Department of Environmental Conservation

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Salmon River Reservoir

Salmon River Reservoir, often referred to as Redfield Reservoir, is a large remote water body located in Oswego County in the hamlet of Redfield.

Physical Features:

Elevation: 1,000 feet
Area: 2,660 acres
Shoreline Length: 47.5 miles
Length: 6.9 miles
Maximum Depth: 50 feet
County & Town: Oswego County, Towns of Orwell and Redfield

Aquatic Plant Life:

There is very little rooted aquatic vegetation in the reservoir due to the fluctuating water levels.


On CCC Road off Orwell-Redfield Road 4½ miles west of the hamlet of Redfield. Beach launch. Parking for 16 cars.

On Jackson Road, off Orwell-Redfield Road 5½ miles west of the hamlet of Redfield. Concrete ramp. Parking for 22 cars and trailers.

County Route 17 south of the hamlet of Redfield. Gravel ramp. Parking for 6 cars and trailers.

County Route 17 in the hamlet of Redfield, across the road from Hayes Drive. Concrete ramp. Parking for 20 cars and trailers.

For more information on these boat launches including Google Maps driving directions, visit the Boat Launch Sites for Oswego County page.

Accessible Features:

Accessible platform overlooking the reservoir
Redfield accessible platform
accessible recreation logo

In the hamlet of Redfield, the public access site features an observation and fishing platform that overlooks the Salmon River Reservoir in the Salmon River State Forest. The platform is connected to designated accessible parking via a short hardened-surface access route. When the water level is high, it is possible to fish from the platform. The fishable season usually runs from ice melt through June or July, depending on precipitation. Full listing of DEC's Accessible Recreation Destinations.

Fish Species:

Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, brown trout, brook trout, rainbow trout, black crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish, yellow perch, white sucker, and brown bullhead.


Fishing the woody structure along the shoreline and the many submerged stumps is a good way to begin your search for the black bass.


Special Fishing Regulations Apply.

Fisheries Management:

Salmon River Reservoir was previously stocked with walleye from 2003-2008. During the fall of 2008, a DEC electrofishing survey was conducted to evaluate the success of the stocking; no walleye were captured during this survey. A follow up gill netting survey was conducted in the summer of 2013 to look for natural reproduction of walleye. Twenty-three walleye were collected with lengths that ranged from 9.5 to 22 inches. Ages for these walleye ranged from two to six years old; any walleye under five years of age were naturally reproduced in the reservoir.

Since natural reproduction is taking place in the reservoir, DEC will periodically stock walleye to help maintain the population. Many of the streams entering the reservoir are stocked annually with rainbow, brown and brook trout so some of them may make their way into the reservoir.

Fish Survey Report (2013)

A fisheries survey of the Salmon River Reservoir in Oswego County was conducted in June 2013 to determine the level of natural reproduction resulting from five years of juvenile walleye stocking in the reservoir (2004-2008). The survey showed that there was significant walleye natural reproduction occurring in the population. This survey was a replication of one completed in 2008 as a mid-project assessment.

The numbers of walleye and yellow perch increased noticeably between the two studies, while the number of smallmouth bass declined considerably. Based on both the gillnet catch rate and the length-at-age results, there appears to be a moderately abundant walleye population in the reservoir. Age data shows that the majority of the walleye in the population are from natural reproduction since they are too young to have been stocked fish.

Yellow perch numbers rose between the two surveys but are still in the low abundance range for New York State based on the catch and growth rates. The recent repeated droughts decreased the amount of submersed aquatic vegetation in the reservoir, likely impacting the resident black bass population. This presumed lessening of the predatory pressure on young walleye could explain their rise to the dominant predator species in the 2013 gillnet catches.

Number of fish collected during 2013 gill netting of Salmon River Reservoir
Species Number
Brown trout 1
White sucker 45
Rock bass 10
Smallmouth bass 18
Black crappie 2
Yellow perch 43
Walleye 23
Number of fish collected by inch group during 2013 survey of Salmon River Reservoir
Inch group Brown trout Rock bass Smallmouth bass Black crappie Yellow perch Walleye
5 1 6
6 1 2 3
7 1 1 2
8 1 4
9 6 1 8 1
10 2 12
11 2 8
12 4 2
13 7 1
14 4
15 1 7
16 4
17 1
18 1 1
19 1
23 1