Salmon River Live Cam

A small river north of Syracuse in Upstate New York

Hosted by:
  • Fat Nancy's Tackle Shop
  • 3750 State Route 13 - Pulaski
  • New York 13142 - United States
  • 1-877-801-FISH(3474)


The Salmon River, located in upstate New York, has a rich history that spans centuries. Here's an overview of the Salmon River's history:

Native American Presence: The Salmon River has been home to Native American tribes for thousands of years. The Iroquois Confederacy, particularly the Cayuga and Onondaga tribes, inhabited the region and relied on the river as a valuable resource for fishing, transportation, and trade.

European Exploration and Colonization: In the early 17th century, European explorers and traders began to venture into the region. French explorers, including Samuel de Champlain and Samuel de Champlain, were among the first to establish contact with the Native American tribes along the Salmon River.

The 18th and 19th Centuries: During the 18th century, the Salmon River became an important transportation route for European settlers moving westward. The river provided access to the interior of New York and facilitated trade and commerce in the region. As the population grew, towns and settlements developed along the river, including Pulaski, Altmar, and Orwell.

Industrialization and the Rise of Fishing: In the 19th century, the Salmon River played a crucial role in the industrial development of the region. The river's swift flow and proximity to natural resources made it an ideal location for mills and factories. These industries helped to drive the local economy, attracting workers and settlers to the area.

However, it was in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that the Salmon River gained widespread recognition as one of the premier fishing destinations in the United States. The river became famous for its abundance of Atlantic salmon, which drew anglers from far and wide. People would travel to the Salmon River to experience the thrill of fishing and to enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings.

Conservation and Environmental Efforts: Over the years, various conservation initiatives have been undertaken to protect and preserve the Salmon River's natural resources. Efforts to regulate fishing, manage water quality, and protect fish populations have helped to ensure the river's sustainability. Organizations such as the Salmon River Fish Hatchery and the Salmon River International Sport Fishing Museum contribute to the conservation and educational aspects of the river.

Today, the Salmon River remains a popular destination for anglers, nature enthusiasts, and outdoor adventurers. It offers excellent fishing opportunities for a variety of fish species, including salmon, steelhead, brown trout, and smallmouth bass. The river's scenic beauty, diverse wildlife, and recreational activities continue to attract visitors, making it an integral part of New York's natural and cultural heritage.

Historical Facts

  • Native American Heritage: The Salmon River holds great significance in Native American history. The river was an important resource for the Iroquois Confederacy, specifically the Cayuga and Onondaga tribes, who relied on its waters for sustenance, transportation, and trade.
  • European Exploration: European explorers, such as Samuel de Champlain and Étienne Brûlé, encountered the Salmon River during their explorations of the region in the early 17th century. Their interactions with Native American tribes helped to establish trade relationships and lay the groundwork for future European colonization.
  • Salmon Fishing Industry: The Salmon River gained prominence in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a premier fishing destination. The river was renowned for its Atlantic salmon population, attracting anglers from across the United States. The salmon fishing industry played a significant role in the local economy and continues to be a popular activity today.
  • Dam Construction: In the early 20th century, the construction of dams on the Salmon River significantly impacted its natural flow and ecology. The first dam, known as the Lighthouse Hill Dam, was built in 1902. Subsequent dam constructions, such as the Trestle Pool Dam and the Lower Falls Dam, further altered the river's landscape and affected fish migrations.
  • Conservation Efforts: Recognizing the importance of preserving the Salmon River's natural resources, various conservation initiatives have been implemented over the years. Efforts have been made to manage fish populations, protect spawning areas, and restore the river's ecosystem. The Salmon River Fish Hatchery, established in 1976, plays a crucial role in supporting fish populations through breeding and stocking programs.
  • Recreational Activities: The Salmon River offers a wide range of recreational activities beyond fishing. The river's scenic beauty and rapids make it a popular spot for whitewater rafting and kayaking. Hiking trails along its banks provide opportunities for nature walks and birdwatching. The river's surrounding area also offers camping facilities and opportunities for hunting and snowmobiling during the winter months.

