Chautauqua Lake Cleanup Report

Chautauqua Lake Cleanup 2017

The Chautauqua Lake Cleanup was held on Saturday, May 21 from 8 am to 2:30pm.  There were 43 volunteers who collected 61 tires, 20 cubic yards of trash and 1040 pounds mixed metals.  This third annual cleanup was co-hosted by Conewango Creek Watershed Association (CCWA), Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, Chautauqua Co. Soil and Water Conservation District and Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance.  The Chautauqua Lake Fishing Association provided their property as the main staging area.  They also provided coffee, doughnuts and a hot dog and hamburger lunch to the volunteers as a small thank you for their efforts.  All the hosts want to thank the volunteers and sponsors for supporting this effort.

Platinum Sponsors were Chautauqua Lake Association (CLA), Rock of WNY, and the Main Landing Restaurant.  The CLA participated for the first time this year and provided 2 barges, 2 dump trucks, the weed harvester and staff to operate the equipment.   The barges and trucks helped us get a lot of stuff out of the Lake and transport it to our staging area at the Chautauqua Lake Fishing Association.  Rock which participated for the second time, provided their barge with the crane.  It was instrumental in getting some very large and heavy stuff out of the lake.

Other sponsors were Gold Sponsors:  Evergreen Outfitters, United Refining Co, and Conewango Township. Bestway Container Solutions, Silver Sponsors included:  Great Lakes Tree Services, Inc, Cochran & Zandi Lumber, Inc, and Stiffler & McGraw.   Bronze Sponsors included:  Superior Tire and Rubber Co, Donald E Lewis Funeral Home, Whirly Drink Works, Betts Industries, Warren Industrial Solutions and Voty Insurance Agency.

Sue Nielsen, board member for CCWA stated “We got some very productive volunteers both on-land and on-water.  But we needed more people on the water.  We had plenty of canoes.   We were working in areas where the bigger boats couldn’t go so we had to collect the trash and move it out to an area where the barges could pick up the trash and tires. We needed more hands to help.  We got a lot of tires and trash, but there’s still a lot out there.”

“Of course, we need to thank Chautauqua County for registering our event as an Earth Day event and disposing of the trash and tires at no cost to us.  That is a critical element to any cleanup, the cost of disposal,” said Elizabeth Dropp, also a board member of CCWA.

On-land volunteers cleaned Celoron/ Lucille Ball Park, McCrea Point Park, the ball fields just off Jones and Gifford road as well as along Jones and Gifford Road itself. See photos below.

ROCK of WNY Supplied a barge and operator for the day

Poker Run Early Registration Deadline Extended

Bring your registrations into the office or call us to let us know you have mailed it.

The early registration for our Second Annual Conewango Creek Kayak and Canoe Poker Run has been extended to Friday, May 20 at 5 pm.  Since our move, our mail has been significantly delayed.  Right now it’s taking our mail 2 weeks to arrive even when it’s mailed in Warren.  So we have extended the deadline to help.  We are also asking that people to either drop the registrations off in person or call and let us know that you are mailing it.  Be sure to give us t-shirt size(s) so we can get them ordered.   Only early registrations received by 5pm on May 20th are guaranteed a t-shirt.  After May 20 the registration fee goes up to $30 for non-members and $25 for members and a shirt cannot be guaranteed.  A few extras shirts will be ordered and will be given out on a first-come first-served basis.  After May 27th bring the registrations to the event on June 11 instead of mailing them.  If you have any questions, email us at or call us at 814-726-1441.  Thanks for your cooperation and patience!!

River of the Year Gala Update

Register quickly and easily online for the Gala at  Online Registation

As a wrap up of our 2015 River of the Year celebration, The Conewango Creek Watershed Association is hosting a year-end Gala on Thursday, October 22, 2015 at Jackson Valley Golf Club on Rt. 69 between North Warren and Sugar Grove.  This is our last celebration event of the River of the Year events.

The Gala will start with a happy hour starting at 5:30 pm (cash bar) followed by a dinner served, buffet-style at 6:30 pm. The main course will be a “Low Country Boil” with potatoes, corn, shrimp, and sausage with spices. The price will be $21.50 per person including coffee, soft drinks, tax and gratuity. An alternate meal for those with allergies or other needs will be provided on a limited basis.  RSVP by 3 PM, Monday, October 19!

After dinner our featured speaker, Robin Foster, PhD candidate from SUNY at Buffalo, NY will talk about an elusive and intriguing resident of Western New York and Northwest PA: the Eastern Hellbender. The Hellbender is a sign of the general health of a waterway and efforts are underway to to see if these primordial amphibians exist on the Conewango. 

Robin Foster is a PhD Candidate at the University of Buffalo Graduate Program in Evolution, Ecology and Behavior.  After several years as an elementary school teacher, she decided to pursue her passion for wildlife and began a new career in conservation biology.  She obtained both her BA and MA degrees in biology from SUNY Buffalo State.  Robin has been involved with eastern hellbender research and conservation since 2004.  She has spent many hours in the field handling these gentle giants and is passionate about sharing these experiences with others to help spread the word about the importance of these salamanders and their freshwater habitats.

