and the 10' setback for boats on reservoirs. While I'm happy with the current rules, if the DEP feels there are problems with the boat transfer system, I would urge you to make incremental changes to the system rather than abolish the transfer of boats within closed areas entirely. To reduce the burden of excessive transfers, you could impose limits on the number of transfers an individual is allowed (such as one per year), and restrict the ability of permit holders to sell newly placed boats on closed reservoirs for a period of time ( five years, for example). These provisions would dramatically reduce the number of transfers (especially anyone seeking to put a boat on a closed reservoir for the sole purpose of reselling it), while still allowing legitimate transfers, such as among family members and friends. If you do enact the transfer prohibition, how would fishing clubs which own multiple boats (but are required to have them registered in an individual's name) move the registration among club members? Secondly, I strongly urge the DEP to keep the existing rules regarding allowed setback of boats from the high water mark. Forcing all boats to be more than ten feet from the water would be completely unworkable on most EOH reservoirs, which are already very crowded. It would create chaos, forcing longtime fishermen (typically older and less physically able) to move their boats several rows back in many cases, if there it is even possible. Some boat areas, such as Sodom area 5 would essentially have to be closed for lack of space between the high water mark and the road. The proposed changes would also likely worsen erosion, causing people to drag boats further over more ground and damaging vegetation. As a Watershed Steward and regular fisherman/boater on many of the NYC reservoirs, I would urge you to reconsider these proposed changes.

Shawn Hu Wed, 08/1/18 - 3:49 I am against the proposed rules set forth by NYCDEP in regards to the 10ft rule of storing boats from the shoreline as well as the limitations proposed on boat transfers for reasons that have been discussed during the public hearing.

Edward SCHORK Wed, 08/1/18 - 5:07 COMMENT #1 OF SEVERAL First of all, a heartfelt thanks to NY state, NYC, NY Fisheries, and the legion of folks at the DEP who work to make fishing access available on such beautiful, tranquil reservoirs containing truly remarkable, world class fishing opportunities. I offer the following comments in a spirit of gratitude and respect, and also with a willingness to do my share to “pitch in” in future years to help protect and preserve this precious resource. I apologize to the reader, brevity is not my strong suit – I will need to submit this in multiple installments. Objections/Thoughts regarding the 10 FOOT SHORELINE BOAT EXCLUSION 1. NO MORE ROOM. Everyone is making this point. Because its TRUE. Due to extreme overcrowding, steep/hilly or otherwise difficult terrain, presence of dense forest or boulders or large deadfall treetrunks, this will be IMPOSSIBLE TO ACHIEVE AT SOME SITES, EXTREMELY DIFFICULT AT OTHERS, at least at most EOH sites (though the north shore/dam end of Rondout also has some of the most difficult sites I’ve seen). As others have stated, there is no more room. Period. Those of us who are users, and who have walked most of the EOH sites, know this from firsthand experience. Some users wonder if the DEP folks suggesting this rule change have perhaps literally not walked a mile in our shoes.

