COHOCTON — A local success story is looking to keep the positive momentum going.
Back in 2013, area Trout Unlimited chapters and volunteers planted about 800 trees along the Cohocton River.
The trees — a collection of silver maple, pin oak, swamp oak, river burch, white spruce, and several species of dogwood — were planted as part of the Cohocton Watershed Shade Enhancement Project, which aims to increase the health of the river’s trout population and cut erosion through a tree-planting campaign.
Many of those trees have taken off, already shading the river and providing ideal temperatures for the fish population. To keep the trees healthy and thriving, the Canandaigua Chapter of Trout Unlimited is organizing a “Tree Maintenance Day” for mid-July.
“A lot of the trees we planted are doing very well,” reported Chapter member Al Krause. “However, we need to continue to beat back the encroaching vegetation and maintain the cages/t-posts until the trees are able to fend for themselves. We have already started taking the cages off some of the Dogwoods because they are too big for the cages.
"Some of the Dogwoods have blossoms on them and a lot of our trees are already casting shade on the river. We need to protect our large investment in terms of dollars and time spent planting/maintaining all these trees.”
Krause is anticipating volunteer efforts on Thursday, July 14 and Saturday, July 16.
“Please let me know if you are going to be able to help,” he said. “When you respond let me know if you would be able to help just on the 14th or 16th, or if you could participate either of the two days days being considered. I will be going with the day where I can get the most helpers.
“If you cannot help on either the 14th or 16th, but still want to help, let me know and I can assign you a section of trees to work on by yourself or with others you can convince to help you, before July 16.”
Once fully grown, the trees will benefit the area in countless ways. A healthy cluster of trees shade the water and reduce temperatures, which cuts fish mortality rates and keeps trout healthy during the hot summer months.
Replacing bare banks with trees also positively impacts the insect populations that trout feed on, while simultaneously giving the fish more protection from predators. A host of other wildlife benefit from the sustenance and cover that the trees provide, a butterfly effect felt throughout the larger area.
To get involved, contact Krause at email@example.com