The Hellbender:  Allegheny’s Living Fossil

The Eastern Hellbender is a unique aquatic salamander found only in the eastern United States.  Hellbenders are “living fossils” that have remained virtually unchanged for millions of years, giving us a glimpse into our ecological past.  In recent years, this iconic species has declined significantly in New York and throughout its entire range.  We will discuss the natural history and conservation of this fascinating species, and learn how we can all aid in its conservation here in the Conewango watershed and throughout the Allegheny region.

We will also have a slide show and videos of highlights of all of our River of the Year activities playing throughout the evening. And the winner of our kayak package will be announced.

This Gala will also serve as our annual member meeting, and the election of directors will take place then. Any member in good standing (dues paid, etc.) may nominate another member in good standing for a director position. Each member in good standing has one vote for election of these positions. We are looking for directors willing to serve, especially from the Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties area (New York State portion of our watershed). If you are interested in serving or in nominating someone else, you can do so by making the nomination at the Gala at the time of the election.  A director term lasts 3 years.

If you have questions, you can call 814-726-1441 or email us at

If you have not paid your dues for 2015 or know someone who would like to join, dues will be collected at the event or you can renew beforehand. Checks can be mailed to our office or you can renew/join on our website here at

We look forward to seeing you at our one-of-a-kind, year-end wrap up event for our River of the Year Celebration.      RSVP by 3 PM Monday October 19!

For more information you can email us through the site or call our office at 814-726-1441.

Sojourn a Success–Up NEXT: Hatch Fun Geocaching Aug 1, 2015

The Conewango Creek River of the Year Sojourn was a success and people commented how much they enjoyed this educational group paddle trip. Thank you State Representative Kathy Rapp for reading and presenting a proclamation naming us River of the Year for 2015! Thank you to our four expert presenters who spoke on a variety of topics along the way:  Tom Erlandson, JCC-retired: Geology of the Conewango Creek Watershed; Nate Welker, USFS: Aquatic Biodiversity of the Conewango Watershed; Cecile Stelter, PA Forest Bureau: Importance of Healthy Diverse Forests to the Conewango Creek Watershed; and Chase Putnam, Warren County Historical Society-retired: Local History of the Conewango Creek Area.

Up Next:

Title: Hatch Fun Geocaching Event
Location: Hatch Run Conservation Demostration Area – Corner of Hatch Run Road & Conewango Avenue Extension
Description: This event is hosted by CCWA, the Warren County Conservation District and Penn Soil RC&D Council. It is part of our River of the Year events calendar. This is a fun event designed for current geocachers as well as anyone interested in learning more about geocaching. This event is FREE, but there are also two paid registration levels which include a lunch and a souvenir. Geo-Art will be featured and there will be a beginning geocaching seminar for anyone interested. This event is open to the public.
Start Time: 09:00
Date: 2015-08-01
End Time: 17:00

Conewango Creek Sojourn

Title: Conewango Creek Sojourn
Location: Frewsburg, NY to Russell, PA
Description: All day educational organized float trip down the Conewango Creek. Come join us and find out why the Conewango Creek is 2015 PA River of the Year. We will have several presentation/ activities as we paddle our way down the Creek. Topics will include, geology, forestry, aquatics, wildlife and history. We’ll end with a picnic supper. Fee is $40 person and includes, canoe/vest/paddle, shuttling, lunch, dinner, activities, and t-shirt.
Start Time: 07:30
Date: 2015-07-11
End Time: 17:00

Roger Tory Institute February Events

·         February 13 – 1:00pm-5:00pm: JCC, RTPI and CWC staff will be meeting at the RTPI parking lot at 12:30pm and will be traveling to South Valley State Forest to survey for HWA (Hemlock Woolly Adelgid). The survey is open to the public and anyone that attends will receive on-site training.

·         February 13-16 – Great Backyard Bird Count: The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are. RTPI staff will be participating in the annual GBBC and we recommend that all citizen scientists and feeder watchers do the same! The 2015 GBBC will be taking place Friday, February 13 through Monday, February 16.

·         February 22-28: National Invasive Species Awareness Week

·         February 23 – 12:30pm-4:30pm: Andrea Locke from WNY PRISM will be coming to RTPI from Buffalo to provide a Forest Pest Early Detection training session covering HWA (Hemlock Woolly Adelgid), Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and Asian Long horned Beetle (ALB). Protocols used to survey for HWA will be discussed and then the group will go out to the RTPI/JCC woodlot to survey the nearby hemlock stands. This is open to the public and reservations are not required but would be appreciated.

·         February 26 – 6:00pm: “Insects and the Diseases They Can Cause”: Jamie Haight from the New York State Health Department: Jamie, a biologist for the New York State Health Department, does disease surveillance and mosquito and tick investigation in Western New York. This event is free and open to the public.

·         February 27 – 1:00pm-5:00pm: JCC, RTPI and CWC staff will be meeting at the RTPI parking lot at 12:30pm and will be traveling to Hatch Run Conservation Demonstration Area to survey for HWA. This survey is also open to the public and anyone that attends will receive on-site training.

