DEC announces the start of construction of a new accessible boat launch at Oneida Lake


For release: Friday, October 21, 2022

City of Verona Public Access Site in Oneida County Will Improve Recreational Opportunities for Residents and Visitors

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the start of construction of a new boat launch on the Barge Canal. at Cove Road in the City of Verona, Oneida County, to improve fishing and water recreation opportunities. The boat launch will connect to Oneida Lake and provide additional access to world-class fishing in Oneida Lake for all visitors, including those with disabilities.

“DEC continues to invest in new facilities to provide safe and accessible experiences for anglers, boaters and outdoor enthusiasts,” said Commissioner Seggos. “When completed, the Barge Canal Cove Road boat launch site will attract more visitors to enjoy boating and fishing on Oneida Lake and its tributaries, as well as those simply looking for a place to experience the natural environment of Oneida County.”

New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said: “The state’s canal system is a tremendous recreational resource for boaters, paddlers and anglers looking to explore and enjoy the great outdoors of upstate New York, and DEC’s new launch on Cove Road will provide safe access to the east end of Oneida Lake Boating has increased on New York’s canals over the past season and with infrastructure improvements like this new launch, we expect that that more and more residents and visitors discover our waterways in 2023.”

John Harmon, President of the Oneida Lake Association, said: “The Oneida Lake Association is thrilled to see the construction of the Cove Road boat launch site underway! This is a great accomplishment for DEC and the wider Oneida Lake community. Cove Road Launch is the result of years of advocacy and collaboration on the part of many individuals and agencies in our community.This launch site fills an important need for our members to use the excellent resources and the recreational opportunities of Oneida Lake.

As DEC continues to expand recreational opportunities for people of all abilities, the site will feature several Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant features. Plans include a two-lane concrete boat ramp with floating docks, a canoe/kayak boat ramp, a fishing pier, a parking area with 24 car parking spaces and 49 car/trailer parking spaces, including accessible parking, and a port-a-johns.

Once complete, anglers will have additional boat access to Oneida Lake, New York’s most fished inland water. Oneida Lake is the largest entirely located lake in New York State, at 50,894 acres. The waters of the lake are home to walleye, yellow perch, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and panfish, among other species of fish and wildlife. Lake sturgeon are found in the lake and its tributaries; however, the lake sturgeon is on the New York endangered species list and cannot be fished or possessed.

The projects are funded with $1.6 million from the Environmental Protection Fund and NY Works. Through the State’s Adventure NY initiative (PDF, 10 MB), DEC is making strategic investments to expand access to healthy and active outdoor recreation, connect more New Yorkers and visitors to nature, and outdoors, protect natural resources and stimulate local economies. The EPF is an essential resource for environmental programs such as land acquisition, protection of agricultural land, prevention and eradication of invasive species, access to recreation, improvement of water quality. water and environmental justice projects. Among many environmental victories in the 2022-23 state budget (leaves DEC website), Governor Hochul managed to boost the EPF from $300 million to $400 million, the highest level of funding ever recorded in the program history.

Anglers are reminded that statewide fishing regulations apply to Oneida Lake and it is the angler’s responsibility to know when the seasons are open in their area, size, limits daily and possession, as well as legal methods of fishing. For current state fishing regulations, see the 2022 Guide to Fishing Regulations (PDF) or visit the Freshwater Fishing Regulations webpage.

Earlier this summer, DEC launched the new “Tackle Box” feature to improve fishing-related tourism and help new and experienced anglers enjoy the great fishing available throughout New York. The Tackle Box feature is available on DEC’s HuntFishNY smartphone app (available for iOS and Android) and can provide information about Oneida Lake and almost any other body of water, as well as fishing regulations, state-operated fishing access sites, stocking information, and other useful features such as photos to help identify fish that may be in a certain river, lake, or stream. More information about the HuntFishNY Mobile app can be found on the DEC website.

Questions regarding this project can be directed to Jana Lantry, Aquatic Biologist 2, Region 6 Fisheries Officer, via email at [email protected]

Construction underway at the Cove Road launch site

construction near the waterfront

Cove Road boat launch site construction crews are mobilized and underway

aerial view of construction site near water

Location of new launch site on Cove Road, Oneida Lake

View from the bridge overlooking the construction site in the distance

View of the construction of the new Cove Road boat launch on Oneida Lake


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