Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Lower Salmon River State Forest

fishingpaddlinghuntingtrappinghikingicon key

Lower Salmon River State Forest locator map

The scenic Salmon River in northern Oswego County is a tributary to Lake Ontario and home to one of the nation's most intensively used fisheries for trophy-sized trout and salmon. The substantial numbers of mature fish returning to the river and miles of publicly accessible fishing opportunities combine to produce this incredible fishery.

DEC recently acquired approximately 1,700 acres of land adjacent to the Lower Salmon River as the result of a settlement agreement with National Grid (formerly Niagara Mohawk). The purpose of acquiring these lands was to improve and ensure protection of the natural resources and provide public access to the fisheries. The recently acquired lands are now designated as the Lower Salmon River State Forest.

Featured Activities

Fishing

fishing

General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules and regulations.

The Lower Salmon River State Forest features the world-famous Salmon River, which is open to fishing year-round. The Salmon River is a tributary fishery that attracts anglers from all over the world who pursue seasonal runs of migratory Chinook, coho, and Atlantic salmon, steelhead and brown trout.

Central NY Fishing provides information on fishing in the area and links to top fishing waters, stocking lists, public fishing access and waters open to ice fishing listed by county.

Paddling

paddling

General information on boating and paddling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

Summer whitewater canoeing, kayaking and rafting opportunities are available on the Lower Salmon River due to prescribed whitewater releases.

Hunting & Trapping

hunting
trapping

Wildlife Management Unit: 6K

General information on hunting and general information on trapping includes how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules and regulations.

Hunting and trapping are allowed during appropriate seasons.

Hiking

hiking

General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

Trails are designed for angler access but do offer scenic views of the river.

Wildlife

General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.

Lower Salmon River State Forest features an abundance of wildlife, ranging from white-tail deer to bald eagles.

Directions

Access to the area is gained by traveling east of Pulaski on Route 13.

There are multiple access points so please view Lower Salmon River State Forest map (PDF) and the Salmon River map which shows parking areas.

  • Lower Salmon River State Forest (43.5238 N, -75.9889 W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace Principles (leaves DEC website) when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts with other users.

All users of Lower Salmon River State Forest must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

Specific Rules

  • Camping is prohibited, including camping in vehicles.
  • No person shall discharge a rifle, shotgun, handgun or muzzle loader, except while hunting or trapping. Target practice is prohibited.
  • The use of fire shall be limited to charcoal or gas grills from May through October. Standard Regulations (leaves DEC website) apply November through April.

Planning and Management

DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the Lower Salmon River Management Plan (PDF). In addition to management objectives, the UMP contains detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural and human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries and much more.

If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us at R7Forestry@dec.ny.gov.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Where to Find Nearby Amenities

  • Lodging, dining, gas, food and other supplies may be found in the nearby community of Pulaski.

Oswego County Tourism (leaves DEC website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.

Numerous guidebooks and maps are available with information on the lands, waters, trails and other recreational facilities in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores, and on-line booksellers.

Additional information, outdoor equipment, trip suggestions and guided or self-guided tours may be obtained from outdoor guide and outfitting businesses. Check area chambers of commerce, telephone directories or search the internet for listings.

Consider hiring an outdoor guide if you have little experience or woodland skills. See the NYS Outdoor Guides Association (leaves DEC website) for information on outdoor guides.