Rehabilitation of the historic Cleveland Dock Fishing Access Site on Oneida Lake is complete and the site is now open to the public.
Located at 69 State Route 49 in the village of Cleveland, Oswego County, the dock provides access for fishing and draws visitors for open water fishing, ice fishing, and boat docking. The site also provides emergency services access and helps connect boaters to the New York State Canal system.
Due to age-related deterioration of its waterfront structures, including two protective breakwater walls, Cleveland Dock was in danger of total collapse. Rehabilitation work included removal of a failing concrete and timber sea wall and replacement with a steel sheet pile wall system.
Improvements include grading, timber guide rails, railings, sidewalk, a concrete wall cap, benches, site electric, lamp posts, a hand launch for non-motorized boats, and parking lot upgrades. In addition, universally accessible site features include parking spaces and access along the edge of the pier, a picnic table, and fishing access along the pier railing.
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) funded $788,310 of the restoration and stabilization activities through NY Works funding. The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation provided $150,000 through the state Environmental Protection Fund for a total investment of $938,310. DEC will maintain the site in partnership with the New York State Canal Corporation, the site owner.
Oneida Lake, located 10 miles north of Syracuse in Oneida and Oswego counties, is the largest lake lying wholly within New York State and is best known for its walleye and yellow perch fishery. 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. Overall, the lake presents a diversity of fish species including bowfin, freshwater drum, longnose gar, pickerel, northern pike, and a variety of panfish.
The lake is also a good bass fishing location and popular tournament stop for professional bass fishing organizations. In July 2020, Bassmaster Magazine ranked Oneida Lake 18th in the nation out of the top 25 best bass fishing lakes of the decade. 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.
DEC reminds anglers and boaters that they 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 and help protect this great resource for years to come.
During the State’s ongoing response to COVID-19, New Yorkers across the state want and need to get outside for a nature break, which is good for physical and mental health. Before visiting Cleveland Dock Fishing Access Site, take the PLAY SMART * PLAY SAFE * PLAY LOCAL pledge, and promise to use common sense to protect yourself and others when enjoying the outdoors. Play Smart encourages New Yorkers to recreate safely, responsibly, and locally this summer and to always treat fellow outdoor adventurers with respect.
Photos of Cleveland Dock Fishing Access Site provided by DEC.