Greater Stockport Creek Watershed Alliance

Encompassing the Watersheds of the Kinderhook and Claverack Creeks in the Lower Hudson Valley, New York

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Watershed Links:

  • Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Program
  • Kinderhook Creek Swimming Holes
  • Kinderhook Creek Whitewater
  • EPA Watershed Resources
  • NYSDEC Fishing Access Map (Kinderhook Cr.)
  • NYSDEC Fishing Access Map (Taghkanic Cr.)
  • NYSDOH Fish Advisories
  • USGS realtime data: Kinderhook Cr. @ Rossman

  • Hudson Valley Links:

  • Hudson River Watershed Alliance
  • Hudson River Estuary Program
  • Hudson Riverkeeper
  • HRECOS
  • NOAA Tide Tables
  • Hudson Basin River Watch

  • General Links:

  • Columbia County EMC
  • Rensselaer County EMC
  • USGS in New York
  • Columbia-Greene Trout Unlimited Chapter
  • Columbia Land Conservancy
  • Berkshire Natural Resources Council
  • Rensselaer Plateau Alliance
  • Rensselaer Land Trust
  • New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission

  • watershedsign

    Logo design by John Reilly


    This document was prepared for Hudson River Estuary Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, with support from the NYS Environmental Protection Fund, in cooperation with the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission. The viewpoints expressed here do not necessarily represent those of NEIWPCC or NYSDEC, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or causes constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.

    Understand

    KINDERHOOK CREEK

    CLAVERACK CREEK

    STOCKPORT CREEK AND FLATS

    KINDERHOOK CREEK

    Kinderhook postcard post card - Covered bridges, Kinderhook, NY

    The Kinderhook Creek begins in the Berkshire Mountains of Berkshire County, Massachusetts and flows for 52.3 stream miles through Rensselaer County and Columbia County, New York. It joins the Claverack Creek to form the Stockport Creek. It drains an area of 327 square miles.

    The creek, or as it is called by many residents, "the crick" is very rich in both a historical and recreational standpoint. It is a fine trout stream and is rated as a Class C(T) stream in New York State river classification terms. The states of New York and Massachusetts stock the stream with brown trout, and there is a large population of native brown trout in the Stephentown area of Rensselaer County.

    Seventy-two percent of the Kinderhook sub-basin is covered by forest and is an area of scenic beauty. The Open Space Institute has conserved nearly 1,000 acres of land in the lower half of the basin to maintain its bucolic character.

    In the late 1600's, grist mills and lumber mills were established on the stream. Farmers utilized the fertile soil around the creek. Textile and paper mills were built during the Industrial Revolution in the 1800's predominately in Nassau, Valatie and Stuyvesant.

    Hydropower in Stuyvesant Falls was utilized to power the electric Albany and Southern Railway in the early 20th century. Washington Irving penned many of his tales while living in Kinderhook during the early part of his career. Martin Van Buren, the 8th President of the United States lived in his home known as "Lindenwald" in Kinderhook with the creek flowing adjacent to his mansion which is now a National Park Historic Site.

    In the Dutch language, "Kinderhook" means "children's point."

    CLAVERACK CREEK

    Oil on Canvas, Thomas Addison Richards (American, 1820-1900).  On Claverack Creek near Hudson, New York, 1846, Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Dr. Katherine K. Merritt, 65.148.

    The origin of the name Claverack is uncertain. While it can be translated as "Clover Reach", white clover - the oft-cited namesake - is thought not to be a native of North America, and hence probably would not have greeted Hudson or the first settlers. An early map and deed appear to call certain landscape features "Clavers", and there are records of a Clavers family living in Columbia County during the 17th century. Thus, "Claverack" may have, alternatively, derived from a topographic description or, if actually originating after Hudson, from a personal name. Another possibility is the name "Claverack" is derived from "clay bank", referring to the pronounced banks of clay found along this reach (or "rach" in Dutch) of the Hudson.