Edward SCHORK Wed, 08/1/18 - 5:16 COMMENT #2 (see below for prior) OBJECTIONS/Thoughts regarding 10 Foot Buffer Zone proposal 2. FALSE BUFFER PROTECTION ASSUMPTION BY DEP? REMOVAL OF WATER’S EDGE BOATS COULD BE WORSE FOR THE SHORELINE, NOT BETTER? It strikes me that HAVING BOATS ALL ALONG THE SHORELINE MAY PREVENT DAMAGE TO THE SHORELINE by keeping people from tromping over long stretches of the shoreline edge, de facto protecting it, because the boats and the trees at water’s edge are in the way, serving as a kind of barricade. I imagine the DEP assumption is that boat launching from all along the water’s edge (within the boat site) is bad for the shoreline. Well please consider this: we all agree that many boats are rarely used, so ironically, rarely used boats left in place at the water’s edge are de facto functioning like a sort of blockade protecting the shoreline under and adjacent to them from being walked on. Conversely, if DEP moves all boats back 10 feet, there may be two unintended consequences that would paradoxically work against the goal of protecting the shoreline: 2(a) people would then be free to walk all along the water’s edge, up and down the shoreline, REPEATEDLY STEPPING ON AND DEGRADING THE EDGE OF THE EMBANKMENT EACH TIME they did so, stepping into and out of the water, wading, shore fishing, etc. -- potentially doing more harm than occurred when boat owner’s in many instances ONLY VERY RARELY launched their boats. As it stands now, you can’t walk along most of the water’s edge because it’s totally abutted by rowboats, protecting the bank’s edge! 2(b) Due to the limited (or absent) availability of “boat launch OPENINGS/LANES at water’s edge” that I have witnessed at many EOH sites, if under this proposal all boats were removed from the shoreline, boat launchers would be free to choose any spot along the length of the shoreline to enter. E.g., someone launching his boat far from an open launching lane would be tempted to “take the shortest distance to the water” and just “crash forward” rather than drag his boat 50 feet horizontally along the shoreline to an open launch lane. If many active boat users did this over time, randomly varying in where they launched, MUCH MORE OF THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF THE SHORELINE could be exposed to degradation, and could end up being “more beaten up” by the impact of just a small set of very active users, than would ever have occurred under current circumstances. In effect, removal of all boats from water’s edge renders the entire waterfront a “wide open launch zone” and potentially much more of the waterfront could end up degraded by active boat launching activity than occurs currently with many boats rarely being used (a separate problem). Ironic, but possibly true – rarely used boats at water’s edge, intended for regular use but actually used infrequently, might be a better protection of the shoreline zone than clearing the area of all boats.

Edward SCHORK Wed, 08/1/18 - 5:38 COMMENT #3 (of several) Objections/Thoughts regarding the 10 FOOT SHORELINE BOAT EXCLUSION 3. SELF-DEFEATING OPPOSITE IMPACT OF DEP’S STATED GOAL OF REDUCING USER CONFLICTS. Asking upwards of one third to one half of all boat owners at each site to vacate their cherished water’s edge boat spots will likely ignite conflicts between users as they jockey for new positions in areas where the pickings are slim to none. Call it Armageddon in the Woods, Darwinian Struggle for Spot Survival, Tin Can Chaos, or just A Real Bad Idea, implementing this rule change would likely lead to a great deal of USER ON USER CONFLICT. Its been my observation that not all members of the rowboat fishing fraternity are good at taking into consideration the needs of their neighbors when positioning their boats. Ahem. Spot-getting has already felt “challenging” and “competitive” at EOH spots, to put it politely. Unleash a requirement to relocate 40% of all boats, back it up with a threat of boat seizure, and you’ve got a formula for disaster. As someone at the hearing put it, “if you WANTED to create the maximum amount of CHAOS at the sites, you couldn’t come up with a better way to do it”. Result? My guess: lots of complaint calls to DEP staff who will be overwhelmed by fielding angry calls and complaints and asking for interventions, DEP field staff making enforcement decisions about removals and doing lots and lots of removals, dealing with angry users coming to reclaim their boats at DEP office grounds, and in the woods, who knows, maybe blocked paths or even vandalism or open confrontation - I would hope not but I've heard stories, its apparently happened under calmer circumstances. Not to mention calls to the police, DEP administrative offices, etc. Just guessing.... :) In other words, Fishing Nirvana turned into Boat Spot Meltdown. Reduced User Conflicts?

