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nature & waterways

High waters have Chinook salmon making deeper runs into Orleans County

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 October 2017 at 6:25 pm

Lots of salmon have made it to Albion

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – This Chinook salmon was spotted today in Sandy Creek near the culvert under the Erie Canal. There were several other Chinook near this one in Sandy Creek (on the north side of the canal) at about 2:30 p.m.

It’s the annual fall salmon run, where Chinook swim upstream to spawn. Usually they don’t get too far. The streams and creeks usually aren’t deep enough for fish to go many miles into Orleans County.

This isn’t a normal year, however. The high Lake Ontario waters and recent heavy rains have streams deeper. That has Chinook salmon reaching spots they aren’t usually seen.

“We have high water all over the place,” said Mike Waterhouse, the county’s sportsfishing promotion coordinator. “It’s not a typical year.”

He has heard reports from people who saw Chinook jump up and over fallen logs to keep moving in local streams.

I wondered how far the fish could go in Albion. I stopped by Bullard Park after seeing the fish by the canal.

Someone left a fishing rod and reel by Sandy Creek at Bullard Park.

Sandy Creek is pretty shallow near the park. I followed the creek, which has many small waterfalls and a big culvert for the railroad. I didn’t see any salmon.

This culvert is impressive, but I didn’t see any fish in this part of Sandy Creek. The railroad tracks run over the culvert.

I headed over to Community Action, which is on the south side of the Canal by Sandy Creek. I was curious if any of the salmon swam through the culvert under the canal.

A waste weir is used to empty water from the canal. Initially I thought any fish on this side of the canal (the south side) would have a traumatic experience being shot through the water from the waste weir. But I think Sandy Creek runs underneath this concrete. This spot is behind Community Action on State Street, west of Brown Street.

I saw one salmon right away that had made it to this side. The fish seemed to be relaxing. The bubbles are from roaring water from the waste weir.

I wondered how far the fish could keep going. It’s difficult to get down here and the water isn’t very deep in spots, but I could see the fins of some fish coming out of the water a little farther down the stream.

This was one of two dead fish I saw (and smelled) down here. This was a monstrous fish.

This is the end of the road for the salmon. This waterfall would be impossible to get past, unless the salmon could pole vault. There were about 25 huge salmon in this area, swimming in a circle.

This is the spot where the salmon have been stopped in their spawning run. They’re hard to see in the photo, but there were about 25 at the base of the waterfall. I wonder where they will go?

Some of the salmon swim in Sandy Creek near the waterfall.

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Schumer says bipartisan support for Great Lakes bill that would help fishery

Photos by Tom Rivers: U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer was in Kendall this afternoon to discuss the Great Lakes Aquatic Connectivity and Infrastructure Program Act, which would provide grants to repair or replace aging dams, culverts, and roads that inhibit the movement of fish populations across Lake Ontario and its tributaries. Schumer is shown with, from left: Mike Waterhouse, sportsfishing promotion coordinator for Orleans County; Mike Elam, a leader of the Orleans County Sportsmen Federation; Dennis Kirby, manager of the Orleans County Soil & Water Conservation District; and John DeFilipps, chairman of the Orleans County Legislature.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 October 2017 at 3:55 pm

KENDALL – U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer said he has enjoyed fishing since he was a kid. But the activity provides more than mere fun. Schumer said it is big business for many communities, including Orleans County.

However, aging infrastructure, including many culverts that should help move water under roads, often are clogged. That condition can prevent fish from moving upstream, especially during the critical spawning runs. If fish spawn in sub-optimal conditions, the eggs are less likely to survive, Schumer said, quoting The Nature Conservancy.

Schumer was in Kendall today at the Bald Eagle Marina to announce there is bipartisan support for the Great Lakes Aquatic Connectivity and Infrastructure Program Act. The bill supports infrastructure updates that will improve Great Lakes fisheries and restore habitats. The bill would provide grants to repair or replace aging dams, culverts and roads that inhibit the movement of fish populations across the Great Lakes Basin. Additionally, the bill creates a grant program that would fund infrastructure projects to help improve fisheries.

“Sportsfishing is the #1 tourism industry in Orleans County,” Schumer said. “Each year droves of tourists – many from other states – pump over $12 million into the economy, supporting local employers like marinas, bait shops, charter boat operators, restaurants, and inns. But it is all dependent on us protecting and maintaining fish populations in Lake Ontario.”

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer shakes hands with Mike Waterhouse, the county’s sports fishing promotion coordinator.

Schumer cited an example of one unfunded project long sought by the local Orleans County sportsfishing community to reconfigure the overflow channel at the Waterport Dam. This channel can now trap hundreds of fish as they migrate along on the Oak Orchard River. When the river water level rises, fish can enter the overflow channel only to then become trapped and stranded as the water level drops.

In 2006 an estimated 300 Chinook salmon were trapped and died in the channel in 2006, reducing the number of Chinook available to anglers and causing aesthetic issues resulting from the dead fish, Schumer said.

“Protecting and improving Lake Ontario’s fisheries, especially through funding for infrastructure updates, is a win-win to not only boost our sport finishing industry but to provide much-needed funding to fix faulty and dilapidated infrastructure,” Schumer said.

He supports the bill introduced by Senators Debbie Stabenow, Gary Peters, Tammy Duckworth, and Sherrod Brown, who represent Great Lake states.

Mike Waterhouse, the county’s sports fishing promotion coordinator, said fishing is the county’s top tourism draw. The big fish was recently restored by the Medina FFA and has been displayed at parades and community events this year. That fish is 13 feet long.

The bill would provide grants to repair or replace aging dams, culverts and roads that inhibit the movement of fish populations across the Great Lakes Basin. Additionally, the bill creates a grant program that would fund infrastructure projects to help improve fisheries.  Schumer said local governments would apply for the funding.

There are now approximately 400 culverts in Orleans County that must be maintained, often at an expensive cost to local taxpayers. For example, the County recently replaced four aging culverts that carry waters of Oak Orchard Creek River at a cost of over $1.2 million which was funded from an $8 million county bond issue in 2014. Schumer noted this legislation could help provide funds to offset the cost of replacing these culverts while improving fish habitats and spawning areas.

Mike Waterhouse, the county’s sportsfishing promotion coordinator, said fishing is the top tourism draw in the county, generating about $12 million in direct visitor spending.

“Orleans County’s economy is dependent on protecting our world-class fishery and that requires investments to repair infrastructure, combat invasive species, and improve fishing habitats,” Waterhouse said. “For example, we have long sought to construct a raceway to prevent fish that get stranded and die in the overflow channel at the Waterport Dam as they migrate along on the Oak Orchard River. We appreciate Senator Schumer’s push for this new funding program to help grow Great Lakes sportsfishing which is our top tourism industry.”

The county has about 30 charter boat operators, several marinas, bait shops and dozens of fishing derbies and tournaments that attract out-of-state tourists.

Two charter boat captains, Jerry Felluca (left at podium) and Lucas Falkner, spoke at the press event today at the Bald Eagle Marina.

Two of the charter boat captains were at Schumer’s announcement at the Bald Eagle Marina in Kendall.

Jerry Felluca of Rebel Fishing Charters and Lucas Falkner of Make the Turn Charters both said they have many repeat customers who travel for the chance to catch trophy size salmon and trout.

“We’ve been able to catch fish for the children that are the same size as the children,” Falkner said.

The charter captains also said a pressing concern is the deteriorating condition of the Lake Ontario State parkway in recent years. A section has been paved east of Kendall in Orleans County this year, and more will be paved next year from Hamlin to Route 237 in Kendall, Kendall Town Supervisor Tony Cammarata said.

Schumer said a federal infrastructure bill could take care of neglected roads and bridges. He said the Parkway is an asset.

“It’s one of the most beautiful drives in the country,” he said.

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NY announces $2.5 million challenge to reimagine canal system

Photo by Tom Rivers: The tugboat Syracuse carries inspectors and officials from the State Canal Corp. on the Erie Canal in Albion on Sept. 14, 2016.

Posted 25 September 2017 at 12:33 pm

Press Release, Gov. Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the state will hold a global competition to find the best ideas to re-imagine the New York State Canal System so it becomes an engine for economic growth upstate as well as a world-class tourist destination.

