Visit Oswego County

Fishing Reports for July 20, 2020

This report courtesy of the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning.

Lake Ontario report

According to Strike Zone Charters:

The Salmon River area on Lake Ontario produced once again over the weekend. We targeted brown trout on both the morning and afternoon trips and are glad we did. The trout yesterday were of a different class. The biggest in the morning was a 17 pounder. They also caught a 10 and a 12 pounder along with the rest of their catch. Landed 8 before 8 a.m. then left them alone and tried for salmon, hitting one that got away. The afternoon yielded a 14 lb. brown, a 12 lb. and a 10 lb. Along with more browns and two adult kings, a 23.5 inch Atlantic was netted that was released. It wasn’t the number of trout landed as we land limits of them regularly. It was the quality. In three trips between Saturday and Sunday, 8 browns between 10 and 17 lbs. ended up in the Strike Zone cooler.

According to Capt. Troy Creasy of High Adventure Sportfishing:

Another decent bite on Saturday but we certainly had our share of slippage. The fish were mean and they hated coming aboard a vessel. That being said we managed to wrestle in six and quite a few went away with sore lips.


Oswego River report:

Notice: Brookfield Renewable’s Varick Hydroelectric Station on the Oswego River will be out of service until approximately September 1, 2020 while electrical equipment is upgraded.  During this time flow through the Varick Hydroelectric Station will be stopped and all river flow will be released at the NYS Dam known as Varick Dam into the natural river channel below the dam.  Please be advised that during this time flow in natural river channel could be significantly greater than when the hydroelectric station is operational. 

Please use extreme caution and wear a personal flotation device when recreating on or near water. Pay close attention to your surroundings and respect all signage, sirens and barriers. follow all regulations if you plan to enter this area. For questions regarding this matter, please contact us at

The water flow has been between 4,000 and 7,000cfs over the weekend. The current flow is 7,120 cfs. Most areas along the river are accessible but along the East and West River Walks are good places to try. Look for walleye with stickbaits and jigs and crayfish and tube jigs are suggested for bass.

Notice: The bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are mandatory personal flotation device (PFD) zones on the river. For more information, view the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely brochure below. The Oswego Fire Department offers loaner life jackets at no charge through its “Loaner for Life” program. For more information contact the fire station, 35 E. Cayuga St., at 315-343-2161.

Click here for the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely brochure.

Click here for the current water flow.


Salmon River report:

Conditions were rather hot and humid over the weekend so we did not have many reports. Anglers last week found a number of smallmouth bass with some in the 15”-18” range.  The current water flow at the dam is not available but Pineville is reading 425 cfs. With that the flow at the dam is likely around 350 cfs.


Oneida Lake report:

The weekend was very warm and humid with some storms moving through the area yesterday. Anglers are finding walleye in both shallow and deeper water. Trolling and jigging are good applications to try. Blade baits and spinner baits are working well. Bass are taking stickbaits and jigs in the shallow water along with a good pickerel bite at this depth.


Sandy Pond report:

Activity typically slows down this time of year on the pond with the weed growth but anglers are finding some bass along the weed beds using spinnerbaits and rubber worms. Walleye are taking stickbaits and jigs and there have been a few pike reported.