Named Pennsylvania’s 2010 River of the Year, the Lackawaxen River is a blue ribbon limestone trout stream known for its huge boulders, overhanging trees and deep pools. Located in northeast Pennsylvania, the Lackawaxen watershed boundary spans Wayne, Pike and Lackawanna counties—two of which were rated among the fastest growing counties in the commonwealth according to the 2010 census. Despite the rapid population growth, this watershed is largely still rural, attracting visitors from nearby metropolitan areas to the northern Pocono Mountains. At its confluence with the West Branch of the Delaware, the Lackawaxen boasts trophy wild trout waters and further upstream, the river is stocked—providing anglers with unique and varied fishing experiences.
The Delaware River Basin Commission has, for the time being, imposed a moratorium on deep shale gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing within the Delaware River watershed. However, the commission is working on developing gas drilling regulations that would govern gas drilling in the basin—signaling that at some point, shale gas drilling may be allowed.
Before the agency adopts final regulations, the cumulative impacts of developing thousands of wells in the watershed must be studied to identify the range of impacts that may occur and the mitigation measures that must be applied in order to protect fish and wildlife in the Delaware River basin.