The competition, to be run by the New York Power Authority and New York State Canal Corporation, will award up to $2.5 million to develop and implement the winning ideas.

“The Canal System is a vital part of New York’s storied past and it is critical that it continues to be an essential component of our state’s future,” Governor Cuomo said. “We’re looking for bold and innovative ideas that ensure the canal system and its surrounding communities can grow and prosper and with this competition, we encourage bright minds from across the globe to contribute their best ideas to help bring this piece of history to new heights.”

“Originally labeled Clinton’s Folly, the Erie Canal went on to become one of the most significant transportation milestones in our history, putting Upstate NY on the path to a century of prosperity,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “It is fitting that now, as we celebrate its bicentennial, we re-imagine how this iconic Canal can once again become an engine for economic growth across New York State.”

The competition was announced as New York continues the celebration of the bicentennial of the Erie Canal, whose construction began in Rome, N.Y., on July 4, 1817. Next year, the State will mark the centennial of the 524-mile state Canal System, which includes the Erie, Champlain, Cayuga-Seneca and Oswego canals.

“There are many people in the public and private sector who are passionate about the canals,” said Gil C. Quiniones, president and CEO of the New York Power Authority, which operates the state Canal System as a subsidiary. “We want to translate that passion into sustainable projects that will make the canal corridor bigger and better.”

Quiniones unveiled the competition today at the World Canals Conference in Syracuse, where hundreds of canal experts and enthusiasts from three continents are meeting this week.

“The building of the Erie Canal took persistence, vision and overcoming deep skepticism, but its construction transformed this nation,” Brian U. Stratton, New York State Canal Corporation director said. “Now, we want to transform the canals so they become go-to travel and recreation destinations. The entries can come from anywhere. Good ideas have no boundaries.”

The goals of the competition include soliciting programs and initiatives that promote:

• The Canal System and its trails as a tourist destination and recreational asset for New York residents and visitors;

• Sustainable economic development along the Canal System;

• The Canal System’s heritage; and

• The long-term financial sustainability of the Canal Corporation.

The competition will seek entries on two separate tracks, one for infrastructure; the other for programs that have the potential to increase recreation use and tourism.

In the first round, entrants will provide information about how their proposal meets core competition goals and outlines the applicant’s qualifications. Finalists will each receive $50,000 to implement their ideas for the second round, where they will partner with either a municipality along the Canal System or a non-profit engaged in canal-related work. A panel of judges will select two or more winners to receive between $250,000 and $1.5 million to plan their projects and implement them.

Submissions for the first round are due Dec. 4. The final winners will be announced next spring.

For more information, go to www.reimaginethecanals.com.

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Last-minute catch nets North Tonawanda man $4,000 grand prize in OC Fishing Derby

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 August 2017 at 8:14 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

POINT BREEZE – John Vanhoff of North Tonawanda holds a 30-pound, 12-ounce Chinook salmon he caught on Sunday to win the $4,000 grand prize in the Orleans County Fishing Derby.

Vanhoff is pictured at the awards ceremony outside the Black North Inn. The big fish behind him is a 13-foot-long fish that was restored by the Medina FFA. The big fish, after being out of the public eye for a few years, has been busy this year, appearing at several local parades and festivals, promoting the county’s fishery.

Vanhoff caught his winning fish at 10:30 a.m. at the Niagara Bar. The derby closed at 1 p.m. That is the deadline for getting a fish to a weigh station.

Vanhoff made it to the Slippery Sinker in Olcott at 12:20 p.m. His fish was 3 ounces heavier than one caught by Keith Sheffield of Henrietta. Sheffield had been leading the derby since Aug. 12. Instead of $4,000, Sheffield won $500 for leading the salmon division.

Vanhoff has been there before, leading a derby only to knocked off the top of the leaderboard at the last minute.

“I’ve lost one before by one ounce,” Vanhoff, 48, said. “That’s the way it is. It’s what the scale says.”

Keith Sheffield of Henrietta holds a 30-pound, 9-ounce Chinook that led the derby for more than a week. He won $500 as the salmon division leader.

