In an effort to promote the North Chuctanunda Creek, the Montgomery County Water Quality Committee has stocked the creek with 100 rainbow trout.
The effort, in conjunction with the Montgomery County Soil and Water Conservation District, is the first of its kind and is also designed to promote fishing in the urban environment.
“We wanted to encourage urban fishing, give people an appreciation of the value of the creek and get people interested in conservation of the creek,” John Naple, a member of the Montgomery County Water Quality Committee, said.
The effort cost the county $200, or $2 per fish, Naple said.
Naple has been instrumental in an effort to make people more aware of the impact that the North Chuctanunda Creek has had on Amsterdam’s history. His hope is that in getting more people interested in the creek, people will be interested in preserving it.
But people haven’t been as interested as he would have hoped, he said.
“It’s slow,” he said.
Naple hosts a few guided tours and educational walks along the creek each year, but few people use the trail guide on their own. It’s available at the Amsterdam Free Library.
The North Chuctanunda Creek is essentially the reason Amsterdam became an industrialized city. The creek’s steep gradient in places allows for fast-moving water, which in the early 1800s was a good place to build water-powered mills.
“It shows the history of the Industrial Revolution,” Naple said. “It’s amazing how one mill went out of business and another person bought it and made something else there.”
Naple said walking the creek shows what man can do to negatively affect waterways where channels and walls are built in various places.
Parts of the creek are also just plain pretty, he said, such as behind the old Mohawk Dairy where the city owns about 30 acres of land.
Mayor Ann Thane said she is encouraged by the efforts of Naple and the rest of the members of the county’s Water Quality Committee.
“This is the kind of community effort that we need,” she said. “It’s not people complaining but a group of people appreciating what we have here.”
If the history and beauty of the North Chuctanunda doesn’t make people appreciate it, then maybe the fish will.
Fish were dropped into the creek behind the ball field at Shuttleworth Park, above the Maxwell Dam and at the old Mohasco headquarters near Crystal Ristorante.