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Housatonic River Watershed

A brief overview of this watershed and its water quality is presented below. For more detailed information about the Housatonic River Watershed, published NYSDEC reports are also available. General information about watersheds is available at the "We All Live in a Watershed" webpage.

Facts about this Watershed

Map of NYS identifying the Housatonic River Watershed
Click to view a detailed map of this watershed

The Housatonic River Watershed is located primarily in western Massachusetts and Connecticut. However a small portion of the western headwaters of the river lie in eastern New York State. These waters drain the Taconic and Berkshire Mountains before joining the Housatonic and eventually emptying into Long Island Sound.

Location: Eastern New York State

  • Small part of eastern Dutchess County and
  • Small part of eastern Columbia County.

Size: 220 square miles of land area within New York State.

Rivers and Streams: 380 miles of freshwater rivers and streams. Major tributary watersheds to the Housatonic within New York State include:

  • Tenmile River (312 river miles)
  • Green River Watershed (46 miles)

Lakes, Ponds and Reservoirs: 14 significant freshwater lakes, ponds, and reservoirs (670 acres), including:

  • Indian Lake (196 acres)
  • Swift/Crane Ponds (135 acres)

How is the Water?

Water Quality in The Housatonic River Watershed

In the Housatonic Watershed, about 61% of river/stream miles, and only 10% of lake, pond and reservoir acres have been assessed (see Assessment Report).

Water quality in the New York State portion of the Housatonic River Watershed is quite good. Where impacts do occur in this small watershed, they are generally minor impacts that stress or threaten - rather than impair - uses.

Water chemistry sampling in a NYS stream
Water chemistry sampling

About Water Quality in New York State

Each waterbody in NYS has been assigned a classification, which reflects the designated "best uses" of the waterbody. These best uses typically include the ability to support fish and aquatic wildlife, recreational uses (fishing, boating) and, for some waters, public bathing, drinking water use or shellfishing. Water quality is considered to be good if the waters support their best uses. NYSDEC routinely monitors and assesses water quality throughout the state and publishes detailed reports of these findings. For more information on these monitoring and assessment programs, see Water Quality Monitoring, Assessment and Planning.

What You Can Do!

Each of us lives in a watershed. On our Watershed Stewardship page are some tips on actions that you and your friends can take to help your watershed.

Biological kick sampling in a NYS stream
Biological Kick Sampling

Published Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Reports

More about Housatonic River Watershed: