FISHING

 

Fishing seasons, harvest limits, and other recreational use of Fort Drum is in accordance with New York State Fishing Laws, and and Fort Drum Regulation 420-3 Hunting, Fishing, & Other Outdoor Recreation (unofficial version updated 01 Aug 2020). To determine seasons, minimum lengths, daily limits, and other regulations, 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 and 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 and includes the      type of launch, driving directions, 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 For 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 to all recreational activity by military personnel except fishing from the banks (in accordance with Fort Drum Pamphlet 600-5.)

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

Fishing is potentially permitted on Fort Drum 24 hours a day. Recreationists engaged in nighttime fishing activities in the Fort Drum Training Area are rquired to check-in and check-out via the Sportsman's Hotline. 

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing is permitted on all non-trout waters on Fort Drum (Indian Lake, Narrow 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 tie except for ATVs or snowmobiles for ice fishing purposes on Indian Lake, Narrow Lake, Indian Pond, and Mud Lake 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.

Recreationists are responsible for their own safety while on the ice. Please refer to the guide to the right for recommendations of minimum ice thickness. (Image used with permission by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.)

Health Advisory for Fish Consumption

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 than one meal (one-half pound) per month. In addition, NYSDOH recommends that women of child-bearing age, infants, and children under the age of 15 should not eat any fish from Indian and Narrow Lakes.

Tagged Fish

If you catch a fish with a tag in Indian or Narrow Lake, send an email to Raymond.E.Rainbolt.civ@mail.mil and provide the following information:

  • Tag Number
  • Species of Fish
  • Length of Fish
  • Weight of Fish (if known)
  • Where the fish was caught
  • Depth the fish was caught (if known)

Tagged fish can be kept by the angler or released.

Trout Stocking

Trout are stocked annually by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). Trout stocking usually takes place in late April or early May. Brown trout are stocked in Black Creek; brook trout are stocked in the West Branch of Black Creek; and rainbow trout are stocked in Quarry Pond. Check out the 2021 Fish Stocking Map for stocking locations on Fort Drum.

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

Free Fishing Days

There are certain free fishing days during the year when no New York State fishing license is required to fish anywhere in NYS including Fort Drum (but a free Fort Drum Recreation Pass is still required to fish in the Training Area.) In 2021, these days are the weekend on February 13-14; weekend on June 26-27; Saturday, September 25; and Thursday, November 11. There is also a free fishing day on Remington Pond on Fort Drum the same day as the annual youth Fishing Derby at Remington Park.

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. 

A youth Fishing Derby organized by Fort Drum's Natural Resources Branch is held the Saturday before Memorial Day weekend (Armed Forces Day). If you can't make it that day, there are other free fishing clinics held throughout New York State.

Disabled Access Fishing Opportunities

There is an accessible trail and pier structure at Remington Park. There are also parking areas and fishing platforms constructed at angling site #11 on Black Creek. There is also a NYSDEC accessible parking area and fishing pier on the Indian River near the Fort Drum boundary near Natural Bridge on the Lime Quarry Rd.

See the NYSDEC web site for a list of fishing access sites listed by NYSDEC Region (Fort Drum is Region 6) for anglers with disabilities. The NYSDEC web site also has information about other recreational opportunities in New York State.

Other Places to Fish in the Area

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 Co.
  • 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 Co. to Lake Ontario (including Fort Drum).
  • Fishing in Lake Bonaparte in Lewis Co. (including Fort Drum). A contour map and fish location 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 Oswego and Oneida 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 around 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 youth anglers in New York State. See the Youth Outdoor Opportunities page for more information.