The kid in me says, “Don’t be silly. The Byway is a road. You can’t fish on a road!” But the Mohawk Towpath Byway follows the waterway west and therefore makes just getting to a fishing spot an easy and pleasurable experience. In the Byway’s upcoming Guidebook Rodney Priddle, Jr and Larry Syzdek offer their suggestions on fishing along the Byway.
“No one who seriously fishes will give up their secret spots or techniques, but any locals can tell you where they see successful fishing. Many fishermen seek out areas near dams and the Erie Canal system’s locks, where fish often congregate. Common catches include: walleye, northern pike, small and large mouth bass, panfish, and blueback herring.
“There are quite a number of popular places along the Byway for fishing.
In Schenectady there’s access at:
“In Niskayuna check out the Lions Park water front on the Aqueduct (south) end of the Rexford Bridge where Route 146 crosses the Mohawk. But respect the dock as private property of the Rowing Club.
“The access on Riverview Road, Clifton Park at the bottom of the hill east of Riverview Orchard. There’s also a secluded area below the Lock 7 Dam just west of Vischer Ferry at the foot of Sugar Hill Road.
“Halfmoon has a newly installed handicap fishing access on Terminal Road. An access ramp is provided to a platform located under the Route 9 Crescent Bridge. But there’s also access on Canal Road at the foot of Dunsbach Ferry Road and all along the waterfront to Crescent Park.
“In Colonie there’s Freddie’s Park on the east side of Route 9 just south of the Crescent Bridge. Although the waters edge is engulfed in vegetation there are two pull offs on the Cohoes Crescent Road that offers access to the river. But a more popular access is just below the N Y S Power Authority Power Plant on the Cohoes Crescent Road, in Colonie.
“Some have good luck below the Cohoes Falls. There’s access to the water at an unpaved parking lot opposite the Intersection of Mohawk Street and New Cortland Street in Cohoes. Respect this as private property as well.
“Waterford has a secluded spot at the western end of Fight Lock Road where fishing is popular with plenty of parking. Fishing is great at ‘the Battery’ just east of the Waterford Visitor Center and at a number of spots around Peebles Island State Park, but both of these areas are ‘catch and release only'”.
New York State requires everyone above the age of 16 to have a license to fish in New York’s freshwaters. For more detailed fishing regulations and information on fishing in New York, visit the Department of Environmental Conservation’s web site http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/fishing.html. Whatever you do on or near the Byway this summer, do it safely. Treat both public and private property with equal respect. But enjoy the beauty around you and don’t forget the bug repellent.