CLEVELAND — The state Department of Environmental Conservation on Friday outlined plans for a nearly $1million major restoration and rehabilitation of the historic Cleveland Dock Fishing Access Site.
Work is expected to begin this winter on the dock, located at 69 State Route 49 in the village of Cleveland. The dock “provides unique access to the excellent fishing on Oneida Lake and also helps connect boaters to the Erie Canal system,” the DEC said in announcing the project.
The 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.
The “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 the state in 1916. “The dock was so well-constructed that the last major renovations took place in the 1930s,” the DEC said, adding that it continues to 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 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, the DEC said, adding that weather permitting, the full rehabilitation of the dock later this winter will 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
“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,” said Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Erik Kulleseid.
“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,” Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton 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,” Village of Cleveland Mayor Laureen Tackman 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,” Oneida Lake Association President Bill Girvan said.