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June 8, 2007
Explore Oswego County's Favorite Fishing Holes
During Free Fishing Days June 23 - 24
Anglers can fish the Oswego River by driftboat or from the shore. The state Department of Environmental Conservation sponsors free fishing days June 23 and 24, when anyone can fish without a license. (Photo by Harrison Wilde.)
Each year, the last full weekend in June is designated as Free Fishing Days in New York State. On June 23 and 24, anyone can fish, and no fishing license is required. It's the perfect time to take a friend or relative and explore one of the fantastic fishing spots in Oswego County.
“This is an ideal opportunity for the family to enjoy a day or two fishing, especially for those who've never fished,” said David Turner, director of the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism, and Planning. “There are numerous marinas and launch sites along Lake Ontario and Oneida Lake. Even if you don't own a boat, anglers will find plenty of shoreline access along the Oswego and Salmon Rivers, Lake Neahtahwanta, Oneida Lake, and along many streams and tributaries.”
For those who prefer a charter trip, the county has one of the largest fleet of licensed charter captains on Lake Ontario.
Oswego's Linear Park, along the east and west shore of the Oswego River, offers access for wheelchair-users as well as the convenience of parking, nearby restaurants and other amenities. Near Fulton, anglers can fish from the Route 57 boat launch and at the Black Creek bridge across from Battle Island State Park. Other areas that are accessible to shoreline anglers and wheelchair-users include the Riverview Park on state Route 48 in Minetto, the pier at Selkirk Shores State Park, the dock at the Mexico Bay launch on the Little Salmon River, the NYS Route 3 bridge over the Salmon River at Port Ontario, Lake Neahtahwanta on state Route 3 near the city of Fulton, and Toad Harbor on Oneida Lake in the town of West Monroe.
This summer anglers will be fishing for a wide variety of fish species in the lakes and ponds scattered across Oswego County. Below is a brief listing of what species can be found in each of these waterways.
- Lake Neatahwanta: Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Rudd, Bowfin, Brown Bullhead, White and Yellow Perch, Black Crappie, Pumpkinseed, and Bluegill.
- North and South Sandy Ponds: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Crappie, Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Yellow and White Perch, Brown Bullhead, Northern Pike, Rock Bass and Walleye. There are five public boat launches at this site.
- Oneida Lake: Walleye, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Yellow and White Perch, Brown Bullhead, Crappie, and Sunfish.
- Salmon River Reservoir: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Rock Bass, Pumpkinseed, Yellow Perch, Black Crappie, and Rainbow and Brown Trout. There is one cartop launch and one boat launch.
For contour maps of these lakes and ponds, visit the DEC Web site at: www.dec.ny.gov/2430.html. The Web site also contains maps of showing public fishing access for several local rivers and streams at: www.dec.ny.gov/9924.html.
Anglers and boaters can help prevent the spread of unwanted aquatic plants and animals by following these guidelines:
- Remove all mud and aquatic plants from all gear, boats, motors, and trailers before departing from your fishing location.
- Drain all water including bilges, live wells, and bait tanks before departing from your fishing location.
- Do not transport fish from one body of water to another.
- Do not release unused bait into a body of water.
- Do not dispose of fish carcasses or by-products in any body of water.
Boaters are reminded that each child must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD) at all times while on any boat, canoe or kayak. All boats under 16 feet in length -- even kayaks and canoes -- must have an approved wearable PFD for each person on board. Boats over 16 feet in length must have an approved PFD for each person, plus a type IV, throwable device.
For up-to-date fishing conditions across Oswego County, call 1-800-248-4FUN. For more information on fishing in Oswego County, and a list of more than 100 licensed charter captains and guides, download the Oswego County Fishing and Hunting Guide at www.visitoswegocounty.com, or contact the Oswego County Tourism Office at 315/349-8322.
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