DEC announces start of restoration at Historic Cleveland Dock on Oneida Lake

Local News

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today 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.

“DEC is excited to partner with our local, regional, and state partners on this critical project to restore the historic Cleveland Dock and improve safe access for anglers, boaters, and other visitors,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Cleveland Dock is a popular year-round destination for residents, the greater North Shore community, and visitors from across New York State and beyond.”

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 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. The lake is also is a fantastic 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:

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said,”The Cleveland Dock provides crucial access to Oneida Lake and the New York State Canal System, which are incredibly popular boating and fishing destinations in New York State. I am grateful to the state Department of Environmental Conservation for the helping restore and improve this tremendous recreational resource.”

New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, “Cleveland Dock lies within one of the most heavily trafficked sections of the state Canal System, which includes Oneida Lake. Now boaters will have more access to some of the best fishing in New York and experience what makes our canals special.”

Village of Cleveland Mayor Laureen Tackman said, “The Village of Cleveland is looking toward a brighter future with the restoration of its once vibrant state dock. With this restoration, we expect increased boat traffic to once again bring more welcome visitors to our beautiful village on the north shore of Oneida Lake. We wish to extend our sincerest appreciation to all those partners whose hard work has made this a reality for us. Thank you.”

Oswego County Legislature Chair James Weatherup said, “This structure we all know as Cleveland Dock has served the residents and businesses of the north shore for more than 160 years. It played a key role in the development of the village of Cleveland and town of Constantia and the announcement of this momentous project is met with great pleasure and enthusiasm.”

Oswego County 5th District Legislator Roy Reehil said, “With great happiness and appreciation, I want to thank DEC and the many partners who recognize the importance of revitalizing Cleveland Dock for the village of Cleveland, North Shore area residents, and the thousands of annual visitors who experience Oneida Lake’s fishing, boating, and spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Cleveland Dock will retain its importance as a former Erie Canal Terminal by offering a welcoming beacon to boaters and long distance canal travelers. On behalf of my constituents in the village of Cleveland and town of Constantia, I shout a resounding thank-you.”

Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism, and Planning Executive Director David Turner said, “For almost two centuries, Cleveland Dock has served many roles but most recently its primary function has been a public access site for fishing and other important Oswego County recreation and tourism activities. We are very excited that this project is moving ahead and look forward to its completion. We greatly appreciate the efforts of Governor Cuomo, DEC and the other NYS partners who helped this come together.”

Oneida Lake Association President Bill Girvan said, “Publicly accessible prime fishing access locations on Oneida Lake are very important and Cleveland Dock is a magnet for anglers of all ages. The Oneida Lake Association Board of Directors is very happy that the renovations will provide safe public access so anglers and other visitors can continue to enjoy the lake for many years to come.”

Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board Executive Director David Bottar said, “I am very pleased to learn that New York State is planning to proceed with plans for the construction of the Cleveland Dock Rehabilitation project in 2020. This initiative will strongly support community revitalization activities in the village of Cleveland and complement efforts by community leaders, county officials, the state, and CNY RPDB to help develop Cleveland as regional gateway for recreation and tourism in Central New York.”

New York State Tug Hill Commission Executive Director Katie Malinowski said, “The rehabilitation of the Cleveland Dock has been a priority for the village of Cleveland, town of Constantia, Oswego County, and many others. This significant investment spearheaded by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, in collaboration with other partners, will once again make this deepest dock on the north shore of Oneida Lake a hub of economic and recreational activity. Summer boat docking, fishing in all seasons including warm weather shoreline fishing and ice fishing access, connection to the Oswego County Recreation Trail, and perhaps most importantly access for emergency services, will all be supported by the new and improved facility located on the southern edge of the Tug Hill region.”

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.

View conceptual rendering of new Cleveland Dock

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