    The Claverack Creek enters the town from the north, and travels on a southwesterly course then flows northward to the Kinderhook in the Town of Stockport. The Claverack Creek drains 37% in the southern part of the watershed.

    Several mills operated near the Claverack Creek such as "Red Mills" that had the capacity to grind 300 bushels of grain daily. Grist mills, paper mills, woolen mills, carpet factories flourished in the Village of Philmont thanks to the fine system of hydraulics provided by the 150-foot waterfalls that cascades to the Agawamuck Creek.

    Wild trout exist throughout the waters of the Claverack Creek, and brown trout are typically stocked annually.

    By the time of the American Revolution, Claverack had become a substantial hamlet located on the much-traveled north-south Albany Post Road. The communities in the surrounding area thrived with several taverns, a grist mill complex and an exclusive professional class in the field of law.

    STOCKPORT CREEK AND FLATS

    The Stockport Creek and Flats, located between the hamlet of Newton Hook and the City of Hudson, extends along the eastern shore of the Hudson River for approximately seven miles. The area is located in the Towns of Stuyvesant, Stockport, and Greenport, Columbia County.

    Stockport Creek is one of the largest freshwater tributaries emptying into the Hudson River estuary. The Stockport Watershed is formed by the confluence of Kinderhook and Claverack Creeks, and provides approximately three miles of accessible waters for fish spawning. The considerable length of stream channel accessible to migratory fishes, and the lack of significant human disturbance in the creek, provides favorable habitat conditions for a variety of anadromous as well as resident freshwater fish species. Stockport Creek is an important spawning area for alewife, blueback herring, smelt, and white perch. Generally, these species enter the stream between April and June; the adults leave the area shortly after spawning, and within several weeks, the eggs have hatched, and larval fish begin moving downstream to nursery areas in the Hudson River. In addition, shallow subtidal areas comprising Stockport Flats serve as spawning sites for American shad, which concentrate in such areas between mid-April and June. The mudflats, littoral zones, and off-channel areas are also utilized as nursery grounds and feeding areas by striped bass, shad, alewife, herring, and resident species. Concentrations of smallmouth bass occur in Stockport Creek throughout the year. Adult bass move into the upper section of the creek in May or early June to spawn and return to river areas as water temperatures rise. Freshwater inflows from Stockport Creek are important for maintaining water quality in the Hudson River estuary.

    Stockport Creek and Flats provide valuable feeding and resting habitat for large concentrations of waterfowl during the fall and spring migrations. Approximately 10,000 canvasbacks, along with various other waterfowl species, have been reported in the area during seasonal migrations. When open water is available, Stockport Flats also provides an important waterfowl wintering area in the upper Hudson Valley region, especially significant for redhead and canvasback ducks. Spoil bank islands in the area, including Stockport Middle Ground, provide relatively unique vertical sand banks that have been colonized by bank swallows. Wetland areas associated with Stockport Creek and Flats provide potential habitat for various marsh nesting birds, including green-backed heron, American bittern, black duck, mallard, wood duck, Virginia rail, sora, fish crow, and marsh wren. Several rare plant species, including heartleaf plantain, also occur in the area.

    Human use of the Stockport Creek and Flats area is of regional significance. The large concentrations of waterfowl in this area provide excellent hunting opportunities for residents of the Hudson Valley region. The Stockport Creek and Flats area also provides excellent fishing for striped bass and shad during their migrations; prime fishing areas are at the mouth of Stockport Creek and in off-channel areas adjacent to Stockport Middle Ground. The latter area also provided one of the northernmost commercial shad fisheries in the Hudson River.

    Old footbridge at the confluence of Kinderhook and Claverack Creeks

    Columbiaville Gorge just downstream of the Rt. 9 bridge in Stockport.

    Looking north from the mouth of Stockport Creek toward the Flats

    Stockport Photo credits:Grandpa Mike @ Upstate Earth

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