Vanhoff has been fishing Lake Ontario derbies for more than 20 years. He has won the Orleans County Fishing Derby before, back when the grand prize was $3,500.

He caught his big salmon Sunday with cut bait – a piece of herring. He had the bait 75 feet down in about 90 feet of water. It took about 15 minutes to reel in the big fish.

Vanhoff said he has been fishing seriously for more than 20 years, with a 39-pounder his biggest salmon ever. He said he’s caught ten that topped 30 pounds.

“Thirty-pounders are hard to come by,” he said.

The derby often attracts 600 to 700 entries, but only had 376 this time. The derby started Aug. 5 with rough waters that limited the fishing. But marina owners said the bad press about the high lake levels has scared off many fishermen from being on the lake. Many of the boat launches are still open and the fishing has been good, anglers said Sunday at the awards program.

However, the bad press is hurting the marinas and keeping many people from getting out on the lake.

The Orleans County Fishing Derby has been run by the Albion Rotary Club for 35 years. Bill Downey is the chairman. Derby organizers considered cancelling this year’s derby, but decided to continue because many of the marinas and boat launches are still open.

The derby committee wants to help promote the fishery and give the marinas a boost during a tough year. Despite a big decrease in participants, Downey said the Rotary Club should still clear a small profit that will be used for other community projects.

The derby gave out $8,800 in total prizes, including $500 for the division winners, which include:

  • Chinook salmon: 30 pounds, 9 ounces – Keith Sheffield of Henrietta.
  • Rainbow trout/steelhead: 15 pounds, 14 ounces – Robert Griffith, Copley, Ohio.
  • Brown trout: 14 pounds, 3 ounces – Bill Cole of Albion.
  • Lake trout: 17 pounds, 10 ounces – Dan DeGeorge of Rochester.

Forest Miller of Holley won the $200 bonus award given to the Orleans County resident who catches the biggest fish. Miller reeled in a 26-pound, 9-ounce Chinook.

To see the full leaderboard, click here.

Here are more photos of some of the leading fish from the derby:

Bill Cole of Albion won the brown trout division with this 14-pound, 3-ounce trout.

Jason Grager of Lyndonville was second in the brown trout division with this 12-pound, 12-ounce fish.

Eric Diltz of Brockport holds the fourth place rainbow trout, which weighed 12 pounds, 2 ounces.

Dan DeGeorge of Rochester won the lake trout division with this 17-pound, 10-ounce fish.

Brayden Gambell of Hilton came in third with this lake trout that weighed 14 pounds, 9 ounces.

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Entries sought for annual canal photo contest

Posted 10 August 2017 at 1:17 pm

Press Release, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corrdior

WATERFORD – As New York celebrates the 200th anniversary of the building of the Erie Canal in 2017, amateur and professional photographers are invited to capture the canal corridor’s distinctive sense of place for the 12th annual Erie Canalway Photo Contest.

Winning photos will be featured in the 2018 Erie Canalway calendar.

Images should convey the wealth of things to do and see along the waterway and express the unique character of the canal and canal communities. Images will be judged in four contest categories: On the Water, Along the Trail, Canal Communities, and Classic Canal. Judges will select first, second, and third place winning images in each category, as well as 12 honorable mentions.

Images must be taken within the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, which spans 524 miles across the full expanse of upstate New York. It encompasses the Erie, Cayuga-Seneca, Oswego, and Champlain canals and their historic alignments, as well as more than 230 canal communities.

Entries must be postmarked by August 31, 2017. Click here to download official contest rules and an entry form.

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Fishing Derby starts with $8,800 in prizes up for grabs

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 August 2017 at 10:09 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: Julie Schaeffer holds the 30-pound, 14-ounce Chinook salmon that she caught to win to the $4,000 grand prize in last year’s Orleans County Fishing Derby. Schaeffer is from Sligo, Pa. and has been coming to Orleans County to fish since the early 1980s.

The annual Orleans County Fishing Derby starts today and continues until Aug. 20 with $8,800 in prizes available.

The angler who catches the biggest fish in the derby wins $4,000.

Participants in the derby can enter fish in four divisions: Chinook salmon, brown trout, rainbow trout, and lake trout.