These historical facts highlight the Salmon River's significance in Native American culture, its transformation during European colonization, the rise of the salmon fishing industry, conservation efforts, and the diverse range of recreational activities it offers today.


The Salmon River flows through several counties in upstate New York, primarily Oswego and Jefferson counties. Here's an overview of the course of the Salmon River:

  • Source: The Salmon River originates from a small pond known as Chateaugay Pond, located in the Tug Hill Plateau region of Oswego County. This pond serves as the river's headwaters.
  • Flow: From Chateaugay Pond, the Salmon River flows in a generally northeast direction, meandering through dense forests and picturesque landscapes. The river's course is characterized by swift currents, rocky sections, and occasional rapids.
  • Reservoirs: Along its course, the Salmon River is impounded by several reservoirs. The Lighthouse Hill Reservoir, constructed in 1902, is the first major reservoir encountered. It is followed by the Trestle Pool Reservoir and the Lower Falls Reservoir, both of which were created to generate hydroelectric power.
  • Waterfalls: The Salmon River features several notable waterfalls that add to its natural beauty. The Lower Falls, located near the village of Altmar, is a popular attraction known for its cascading waters and scenic surroundings.
  • Communities: As the Salmon River continues northeast, it passes through or near various communities. Pulaski, a village in Oswego County, is one of the largest settlements along the river and serves as a hub for recreational activities and fishing. Other towns and hamlets along the river include Altmar, Pineville, and Orwell.
  • Lake Ontario: The Salmon River reaches its terminus at Lake Ontario, one of the Great Lakes. The river's mouth is located near the village of Port Ontario, where it empties into the easternmost portion of the lake.

Overall, the Salmon River's course spans approximately 44 miles (71 kilometers) from its source at Chateaugay Pond to its confluence with Lake Ontario. Along this journey, it passes through diverse landscapes, scenic areas, and communities that contribute to its cultural and recreational significance.


The geology of the Salmon River region is shaped by its location in upstate New York, which is part of the larger Appalachian Plateau and the Tug Hill Plateau. Here are some key geological aspects of the Salmon River area:

  • Tug Hill Plateau: The Salmon River originates from Chateaugay Pond, located in the Tug Hill Plateau region. The Tug Hill Plateau is a large upland area known for its flat, elevated terrain, which is characterized by rolling hills, glacial deposits, and numerous streams and rivers.
  • Glacial Influence: Like much of upstate New York, the Salmon River area bears evidence of past glaciation. During the last Ice Age, glaciers advanced and retreated, leaving behind significant deposits of sediment and reshaping the landscape. Glacial till, moraines, and outwash plains can be found in the region, contributing to the diverse geology.
  • River Valleys and Gorges: The Salmon River has carved out a deep valley as it flows through the region. The river's swift currents and erosive power have resulted in the formation of gorges and steep-walled valleys along its course. These geological features provide scenic beauty and recreational opportunities, such as hiking and exploring waterfalls.
  • Bedrock: The bedrock underlying the Salmon River region consists primarily of sedimentary rocks, particularly sandstones and shales. These sedimentary formations are part of the larger Appalachian Plateau, which stretches across several states in the eastern United States.
  • Fossils: The sedimentary rocks in the Salmon River area contain fossils that provide insights into the region's geological history. Fossilized remains of ancient marine organisms, such as brachiopods, trilobites, and corals, can be found in the rock formations, indicating that the area was once covered by a shallow sea.
  • Mineral Resources: The Salmon River region has limited mineral resources, but some areas have been known for the occurrence of iron ore and limestone. In the past, small-scale mining operations have been conducted for these minerals, contributing to the local economy.

The geology of the Salmon River area reflects a combination of glacial activity, sedimentary rock formations, river erosion, and the influence of ancient seas. This unique geological setting contributes to the scenic beauty and diverse landscapes that make the Salmon River region a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.


