The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that a major restoration and rehabilitation of the historic Cleveland Dock Fishing Access Site is expected to begin this winter.
Cleveland Dock, located at 69 State Route 49 in the village of Cleveland, Oswego County, provides unique access to the excellent fishing on Oneida Lake and also helps connect boaters to the Erie Canal system.
Cleveland Dock was a significant historic maritime landing place on the Erie Canalway, originally acquired by New York State in 1916. The dock was so well-constructed that the last major renovations took place in the 1930s. Cleveland Dock provides convenient access to Oneida Lake and the Erie Canal and draws visitors for open water fishing, ice fishing, and boat docking and provides emergency services access to the Central New York canal system. Oneida Lake, located 10 miles north of Syracuse in Oneida and Oswego counties, is the largest lake lying wholly within New York State.
During the open water season, the outflow from Black Creek combines with the deep water along the dock to attract a variety of fish species. Most notably, the dock provides access to post-spawn walleye in May and is also a great place to catch cruising walleye in the fall. The lake is also is a bass fishing location and popular tournament stop for professional bass fishing organizations. There are few publicly accessible locations on Oneida Lake that rival the high-quality shoreline fishing opportunity provided by Cleveland Dock. Current fishing information is available on DEC’s Central New York Fishing Hotline.
Due to age-related deterioration of its waterfront structures, including two protective breakwater walls, Cleveland Dock is in danger of total collapse. Weather permitting, DEC expects to begin the full rehabilitation of the dock later this winter to ensure safe public access. Work includes but is not limited to removal and replacement of an existing concrete and timber sea wall with a steel sheet pile wall system. Site improvements include site grading, timber guide railing, railings, sidewalk, concrete wall cap, benches, picnic table, site electric, lamp posts, parking lot improvements, accessible concrete parking pad, approximately 2,060 square yards of asphalt parking lot, and striping.
DEC will fund $788,310 of the restoration and stabilization activities through NY Works; the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation will fund $150,000 through the Environmental Protection Fund for a total of $938,310. DEC will maintain the site in partnership with the New York State Canal Corporation, the site owner. Other partners supporting restoration of this community asset include:
Anglers and boaters play a major role in preventing the spread of invasive species, and responsible practices should be employed to help stop their spread. Following recommended guidelines such as properly cleaning, draining, and drying your boat and gear will lessen the likelihood of spreading invasive species and diseases.
Photos: Above, App’s Boat Livery at the State Dock in Cleveland on Oneida Lake (1920s); middle, Cleveland Terminal taken from the original break wall (ca. 1930); and below, a tug at Cleveland Dock (ca. 1930)