Besides $4,000 for the biggest fish, the four division leaders each get $500, followed by $300 for second, $200 for third, $100 for fourth and $50 for fifth.

There is also a $200 prize to the Orleans County resident who catches the biggest fish.

The derby is sponsored by the Albion Rotary Club, and proceeds go towards community projects. The Rotary Club has been organizing the derby for more than 30 years, seeing the event as a way to promote tourism businesses and the local fishing scene.

For more on the derby, including how to register, click here.

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Governor says expanded no-wake zone in effect through Sept. 2

Photo by Tom Rivers: These boats were out on Lake Ontario near Point Breeze last June 30, 2016.

Posted 3 August 2017 at 5:31 pm

Press Release, Gov. Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that he has authorized the Commissioner of New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to extend the 5 mile per hour boating speed limit on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River through Saturday, September 2. Vessels operating within 600 feet of shore must observe the 5 mile per hour speed limit to reduce impacts to shoreline residences and infrastructure caused by wave action and to promote safe boating.

“High water continues to impact homeowners and businesses along the Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, and by extending the no-wake zone for an additional month, we can ensure boaters are helping to protect New York’s vulnerable shorelines,” Governor Cuomo said. “As part of the state’s ongoing response to coastal flooding in the region, this 5 mile per hour speed limit will help keep both communities and residents along the shoreline safe.”

Reduced speeds are necessary to ensure safe boating, as many hidden hazards and debris have been covered by elevated water levels and can threaten boaters. By extending the speed limit for an additional month, boat wakes and wave action will remain low along the Lake Ontario and St Lawrence shores. Waves created by boat wakes can exacerbate shoreline erosion, further threatening residential and municipal infrastructure. Local municipalities may issue tickets carrying fines of up to $250 per infraction to recreational boaters violating the 5 mph speed limit within 600 feet of shore.

State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said, “We urge boaters heading to their favorite destinations on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River to be good stewards of our state’s coastal environment. By following the reduced speed limits, boaters are helping prevent more erosion along the coastline and ensure the safety of all boaters from any potential accidents.”

Under normal conditions, boaters are required to obey the 5 mile per hour speed limit within 100 feet of the shore, dock, pier, raft, float, or anchored boat. When no speed limit is posted, vessels must always be operated in such a fashion so as not to endanger others. A vessel must be able to stop safely within the clear space ahead and a vessel operator is always responsible for any damage caused by the vessel’s wake.

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Spectacular garden in Albion will be featured on tour Saturday

Photos by Kristina Gabalski: The garden at the Riley family home in Albion, located off Braley Street near Butts Road by the canal, will be featured on a tour Saturday.

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 14 July 2017 at 12:35 pm

ALBION – The volunteer master gardeners at the Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension are planning a garden party on Saturday at the home of long-time Albion resident Jeanette Riley.

Participants will be able to stroll and explore the extensive gardens from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. as they enjoy festivities.

“We will have Zambistro’s catering, LynOaken/Leonard Oakes Estate Winery wine tasting, gardening-related lectures, and much more,” Master Gardener Kim Hazel said.

Jeanette Riley discusses her garden with Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Don O’Keefe in preparation for the Garden Party event on Saturday.

The Garden Party is a first-time event for Master Gardeners and takes the place of summer garden tours of years past.

Jeanette’s gardens were featured on the 2016 Master Gardener Garden Paths tour and offer multiple garden rooms filled with both native and unusual plants, garden ornaments, seating, gazebos, arbors and garden outbuildings, one which is constructed to include a tree trunk as part of one of its walls.

Lighting plays a major roll in ornamentation and night-time illumination in the garden. This ornate lantern looks just as beautiful in daylight as in moonlight. Note the crown embellishing the top of the post.

Jeanette said her family didn’t get serious about putting in gardens until about  20 years ago. Now, the expansive yard, which backs up to the Erie Canal, offers a seemingly endless Eden and reflects the love of the Riley family for gardening and for each other.

In fact, Jeanette said her greatest joy comes from, “being able to work with my mother and brother in the garden.”

Jeanette, her mother Alma and brother Willie have been most involved in creating and maintaing the garden, but it is enjoyed by all of Alma’s children (she has 10) and now her grandchildren when they come home for visits.

