Few areas of North America offer the quality and diversity of freshwater fishing found in Oswego County, NY. From trolling on Great Lake Ontario for trophy trout and salmon, to casting the pristine waters of the legendary Salmon River, this area of Central New York offers unrivaled experiences for anglers of all ages and abilities.
Oswego County waters have produced 11 world and state records, including several remarkable fish caught in the Salmon River — a 47 lb. 13 oz. Chinook salmon, the world record Coho salmon (33 lbs. 4 oz.) and a 33-lb, 2 oz. brown trout.
The top four species in Lake Ontario are Chinook and Coho salmon, and brown and rainbow trout. Last summer saw a record high Chinook salmon catch rate according to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. More than 50 credentialed charter captains, well equipped with navigation equipment, tackle and gear, offer charter trips from marinas in Oswego, Mexico Point, Port Ontario, Catfish Creek and Sandy Pond.
One of the only places in North America where anglers can catch Atlantic salmon, the Salmon River offers some of the finest sportfishing in the U.S. Massive numbers of Chinook and Coho salmon spawn in the river each fall, followed by steelhead from November through spring. Visitors can enjoy 12 miles of public fishing land along the river; there are also private fishing preserves in Pulaski and Altmar. Numerous guides are available to help anglers with techniques and gear.
The Oswego River offers a distinct fishery in the heart of downtown Oswego. A variety of fish – brown trout, Chinook and Coho salmon, and steelhead — move in and out with the seasons near the mouth of the river below the first dam. There is outstanding public access with paved walkways, hotels, restaurants, marinas and other amenities all nearby.
Check out the lower section of the Oswego River, smaller lakes, and streams for small- and largemouth bass, carp, walleye, yellow perch, pickerel, and channel catfish. Look for walleye and bass in Oneida Lake, and ice-fishing for walleye and perch on Sandy Pond, Oneida Lake and Lake Neahtawanta. Several miles of remote tributary streams are also open to the public, including Trout and Orwell Brooks and the Mad River.
What else do you need to know?
All anglers age 16 and over need a valid NYS fishing license. Out-of-state licenses cost $10 for 1-day; $28 for 7-days; and $50 for a year. Visit https://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6091.html.
Free fishing: June 23-24, 2018; Sept. 22, 2018; and Nov. 11, 2018.
NYS DEC Fish Hatcheries:
- Salmon River, 2133 Co. Rte. 22, Altmar, NY; 315-298-5051
- Oneida Lake: 3 Hatchery Rd., Constantia, NY; 315-623-7311
Visitor information: For campgrounds, lodging, restaurants, attractions and events, go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/. For fishing conditions, guides, marinas, and more, visit http://visitoswegocounty.com/fishing-hunting/fishing/
Last modified: July 2, 2018