Edward SCHORK Wed, 08/1/18 - 5:40 COMMENT #4 (of several) Objections/Thoughts regarding the 10 FOOT SHORELINE BOAT EXCLUSION 4. DIFFERENTIALLY “DISCRIMINATES” AGAINST OLDER USERS. While DEP makes no representations for handicapped access, it strikes many of us that this rule change would negatively disadvantage older users who have become less strong and agile as they have aged. I don’t know if “AGE DISCRIMINATION” is a viable legal concept of any relevance here, but I’m not interested in a lawsuit, just a reasonable preservation of my/our ability to ACCESS and enjoy the resource that I/we were implicitly promised to be able to use. I got my boats under the implied representations from DEP consisting of their rules at the time, including that folks could put a boat at the water’s edge. I invested in that scenario, spent money, time, lost wages, got excited, am enjoying fishing, am grateful, but its not clear how “usable” my boats will continue to be if I end up far from shore. Eventually, sooner or later, I won't be able to handle the long distance drag. And there are other older gents who would currently already be at that point - de facto deprived of access by imposition of unmanageable distance/obstacles. It would feel disappointing and frustrating at best, if not perhaps a bit unfair, to have the carpet pulled out from under our feet, although I do acknowledge DEP’s right to manage the resource as it sees fit. As many of us did, over a period of years I searched for open spots by the water, I showed up first in line on DEP office opening day, I watched and took water’s edge spots when other’s boats were removed, and eventually I eked out some boats at water’s edge, boats I could count on being able to handle in coming years as I “age out”. If we have to move “back” from water’s edge, it WON’T BE TO 11 FEET. IT WILL BE TO 40 FEET OR SO, BECAUSE EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN WILL ALREADY BE TAKEN. IF SUCH A MOVE IS EVEN POSSIBLE, depending as I said above, on the site terrain. At least, that seems likely. Don’t mean to “whine” – as you heard at the hearing and see in the comments, this is an important issue for many of us, all the more so with each passing year. Would DEP consider grandfathering in the users who have water’s edge spots, and initiate this restriction only on new boat permits, while maybe – this is a separate recommendation – in the meanwhile simultaneously working to build handicapped access sites on more of the reservoirs to meet the needs of older fisherman in that more direct manner? I’ve heard there is one on Rondout – good news!

Edward SCHORK Wed, 08/1/18 - 5:44 COMMENT #5 (of several) Objections/Thoughts regarding the 10 FOOT SHORELINE BOAT EXCLUSION 5. NEGATIVE PUBLIC RELATIONS FOR DEP. SELF-DEFEATING OPPOSITE IMPACT OF DEP’S STATED GOAL OF IMPROVING RELATIONS BETWEEN DEP AND THIS USER GROUP. 100% of attendees at the Carmel NY hearing voted against the 10 Foot Rule (and also the no-transfer in closed sites provision), and I’d estimate somewhere between 70 and 100 attendees. 100%! As another commenter mentioned, going with this rule would be like having the candidate with no votes win the election... We have a petition with nearly 400 signatures as of 7/31, and these are just the users who happen to be so very engaged that they heard about this on very short notice – within several weeks of announcement, without email notification or letters of notice of proposed changes, just word of mouth. How many more users/owners would sign the petition or agree with these comments if they knew of the proposed changes? How many of users/owners of the 12,000 boats out there will react negatively when a third to a half of them having shoreline boats will be told they have to move them back or lose them? I’m estimating shoreline boats as being at least a third of all boats at most sites. A third of 12,000 boats is 4,000 boats. Are you really planning to ask the owners of 4,000 boats to move them back? No offense, but to again paraphrase the gentleman at the hearing, “if you wanted to really stir up a hornet’s nest with this user group, this (and a total abolition of all boat transfers on closed sites) would be a very good way”.