A gargoyle perches high above the garden pathway.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener program which offers educational workshops, trainings, youth horticulture programs and more.

More information is available at orleans.cce.cornell.edu. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door.

There is ample evidence throughout the garden that the Riley’s enjoy reflecting their sense of humor. Here, a sanding frog statue supports an armillary sphere.

An amazing variety of bird houses not only add charm to Jeanette’s garden, they also welcome the birds.

Small, intriguing details can be found throughout Jeanette’s garden. Here, a rustic planter in the shape of a face gazes upward and sports a crown of succulents.

A clock rises above the varied plantings and reminds gardeners anytime is a good time to be in the garden.

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Collins pleased $300 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in budget bill

Posted 14 July 2017 at 7:13 am

Press Release, Congressman Chris Collins

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) applauded the release of the FY18 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill that includes $300 million in funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

“The Great Lakes are the largest system of fresh water in the world and it is our responsibility to make sure they are preserved for future generations to enjoy,” said Collins. “I applaud the House Committee on Appropriations for recognizing the importance of the Great Lakes, which are a vital economic and environmental asset for Western New York.”

The GLRI’s projects focus on significant problems facing the Great Lakes and the biggest threats to the ecosystem. Current projects focus on:

• Cleaning up Great Lakes Areas of Concern

• Preventing and controlling invasive species

• Reducing nutrient runoff that contributes to harmful/nuisance algal blooms

• Restoring habitat to protect native species

“The GLRI has long-term, strategic goals and needs the certainty that funding will continue for such significant projects,” said Collins. “I fully support all of the GLRI’s hard work to tackle these challenges and protect our vast resource.”

For more information on the GLRI, click here.

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200 years ago today, construction started on the Erie Canal

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 July 2017 at 10:03 am

File photos by Tom Rivers

This photo from Sept. 23, 2015 shows a canal boat named Canandaigua out cruising on the Erie Canal along Presbyterian Road at the widewaters section in Gaines.

Today marks the 200th anniversary of the start of the Erie Canal’s construction. Construction started in Rome. It would take about eight years to complete the project, going 363 miles across the state.

“200 years ago, on this very day, ground was broken for the construction of America’s most iconic and enduring man-made waterway – the Erie Canal. Happy Bicentennial!” – NYS Canal Corporation tweeted today

Rome will recreate the ceremonial groundbreaking on July 22.

The tugboat Syracuse carries inspectors and officials from the State Canal Corp. on the Erie Canal in Albion on Sept. 14, 2016. The inspectors headed east after passing under the Ingersoll Street lift bridge in Albion. They were doing the annual inspection of lift bridges, locks, navigational aids, embankments and some other canal infrastructure.

A small sign on a tree in a ditch in Holley notes that this was part of the original Erie Canal loop that meandered to the Public Square area of Holley. This is a rare section of the original canal loop. The canal was widened several times after the original construction was completed in 1825.

The state veered the canal from a relatively straight line in Holley in 1823 due to the high banks and engineering challenge in dealing with Sandy Creek. The Erie Canal used to loop about 2,000 feet towards the Public Square.

There was an unusually deep ravine formed by the east branch of Sandy Creek, which presented a difficult engineering problem for builders of the original Erie Canal in the early 1820s, according to display on the north side of the canal by the Holley lift bridge. The State Canal Corp. put up that display about “The Holley Loop.”

This historical marker is next to the railroad depot used by the Murray-Holley Historical Society near the former Save-A-Lot. The original canal went near the depot and Public Square and some stone and remnants are still visible in the community.

Rather than try to build the canal on the ravine, engineers opted to take a sharp turn near the current lift bridge and cross over a relatively narrow section of the creek.

“The sharp curve required boaters to slow down, which made a promising location for canal-oriented busiensses,” according to the state display. “The Village of Holley grew at this bend in the canal.”

The canal was widened throughout the 363-mile-long system from 1905 to 1918 and much of the original canal was replaced by the wider and deeper canal.

But in Holley, some of the original remained because it wasn’t touched as part of the Barge Canal widening in the early 1900s.

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