Project: River Stewards
Time Frame: 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010
Project Description: Over the years the Batten Kill Watershed Alliance has sponsored River Stewards to patrol the river during the busy summer season. As they patrolled the river, the River Stewards collected data on river usage, distributed information on responsible river use and good stewardship, assisted anyone in trouble, and provided information on preventing the spread of invasive species such as the algae 'didymo'.
Sometimes those enjoying the river do not respect other river users, do not respect riparian landowners, and do not respect the river as a resource. The River Stewards have undertaken outreach to educate river users about the "Rules of the River" (see below), have collected information about problems, and contacted law enforcement authorities as needed.
The Alliance has concentrated on habitat restoration and erosion control projects the last few years, but the River Stewardship activity is an important part of our mission. If you would be interested in helping to sponsor the stewards or if you know of someone who might like to serve as a steward, please contact the BKWA.
Photos: Photos in the slideshow show a few of the river stewards employed by the BKWA over the past few years.
Rules of the River:
Respect the resource - Take trash & containers with you, leave trees down in the river in place, unless it is absolutely necessary to cut a section to achieve safe boat passage. River wood is a crucial part of the aquatic ecology, providing cover and shelter for trout and food for insects. Wash gear, shoes, and clothing when passing between waterways to prevent the spread of invasive plants and algae like didymo. (For more information on preventing the spread of didymo, call 802.241.3777 or visit www.vtwaterquality.org .)
Respect each other - Boaters and floaters have to work out ways to share the river with anglers and swimmers. During hot summer weekends anglers may want to concentrate on fishing early or late, or fish in the upper river or the tributaries. Boaters and floaters who encounter an angler should try to pass behind them as quietly as possible. In areas where people are swimming boaters should use great care to avoid striking a swimer.
Respect private property - Almost all of the riverbanks in Vermont are privately owned, and even where there are public fishing rights in New York we should always be considerate of landowner’s rights. Take trash and containers away with you, do not build fires or camp without permission, obey “posted” or “no trespassing” signs.