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Protecting the Kayaderosseras Creek

We are a volunteer, not-for-profit organization established to protect the Kayaderosseras Creek and its watershed in Saratoga County, New York, for purposes of conservation, education, and recreation.

Our mission is to promote awareness and appreciation of the Kayaderosseras Creek, locally known as the “Kaydeross”, and to inspire action to preserve and protect the creek, its tributaries and its watershed as habitat for fish and wildlife, and as a recreational and scenic resource for residents and visitors in surrounding communities.

Creek Tender Paddle

by FoK volunteers • June 20, 2020

Thanks to all of the Creek Tender Paddle volunteers on Saturday June 20th. Starting at Grays Crossing and ending at Driscoll Road we opened up some partial blockages, and continue to remove tires and trash from the creek. With the low water levels there is one area just after the “rapids” that requires a portage.

Thanks for your help!

Ax Factory Preserve Trail Work

by FoK volunteers • June 14, 2020

We had a great day. We had twenty-four volunteers helping out, including Axe Factory neighbors, our friends from Troop 11 Saratoga, and we even had some early birds help out on Saturday. Employing wheelbarrows,garbage cans, and tarps, along with good-old man(woman)power the crew filled the dumpster in 3 hours. No item was too big for this crowd. Old water heaters came out, scrap metal and tires came out, old TVs came old. car doors, the kitchen sink (yes!), bathtubs, and a refrigerator (No Way...Way!) All up and Out.

Thank you to all the volunteers and the energy and enthusiasm put into this effort. Over the many years that we have been cleaning out this site, the usual comment on subsequent work days was "there is so much old trash here, it looks the same as last time we were here. Like we haven't done a thing." That changed this time. The progress we have made is so clear now, even in how far we had to travel down the trail to find trash to remove.

Thank you to all who have helped in this effort.

Fish Stocking 2020

by FoK Members • May 25, 2020

In April, 700 Rainbow Trout were stocked along the Kayadeross. Due to social distancing measures, we missed our veteran fish stockers and the help from all the kids at Kelley Park. A couple FoK Board Members met Avery's Trout Hatchery to release the fish in various locations.

Enjoy the fishing and we always love to see your photo's on the Facebook page!

Annual Meeting Recap

by FoK members • March 20, 2020

Click the thumbnail below to view a recap of the 2020 Annual Meeting!

Fall Clean-up 2019

by Riley Walz • November 14, 2019

On November 2nd, Friends of the Kayaderosseras volunteers met at Kelley Park, divided into groups and picked up trash and tires at multiple sites along the banks of the creek. The cleanup was a success, as many items of garbage were removed. A significant portion of the cleanup items were also recycled.

Work Day at Cottrell-Harrington Park

by Riley Walz • October 8, 2019

On Saturday, October 15, 2019, volunteers with the Friends of the Kayaderosseras replaced fence posts and rails at the Cottrell-Harrington Park in Rock City Falls. The fence and railings in the gazebo now look beautiful!

Pedal the Creek 2019

by Riley Walz • September 8, 2019

Friends of the Kayaderosseras hosted the second annual Pedal the Creek bike ride on Saturday, September 7, 2019. Participants rode from the Brookhaven Park Pavilion, alongside the upper portions of the creek, and through Greenfield, Milton, Porter Corners, and Rock City Falls. 14, 30 and 50 mile rides were hosted. Lunch was provided after the ride.

Thank you to our sponsors that made this event possible: T-Shirt Graphics, Stewart’s Shops, My Other Garden, and Hannaford. And a big thanks to the Town of Greenfield for all of their support and for hosting our event.

Trail Work at Gray's Crossing 2019

by Riley Walz • August 19, 2019

Thanks to all the volunteers (including the group from Troop 4011 Saratoga) who came out to help with trail work at Kelley Park and at Driscoll Road Landing.

We planted 21 trees (balsam fir, eastern redbud, and one sugar maple) at Kelley Park and improved the trail at Driscoll Road by filling in the low areas with wood chips. Also a thank you to trail stewards Ron Leveille and Mike Tower for organizing and leading the work!

Wading for Tires

by FoK volunteers • August 19, 2019

Thank you to all the volunteers who helped out at our Wading for Tires summer clean-up. This year’s hearty crew waded upstream from Northline bridge and discovered, dug-up, and dragged-out 26 tires from the bottom of the Creek, including one ginormous tractor tire. In addition to the tires, the crew of 14 volunteers collected all sorts of trash and debris, filling 3 canoes and 4 kayaks nearly to the tipping point (it could be that one boat went a bit past that point). Along with pulling trash and tires the adventurous group found a large blockage and cleared it with hand tools and muscles. The creek was completely blocked and difficult to portage around due to large branches. now the path is clear for safe paddling. Thanks again to all for the continued support!

