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November 29, 2012

DEC, Land Trust open new river access site

Staff Report
Cooperstown Crier

---- — Construction has been completed and a new public access site on the Susquehanna River south of Cooperstown is now open, according to a media release from the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Otsego Land Trust.

The new site, called the Compton Bridge Conservation Area, will allow anglers and boaters with car top boats to access the Susquehanna River on County Route 11C in the town of Middlefield. The site is located between the east end of the bridge and the Cooperstown and Charlotte Valley Railroad tracks.

The new access site is the result of a joint effort by DEC staff, the Otsego Land Trust, the Chesapeake Conservancy, the Upper Susquehanna Coalition, the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network, the Otsego County Highway Department, and the Headwaters River Trail Partnership, according to DEC Regional Director Gene Kelly.

“This is a fine example of what can get accomplished when a number of like-minded groups work together for a common cause,” Kelly said in the release.

“What started as a three-acre purchase has propelled Otsego Land Trust into a new category that has the potential of not just providing recreational opportunities in Otsego County, but also allows us to contribute to large scale waterway protection on a landscape level involving the Susquehanna watershed,” said Harry Levine, chair of the Otsego Land Trust Board of Directors.

Located at the confluence of the Susquehanna River and Oaks Creek, the site attracts local anglers in the spring looking for brown trout and later in the year in search of walleye and smallmouth bass among other resident fishes, according to the DEC. Oaks Creek flows into the Susquehanna River at the site and is stocked annually with brown trout a number of miles upstream from the Susquehanna. However, some trout may be found in the Susquehanna River when water temperatures are cooler in the winter, spring and fall.

The site has parking on both sides of the county highway. On the north side, there is a walkway down to the Susquehanna River.