Originating from five small flows in the Adirondack’s Five Ponds Wilderness Area, the Oswegatchie River winds for 132 miles through St. Lawrence County before entering the St. Lawrence River at Ogdensburg. OSWEGATCHIE IS A NATIVE TERM MEANING “GOING AROUND A HILL,” AND THAT DESCRIPTION APTLY FITS THIS MEANDERING RIVER.
The 35-mile stretch of river from Newton Falls to Hailesboro has a 970-foot drop in elevation. This is a wild and attractive section of river that is interrupted by dams and rapid-choked areas. For the most part, anglers seeking warm water species concentrate efforts in the 67-mile portion of the river from Hailesboro to Ogdensburg. This wide, slow-moving stretch has a gentle character with a vertical drop of only 200 feet, and the fishing is good for walleyes, smallmouths, northern pike, and panfish. The free DEC brochure, “Fishing/Canoeing the Oswegatchie River” will help anglers in planning trips.