J-Hooks at Kelley Park

by Blue Neils • February 7, 2019

At the Annual Meeting it was thought by some that the J-hooks at Kelley Park installed in 2009 were the cause of the ice jam which forced the Village to close Ralph Street. Equally, this was also thought to be the cause, in part or whole, in past winters as well. Although, I would have to admit that they may play a role, they are certainly not the sole cause. In fact, if anything, they have enabled the Kayaderosseras to pass ice more easily through that section of the stream by virtue of the fact that the 2 hooks at Kelley have greatly deepened the channel, as they were meant to do.

J-Hooks are rock-vane grade control structures used in streams and rivers to redirect flow away from banks where erosion is an issue and fish habitat quality is moderate to low. They accomplish this by altering the existing flow-path of the stream to create a more pronounced and deeper center-channel by directing and funneling the water in a stream away from the bank.

Additionally, J-hooks will also create a longer and deeper scour-hole on the back side of the “J” or hook-portion of the vane. This is accomplished by installing the rock/boulders at gapped intervals so that the water passes between them, rather than spilling over them. This creates a vortex behind each gap, creating greater shear-stress in the center-channel. The vortices, in turn, shift the bed of the stream left, right, and downstream to create a longer, deeper pool than is possible using a W-weir or Cross-vane structure. However, at bank-full flow (last stop before flood-stage), the entire structure is under water to minimize any influence the structure may have as a barrier to flow which tends to cause the water to move laterally (left, right; typically at 90o to the obstruction) and exacerbate any flooding which may occur. J-hooks and other vane-structures also act to improve other aspects of stream-, water-, and habitat-quality. The vortex of flow-paths between the “crown stones” (gaps) creates both upwelling and down-welling, vertically, in the water column, places sought after by trout and other riverine salmonids. Additionally, they also tend to tumble the water as it moves between the gaps and over the anchor stones, which increases the dissolved oxygen content of the water, lowers the temperature, and even kills off a little bacteria. Through time, J-hooks create a deep pool of fast-flowing water with lots of cover perfect for ambush predators such as trout. To explain this, first you have to know a few important facts about rivers and ice and ice jams. Probably the most important is that it takes roughly a 3:1 ratio of water-depth to ice-thickness in order for the river to break up and carry ice downstream. Meaning the depth of water in the Kayaderosseras must be about 3 times greater than the thickness of the ice. So, if the ice is 12-inches thick, there has to be at least 36 inches of water in the channel to carry the ice.

Second, is being mindful of the conditions which create that ratio; typically, 3 or more days above freezing OR a good dose of rain while snow is still on the ground. These conditions have become fairly common for our winters here (climate change anyone?). We get multiple rain-on-snow weather events; and, during the “January Thaw” we often have 3-5 days where the average daily highs are well above freezing.

So, that creates the conditions ripe for the break up and movement of ice “flows” downstream; this, then, brings the first factor into play…when the water-depth is insufficient to carry the ice, the ice then “anchors” on the river bed or other obstructions (logs, structures/bridges, etc.) and the pile-up begins. On the Kayaderosseras at Kelley Park, this is typically the bend at the far-end of the Park. As many of you know there is a sharp bend and constriction in the river there and the water is, invariably, shallow. Past that bend, the gradient of the river also changes dramatically and the water becomes “flat”; meaning the gradient is less-steep and the river becomes wider, shallower, smoother and slower. All these factors (the gradient, the bend, the depth, the width of the channel, etc.) amount to the ice falling out of the water column to form the jam. This past winter, this is exactly where the head of the jam formed.

As I said above, the J-hooks have been working to deepen the channel, protect Kelley Park from flooding, protect the parking lot and bank on that side for being carried away in a flood and improve that reach of the stream since they were installed nearly 10 years ago. Although they may act as an obstruction, depending on how deep the flow in the river is, at bank-full run, there is approximately 2-3 feet of elevation difference between the top-of-bank (parking lot) and the tops of the crown-stones of the J-hooks. That is no accident. They were designed and constructed that way so that material being carried by the river at bank-full or flood-stage would not get hung up on them.

While the J-hooks can act as an obstruction at lower flow conditions (base flow), such flows in the KC typically do not carry ice because that 3:1 ratio isn’t there to break up and move the ice. More-typically the water will flow under the ice at base-flow and over the ice when runoff is elevated, but, not at bank-full stage. In either instance, the J-hooks are not a factor because the ice isn’t a factor.

Now, I may well eat my words for breakfast someday. But, in the meantime, now that we know this is a semi-regular occurrence, we will have to monitor conditions to make more well informed judgements about when the jams will form, what the cause/s are, and, if there’s anything that we can do to alleviate the conditions. But, for now, I’d say the pluses of the J-hooks have it over the minuses.