We hope to see you at any or all of these great educational events!  For more information on these or other programs at RTPI visit our website at or call us at 716-665-2473.
Jane Johnson

Communications & Public Programs Coordinator


Regenerate your soils, increase your profits, and improve your streams! Attend the upcoming workshop featuring Gabe Brown and Bernard Sweeney on March 19, 2015 (8:30-3:00) at the Wysox Fire Hall in Towanda, PA:

**Gabe Brown & his family operate a 5,000 acre diversified operation near Bismarck, ND, that includes crops, pasture, and beef cattle. Gabe will discuss how his operation regenerated the soils and farm resources using a systematic approach which includes no-till, diverse crop rotations, multi-species cover crops, and grazing. According to Gabe & his family, “these strategies have allowed the health of the soil, the mineral and water cycles to greatly improve. In other words, the natural resources have benefited. This results in increased production, profit and a higher quality of life.”

**Bern Sweeney, Ph.D., Director of Stroud Water Research Center, will provide a different perspective of your stream and the life within it- What can your stream do for you if given the opportunity?

Please forward this email to any interested parties.

**RSVP to Emily Dekar at the Bradford County Conservation District or 570-265-5539 ext 117

Registration Fee includes a Hot Lunch! Early Bird is $5.00 before March 6th or $10.00 after March 6th

For more information see this Brochure.

Celebrating 50th Anniversary of Wilderness

Wilderness at 50 Opens at the Crary Art Gallery in Warren, Saturday, August 30th, at 2:00 p.m.!

Friends of Allegheny Wilderness seeks to foster an appreciation of wilderness values and benefits, and to work with local communities to ensure that increased wilderness protection is a priority of the stewardship of the Allegheny National Forest. During the last ANF Forest Plan revision, more than 6,800 out of 8,200 public commentors on the draft Forest Plan wrote specifically in support of FAW and our Citizens’ Wilderness Proposal for Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Forest!

Toward the end of fostering a greater appreciation of wilderness values and benefits, throughout the month of September FAW and the Crary Art Gallery, a regional art museum here in Warren, will host an exhibition of wilderness images featuring many high-profile photographers to honor the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act of 1964, as well as the legacy of Tionesta native and Wilderness Act author Howard Zahniser.

The show will feature photographs from throughout America’s National Wilderness Preservation System, and is titled Wilderness at 50: Photographic Reflections on the Legacy of Tionesta Visionary Howard Zahniser.

We are honored to have the former president of The Wilderness Society Bill Meadows as our keynote speaker at the show’s opening, as well as Howard Zahniser’s son Dr. Mathias Zahniser as a featured speaker. Current ANF Forest Supervisor Clyde Thompson, a veteran of the agency, will also be a notable speaker.

The participating photographers are:

Craig Blacklock
Clyde Butcher
Robert Clements
Kevin Ebi
Robbie George
Stephen Gorman
Robert Glenn Ketchum
Scot Miller
David Muench
Marc Muench
Mark Muse

The show will also highlight the two designated wilderness areas right here in our own ANF – Allegheny Islands and Hickory Creek. The best way to do that was to encourage those of you who have explored these two wildly popular untrammeled areas to submit your own photos for possible inclusion in the photography show.

The winning entries of Hickory Creek Wilderness were shot by Judy Cole Blank of Warren, and Mark Hulings of Corry. Piper VanOrd of Irvine had the two winning photos of Allegheny Islands. These winners, whose stunning works were selected for their artistic merit from among more than 20 other strong entries, will now show their photos alongside some from the top photographers in the world.

The opening reception for Wilderness at 50: Photographic Reflections on the Legacy of Tionesta Visionary Howard Zahniser will occur on Saturday, August 30th, 2014 beginning at 2:00 p.m. at the Crary Art Gallery. This event is free and open to the public. There will also be a catered reception from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.

For directions to the Crary Art Gallery, click here:

There is free parking available on the surrounding streets, but if you find street parking limited, the Warren County Courthouse parking lot one block south of the Crary at the intersection of 5th and Market Streets is also available. We have been given permission by the office of the Warren County Commissioners to direct people to this lot on Saturday.

Contact FAW at or (814) 723-0620 if you have any questions. Hope to see you there!

Spring Fishing Show – April 5, 2014

The Cornplanter Chapter of Trout Unlimited is sponsoring the Seventh Annual Spring Fishing Show on Saturday April 5, 2014.  The location is a new one for this year:  Brokenstraw Fish and Game Club, Mead Run RD, Youngsville, PA.  The event will run from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.  There will be demonstrations, displays, fishing gear venders, door prizes, bucket auction and great food.

A raffle will give away a $200 Cabela’s gift card, a $100 gift card and two $50 gas cards.  Proceeds benefit local Morrison Run watershed improvements, Trout in the Classroom Program, and other local chapter projects.

We will be talking to folks about the invasive aquatic weed, Water Chestnut.

We look forward to seeing you there!!