Delaware River Story: Water Wars, Trout Tales, and a River Reborn

By Lee Hartman

Focusing on both the history and the author’s personal story in helping preserve the fishery, this book gives readers a colorful and unique perspective of what it’s like to fish the Delaware and how important it is to protect the cold-water fishery that is so valuable to the economy of the region. 116 Color Photos; 6x9 inches, 288 pgs.


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The Delaware River flows some 330 miles from its headwaters near Hancock, New York, to the mouth of the Delaware Bay. It is the longest free-flowing river east of the Mississippi and one of America’s most important rivers. Not only is it the primary water supply for New York City, but it provides clean drinking water to every home within a 150-mile radius. When the reservoirs were built on the East and West Branches, they disrupted the natural flows and turned nature upside down. The once-warm waterway now has cooler flows creating a self-sustaining wild trout population and establishing a modern-day fishing and boating industry to fuel the economy of the Upper Delaware River communities.

Protecting this important waterway—the clean drinking water, quality fishery, and recreational opportunities—has been a daunting task. There are many heroes, both living and dead, who have labored to keep its flows clean, healthy, and prosperous over the past four centuries. This book is about the individuals and organizations, who have, and are, sacrificing their time and effort to keep the Delaware River flowing free and clear without detriment to its flora and fauna.

Leo (Lee) Hartman
lives along the Upper Delaware River in Equinunk, PA. He is a 45-year veteran on the Delaware system and former owner of Indian Springs Fly Fishing Camp in Lordville, New York. Lee continues to guide on the river and host anglers to great fly-fishing destinations throughout the world. Lee, a staunch conservationist, co-founded Friends of the Upper Delaware River (FUDR) and is currently co-chairman of the Delaware River Committee for the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited. Lee accepted a Community Service Award by the Upper Delaware Council in 2014 and also received U.S. Congressional recognition for outstanding and invaluable service to the community.

He is the author of Trails in a Wild Frontier (self-published) about his fishing travels throughout Siberia and the Kola Peninsula from 1990 to 2013. Hartman was an agent for a Swedish company on the Kola Peninsula, routinely taking American clients for Atlantic salmon.


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