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FISHING & BOATING

Fishing seasons, harvest limits and other recreational use of Fort Drum is in accordance with New York State Fishing Laws, and Fort Drum Regulation 420-3 Hunting, Fishing, Trapping and Camping. To determine seasons, minimum lengths, daily limits, and other information, Fort Drum is in Region 6 in Jefferson and Lewis counties (including the Black River and Indian River) in the NYSDEC Fishing Regulations.

See the New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation web site for information about boating regulations, safety and other information including a copy of the New York State Boating Guide. NYSDEC provides a list of public boat launches organized by county is available and includes the type of launch, driving direction, and parking capacity.

All bodies of water on Fort Drum, except those in permanently restricted areas, are open to fishing.

The primary waterbodies for fishing on Fort Drum include Indian and Narrow Lakes, Remington Pond, Quarry Pond, Conservation Pond, Indian Pond, Indian River, Black Creek, and the West Branch of Black Creek. A brochure entitled Fishing Fort Drum highlights specific areas for fishing on Fort Drum, as well as the North Country region.                                        

Permanently restricted areas are posted with New York State yellow and green (Restricted Area) signs. The Main Impact Area including the part of the Indian River adjacent to the Main Impact Area is off limits to all recreationists. The portion of the Black River that borders Fort Drum is off limits for all recreational activity by military personnel except fishing from the banks (in accordance with Fort Drum Pamphlet 600-5). 

A Fort Drum Recreation Permit is not required to recreate in Mud Lake if access is gained via Lake Bonaparte. Likewise, a permit is not required to recreate on the Black River or Indian Pond if access is gained off of Fort Drum. If the recreationist does NOT remain in the boat and sets foot on Fort Drum, a Fort Drum Recreation Permit and Access Pass is required.

Joint Use Policy to Access Closed Training Areas for Fishing

A Joint Access Policy for anglers (and trappers) allows the utilization of training areas when military training is occurring as long as those activities do not interfere with military operations. Anglers (and trappers) MUST call 315-772-7152 to speak with Range Branch personnel to determine if access is possible and if there are any additional restrictions.

Fishing At Night

Recreational fishing is permitted on Fort Drum 24 hours a day. Recreationists engaged in nighttime fishing activities (or camping or predator hunting) in the Fort Drum Training Area are required to check-in and check-out with Range Branch (Bldg. P-4855) (315-772-7152). Upon checking in, recreationists must obtain a Fort Drum Nighttime Recreation Pass and specify the location they would like to fish. Range Branch personnel will determine an entry/exit route to the fishing location. The Fort Drum Nighttime Recreation Pass must be displayed clearly on the dashboard of every vehicle involved with fishing activities and a copy must be in the possession of all recreationists engaged in fishing activities at all times.

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing is permitted on all  non-trout waters on Fort Drum (Indian Lake, Indian Pond and Mud Lake). Remington Pond and Quarry Pond are not open for ice fishing.

No motorized vehicles are allowed on the ice at any time except for ATVs or snowmobiles for ice fishing purposes on Mud Lake, Indian Pond, and Indian and Narrow Lakes ONLY.

ATVs and snowmobiles must be trailered into the Training Area. Access to these waterbodies must be in the most direct route possible from the parked vehicle to the waterbody.

Image used with permission by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Recreationists are responsible for their own safety while on the ice. Please refer to the guide to the recommendations above.

Health Advisory of Fish

Based on an evaluation of contaminant levels (i.e. mercury) in fish, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has placed a health advisory in effect for all species of fish found in Indian Lake (and Narrow Lake). NYSDOH recommends that persons eat no more that one meal (one-half pound) per month. In addition, NYSDOH recommends that women of childbearing age, infants and children under the age of 15 should not eat any of the fish species from Indian Lake.

Tagged Fish

 If you catch a fish with a tag in Indian or Narrow Lake, contact the Fish & Wildlife Management Program Manager (315-772-9636) or the Fish & Wildlife Biologist (772-6283) and provide the following information:

  • Tag Number
  • Species of Fish
  • Length of Fish
  • Weight of Fish
  • Where the fish was caught
  • The depth the fish was caught

These fish can be kept by the angler or released.

