ed van put
j.s. van cleef
Fri Dec 11, 2009 7:09am

Hi Alanna,

What an incredible family! I have a fair amount of information on J.s.v.c., mostly articles he's written for early sporting journals, or papers he read before the American Fisheries Society, and a few about him and his obituary that I think includes a drawing of him. He was a pioneer Catskill fly fisherman involved in all aspects of the sport, an early conservationist, and a well respected individual in the fly fishing circles of his day. He practiced law in Poughkeepsie and was involved in early legislation protecting fish and stream habitat, in these regards he was well ahead of his time.
I don't know what to send, I can scan and send most anything, obituary? articles? I am attaching a small excerpt of an abstract that was written a few years ago that includes JSVC.
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Géographie physique et Quaternaire

Volume 56, numéro 1, 2002, p. 45-60

Directeur : André G. Roy

Rédacteur en chef : Pierre J.H. Richard

Éditeur : Les Presses de l'Université de Montréal

ISSN : 0705-7199 (imprimé) 1492-143X (numérique)
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The Development and Historic Use of Habitat Structures in Channel Restoration in the United States: The Grand Experiment in Fisheries Management

Douglas M. Thompson

Department of Physics, Astronomy and Geophysics, Connecticut College, Campus Box 5585, 270 Mohegan Avenue, New London, Connecticut 06320, U.S.A


Gregory N. Stull

Department of Physics, Astronomy and Geophysics, Connecticut College, Campus Box 5585, 270 Mohegan Avenue, New London, Connecticut 06320, U.S.A

As fishing pressures increased and fish populations suffered, wealthy individuals sought ways to preserve their beloved hobby. In 1868, the Willowemoc Club was formed, which began a process of privatizing Catskills fishing areas for the exclusive use of club members (Van Put, 1996). James Spencer Van Cleef, the club founder and a resident of Poughkeepsie, New York, believed that privatization of trout waters by clubs was the only way to preserve trout waters. He and his fellow club members purchased thousands of acres of trout fishing waters in the region. In the 1870s, the club even constructed artificial spawning beds and cleaned streams of siltation, debris and barriers (Van Put, 1996). Van Cleef (1885) provided one of the first published references on the topic of channel restoration in the U.S. In this paper, he recommended the placement of LWD to replace habitat destroyed by anthropogenic influences (Van Cleef, 1885). Van Cleef eventually became more involved in public policy and wrote the general fish and game laws for New York State (Van Put, 1996).
While this is a scientifically written paper JSVC's articles and my writing about him is not, My books are trout fishing history. Please let me know what to send.


  • Hello Ed!............Alanna, Wed Dec 9 8:13pm
    Thanks for popping in with your input. I am going to re-check this. Would you post again with more info about James Spencer? I would be interested in reading up on this. By the way, the person for... more
    • j.s. van cleef — ed van put, Fri Dec 11 7:09am
      • Hi again Ed!......Alanna, Sat Dec 12 6:43pm
        This is interesting to know that one of Lee Van Cleefs relatives was such a pioneer in basically enviromental preservation. Being Green before Green was cool, so to speak.;) I would like to get a... more
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