Edward SCHORK Wed, 08/1/18 - 6:11 COMMENT #6 (final comment re 10 Foot Rule) Objections/Thoughts regarding the 10 FOOT SHORELINE BOAT EXCLUSION 6. NEGATIVE IMPACT ON DEP WORKFLOW & RESOURCE ALLOCATION. This will be difficult to enforce, and I would imagine, hard on all concerned. Scores of boats would likely need to get pulled. Some examples of issues: Many users will perhaps “not get the message” about the new rule(s), “I didn’t even know about the new rule”, “Why didn’t you send me a letter or email?” People will argue about whether their boat was 11 feet from shore vs 10 ft vs 9 ft, or where the true high water mark actually is, which might be open to individual interpretation. Others might argue about whether part of the boat was ok, and only part too close, and how much matters, is it ok if just half the boat is outside 10 feet, or all of it? And then there might be the blaming the other guy approach - “I had it 10 ft away, someone else shoved it into violation”. Or worse - and someone actually said this at the Carmel hearing - someone pushes your boat into violation so it will be pulled by DEP, so that they can take your spot. Yikes. This would seem likely to both really aggravate the boat owners, but also put the DEP field staff behind the 8 ball. Think of the literally hundreds of angry boat owners coming to Mahopac (or upstate) to reclaim their boats that were pulled for being near shore, not to mention how unhappy people will be to lose their cherished water's edge, manageable-access spots. Given all the priorities and projects DEP might invest staff time and resources in, is this what DEP admin wants its staff to be spending their time doing? Dealing with this? How about better trash removal, demarcation and enforcement of clearcut boat launch pathways at water's edge on EOH sites, enforcement by callups or removal on guys who block communal pathways... IN SUMMARY REGARDING THE "10 FOOT SHORELINE BOAT EXCLUSION" PROPOSAL It seems to me that the 10 Foot Buffer Zone proposal is a poorly conceived and ultimately self-defeating idea, that may not achieve in practice the stated environmental benefit of improved shoreline protection (and paradoxically may have the effect of increasing degradation of shoreline by removing the protective presence of boat hulls and exposing site shorelines to widespread random walking/trampling/launching along their entire shoreline length), while at a human level poses the risk of unleashing intense user conflicts, complaints to DEP field office staff, an epic demand on DEP field staff time, a groundswell of negative publicity for DEP administration, and perhaps active consideration of legal implications of the negative impact on older users. With all respect and appreciation to NY State, NYC and DEP for being able to use this wonderful resource, I sincerely hope DEP will strike this proposed rule change. Thank you for reading.

Ed Schork Wed, 08/1/18 - 7:57 Comment 7 - Transfer, Other Issues Transfers are GOOD, they are one way for someone to move his boat on to a new user, fostering access. To limit commercial turnovers, limit the permit holder to only a few transfers per year, or require that each boat be possessed for a year or 2 before allowing transfer. Transfers of at least several boats ought to be allowed to permitted family members, or at least offspring. This is a very emotional issues. Notarized Affadavits could be used to verify family membership. Eliminating Transfers is bad because it TRAPS boat owners in their boats. If you can't transfer sell, why sell at all? You have to hire a person and rent a truck to go down in the woods to remove a boat from the reservoir, which is now worth much less because its going home to be sold on CL off your lawn, a beat-up rock-dented jalopy that no one will want or at best brings a fraction of what it would bring on a reservoir site. The sale value of beat up post reservoir 12 footers is $300-350 and 14's is maybe $500-$550. After paying for truck and help, it's not worth it, causing some to just let it sit on the reservoir. THIS IS SELF DEFEATING BY THE DEP, WHICH NEEDS TO INCENTIVIZE TURNOVER, NOT MAKE IT HARDER OR MORE COSTLY. To incentivize "zombie boat" owners who never/rarely use their boats to relinquish them, DEP needs to stop making it so easy to "park and forget" boats. Unpopular thought, but I suggest a $25-$40 per year nuisance fee, administered every year to remind folks they have a price for keeping that boat there. That plus continuing to allow transfer sales, and trying on-site owner boat sale auctions, could motivate a lot of folks to think about it and let some boats go.

Ken Hashimoto Wed, 08/1/18 - 23:20 There are now 398 signatories to the Petition in Objection to the Proposed Changes to the DEP Recreation Rules as og Aug 1st 1100PM.