Trout Stocking

Trout are stocked annually by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). Brown trout are usually stocked in late April or early May in Black Creek; brook trout are usually stocked in late April or early May in Remington Pond and the West Branch of Black Creek; and rainbow trout are usually stocked in June in Quarry Pond. The Fish & Wildlife Management Program provides2013 Fish Stocking Map to anglers denoting stocking locations.

See the NYSDEC web site for other trout stocking locations in Jefferson County, Lewis County, and St. Lawrence County.

Fishing at Remington Park

Remington Pond is in Fort Drum's Cantonment Area and is a catch-and-release fishery for all fish. No Fort Drum Recreation Permit is required to fish at Remington Pond; however, a NYS fishing license is required.

Since 1997, the Fish & Wildlife Management Program has co-sponsored and hosted an annual Fishing Derby at Remington Pond in conjunction with the Free Fishing Day on Fort Drum. The Fishing Derby takes place the Saturday before Memorial Day weekend. There are other free fishing days and derbies throughout New York State.

Free Fishing Days

There are normally three days per year when fishing can be done on Fort Drum without a New York State fishing license. Although no New York State fishing license is required during these days, a Fort Drum Recreational Permit and Access Pass must still be obtained for fishing in the Training Area.

For 2014, free fishing days are Saturday, May 17 for Fort Drum only and the weekend of June 28-29 for all waters of New York State; in 2015, free fishing day for Fort Drum will tentatively be May 16 and free fishing weekend throughout New York State will be June 27-28. The Fort Drum Free Fishing Day also corresponds with an annual youth Fishing Derby at Remington Park.

Disabled Access Fishing Opportunities

At this time there are no designated disabled access fishing opportunities on Fort Drum.

See the NYSDEC web site for a list of fishing access sites listed by county for anglers with disabilities. The NYSDEC web site also has information about other accessible recreation opportunities in New York State.

Other Places to Fish in New York State

There are numerous water bodies and fishing opportunities available throughout the North Country within a 70 mile radius of Fort Drum.  A map highlighting some of these areas are available. Check any of the links below for more information.

  • Fishing and canoeing on the Indian River in Lewis and Jefferson counties (including Fort Drum) and St. Lawrence County.
  • Fishing in the Indian River Lakes, 18 natural lakes in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties, approximately 17-30 miles north of Fort Drum.
  • Fishing in Black Lake in St. Lawrence Co. approximately 26 miles north of Fort Drum.
  • Fishing and canoeing on the Black River from Herkimer County to Lake Ontario (including Fort Drum).
  • Fishing in Lake Bonaparte in Lewis County (including Fort Drum). A contour map of Lake Bonaparte is also available.
  • Fishing and canoeing on the Grass River in St. Lawrence Co. approximately 43 miles northeast of Fort Drum.
  • Fishing in Oneida Lake in Oneida and Oswego counties approximately 60 miles south of Fort Drum.
  • Fishing in the Salmon River in Oswego Co. approximately 37 miles south of Fort Drum.
  • Fishing in the Salmon River Reservoir in Oswego Co. approximately 50 miles south of Fort Drum.
  • Fishing in the St. Lawrence River in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties approximately 25 miles northeast of Fort Drum.
  • Fishing in the St. Lawrence River from Clayton, NY approximately 30 miles northwest of Fort Drum.
  • Fishing in Lake Ontario and its tributaries in Jefferson Co. approximately 20 miles west of Fort Drum.
  • Trout fishing in Region 6 including Fort Drum.
  • Ice fishing in Region 6 including Fort Drum.

Top fishing waters and other places to fish in New York State can be found on the NYSDEC web site.

Fishing With Youth

There are several opportunities for special hunting opportunities for youth hunters in New York State. See the Youth Outdoor Opportunities page for more information.