- Associated Press - Thursday, December 3, 2015

DOWNSVILLE, N.Y. (AP) - New York City officials say their recreational boating program for the city’s Catskill-area reservoirs had its most popular year ever.

The city Department of Environmental Protection says the program that allows canoes, kayaks, sailboats and rowboats on four reservoirs led to 1,463 visits this year. That’s a nearly 24 percent increase over 2014.

Pepacton Reservoir attracted 840 boating visits, followed by 359 at Neversink, 180 at Schoharie and 84 at Cannonsville.

City officials say the higher numbers were largely driven by the success of a program that allows visitors to rent pre-cleaned kayaks or canoes from six local businesses.

The recreational boat program began in 2012. The use of metal rowboats for fishing has been permitted for decades on all New York City reservoirs.

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