Salmon River in New York is renowned for its exceptional sportfishing opportunities, attracting anglers from near and far. Here's some information about sportfishing in the Salmon River:

  • Species: The Salmon River is famous for its abundant salmon population, including Chinook (King) salmon, Coho (Silver) salmon, and Atlantic salmon. These migratory species return to the river each year, providing thrilling fishing experiences. In addition to salmon, the river also supports steelhead (rainbow trout), brown trout, and smallmouth bass.
  • Salmon Runs: The Salmon River is known for its annual salmon runs, during which large numbers of salmon migrate upstream from Lake Ontario to spawn. The fall salmon run, in particular, attracts anglers from September through November, as massive Chinook and Coho salmon make their way into the river. This is considered prime time for salmon fishing.
  • Steelhead Fishing: Steelhead are another highly sought-after species in the Salmon River. These powerful and acrobatic fish provide thrilling fights, especially during their runs in the spring and fall. The river's cold water and ideal habitat make it an excellent location for steelhead fishing.
  • Techniques: Various fishing techniques can be employed in the Salmon River. Anglers commonly use drift fishing, fly fishing, spin fishing, and centerpin fishing to target different species. Techniques such as casting spoons, drift rigs, flies, and bait such as skein or salmon eggs are popular choices.
  • Fishing Access: The Salmon River offers accessible fishing opportunities throughout its course. There are several public access points, including fishing access sites, state parks, and fishing easements, where anglers can find spots to fish. Additionally, there are designated fishing areas along the river that are specifically managed for angling activities.
  • Fishing Guides and Charters: For those new to Salmon River fishing or seeking expert guidance, hiring a fishing guide or charter service is a popular option. Experienced guides can provide valuable knowledge about the river, optimal fishing spots, techniques, and regulations, increasing the chances of a successful fishing outing.

It's important to note that fishing regulations and seasons may vary, so it's advisable to check the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regulations for the most up-to-date information on fishing seasons, bag limits, and special regulations specific to the Salmon River.

Overall, the Salmon River is considered a premier sportfishing destination, offering a thrilling angling experience and the opportunity to catch a variety of prized fish species. Its scenic beauty and the thrill of hooking into a powerful salmon or steelhead make it a popular choice among avid anglers.


Fishing regulations for the Salmon River are set and enforced by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). It's important to review and adhere to these regulations to ensure responsible fishing practices and conservation of the fish populations. Here are some general guidelines regarding fishing regulations in the Salmon River:

  • Fishing Licenses: Anglers aged 16 and older are required to have a valid New York State fishing license. Licenses can be obtained online through the DEC's website or at authorized license issuing agents.
  • Seasons and Bag Limits: The fishing seasons and bag limits vary depending on the species of fish being targeted. It's crucial to consult the current DEC fishing regulations guide for up-to-date information on specific seasons, size limits, and daily bag limits for salmon, steelhead, brown trout, and other fish species.
  • Special Regulations: The Salmon River has certain special regulations in place to protect fish populations during critical periods, such as spawning seasons. For example, there are specific sections of the river designated as "Catch and Release Only" or "Fly Fishing Only" areas. Pay attention to signage and be familiar with the regulations applicable to the areas you plan to fish.
  • Bait and Lures: The Salmon River allows the use of various bait and lures, including natural baits like salmon eggs, worms, and minnows. Artificial lures, such as flies, spoons, spinners, and jigs, are also commonly used. However, some sections may have specific regulations regarding bait types or lure restrictions, so it's essential to be aware of any such restrictions.
  • Fishing Access and Parking: The Salmon River has designated fishing access points, state parks, and fishing easements where anglers can access the river. It's important to park only in designated areas and follow any posted rules or restrictions related to access and parking.
  • Catch and Release: Engaging in catch and release fishing practices is encouraged, especially for threatened or endangered species. If practicing catch and release, it's crucial to handle fish carefully, minimize stress, and ensure their safe release back into the water.

It's important to note that fishing regulations can change from year to year, so it's recommended to review the current fishing regulations guide published by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for the most up-to-date information. The regulations guide provides comprehensive details on fishing seasons, size limits, bag limits, special regulations, and any other rules specific to the Salmon River and its fish populations.