The new boat launch site on Otisco Lake is complete and open to the public. Prior to the launch’s completion, Otisco was the only Finger Lake without a public boat launch.
With this facility, boaters will have a new option to explore the region and its fishing and boating-related recreational opportunities.
The site is located at 1490 West Valley Road, Spafford, Onondaga County. Features that enhance access for visitors of all abilities include:
- New concrete launch ramp and floating boarding dock to allow the launching of trailered motorboats even if water levels fluctuate;
- Accessible-designated parking for one vehicle with trailer and one passenger vehicle; and
- Wheelchair-accessible portable toilet.
Features that enhance site safety and access include:
- Solar-powered safety lighting, down-lit to minimize light pollution;
- Invasive species disposal bin;
- Designated boat preparation area for safer and more efficient launching;
- Paved parking area with separate entrance and exit that accommodates 13 vehicles with trailers and 13 single vehicles.
DEC recently celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and upgrades like the ones announced today demonstrate New York State’s commitment to helping people with disabilities fully participate in and enjoy the benefits of DEC’s facilities, services, programs, and activities. DEC funded the project with $599,740 through the Environmental Protection Fund and $22,260 through New York Works, for a total of $622,000. The new launch site complements the DEC Otisco Lake Fishing Access Site at the causeway, located approximately 200 yards to the north.
Otisco Lake is the most easterly of the 11 Finger Lakes and is eighth in size. It lies wholly within Onondaga county near the city of Syracuse. Tiger muskie provide a unique trophy and Otisco may be one of the best waters in the state for this fish. Walleye fishing is good during the spring, early summer, and fall. Otisco Lake supports a variety of other sportfish species including large and smallmouth bass, brown trout, bluegill, sunfish, and yellow perch.
DEC Fisheries management activities at Otisco Lake include the annual stocking of 11,000 tiger muskellunge fingerlings (9-10 inches long); the biennial stocking of 44,000 walleye pond fingerlings (1.5 inches long); and routine fish community assessments to evaluate stocking success and effectiveness of fisheries regulations. Onondaga County Hatchery also annually stocks approximately 2,500 2-year old brown trout (13 inches long).
DEC wants to remind anglers and boaters that they play a major role in helping to prevent 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 Otisco Lake Boat Launch 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. The new campaign encourages all New Yorkers to recreate safely, responsibly, and locally this summer and to always treat fellow outdoor adventurers with respect.
Photo of Otisco Lake Boat Launch provided by DEC.