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This past Sunday, prompted by a Times-Journal article on the litter problems at the Cobleskill reservoirs, members of SUNY Cobleskill chapters of the American Fisheries Society (AFS), Trout Unlimited (TU), The Wildlife Society and Ducks Unlimited conducted their fall clean-up there.

Students have played an important role, working with the past and current water superintendent, to keep theCobleskill village reservoirs open to the public for fishing.

They feel that picking up litter at the reservoirs is the least they can do for a resource that gives so much in return.

TU President David Lucykanish noted that the AFS and TU have been taking part in spring and fall reservoir cleanups for several years and hope to pass this tradition on to other SUNY clubs.

The reservoirs are not only used by the students for recreational activities such as fishing and bird watching, but they are also used for educational experiences.

Many SUNY Cobleskill Fisheries, Wildlife & Environmental Sciences classes use the reservoirs as an outdoor laboratory for students to get practical hands-on experience in dealing with today’s environmental problems.

The reservoirs are the source of the village’s drinking water.

Shawna Mitchell, AFS president, pointed out that “the reservoirs are a popular fishing spot for many local residents and SUNY Cobleskill students. “The American Fisheries Society is committed to help keep the reservoir clean and open to the public,” she said.

A few families were taking advantage of Sunday’s beautiful day for fishing.

Jamie Lawyer from Schoharie was fishing with his family and noted that “You guys are doing a great job. It would be a waste not to be able to fish here” in the future.

Throughout New York State, many municipal drinking water reservoirs are closed to the public entirely or prohibit fishing.

The students agreed that helping maintain the reservoirs is a small price to pay for the recreational and educational opportunities they provide