Upper Saranac Lake boat launch to get major upgrades

ALBANY – To support improved access to Upper Saranac Lake, $475,000 in upgrades will be made to the Upper Saranac Lake boat launch, state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens announced Friday.

The upgrades, funded by NY Works, will be completed prior to the 2015 Memorial Day Weekend.

“Governor Cuomo has demonstrated a strong commitment to increasing access to the state’s beautiful natural resources,” Martens said. “Upgrades to the Upper Saranac boat launch will allow outdoor enthusiasts easier access to recreate on this magnificent lake and will better protect the lake’s water quality.”

The boat launch, located at the intersection of County 46 and Back Bay Road, is one of two public boat launches that provide access to Upper Saranac Lake.

The planned improvements include:

-constructing a new (2 lane) boat ramp;

-removing dock cribbing;

-installing new floating docks;

-regrading slopes to decrease steepness and decrease erosion;

-paving the entrance, ramp entrance and parking area;

-permanent stormwater pollution prevention measures;

-reconfiguring traffic patterns;

-upgrading bathroom facility;

-landscaping and planting;

-adding a dry hydrant for fire protection; and

-adding a boat rinse station to flush out bilges, live wells and areas containing water.

Cuomo included $6 million in NY Works funding in this year’s budget to support creating 50 new land and water access projects to connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and others who enjoy the outdoors to more than 380,000 acres of existing state and easement lands that have not reached their full potential.

These 50 new access projects include building new boat launches, installing new hunting blinds and building new trails and parking areas.

In addition, the 2014-15 budget includes $4 million to repair the state’s fish hatcheries; and renews and allows expanded use of crossbows for hunting in New York state.

Camp owners and others that use the Upper Saranac Lake Boat Launch to take their boat off the lake for the winter will need to use private marinas to launch or retrieve boats during the reconstruction period, Sept. 8 through May 15, 2015.

Small boats can use the boat launch at DEC’s Fish Creek Pond Campground. Shallow water at the boat launch and less than eight feet height between the water and the bottom of a campground road near the boat launch allows only small boats to use the Fish Creek Campground Boat Launch. There is no fee to launch or retrieve a boat, but there is an $8 parking fee for vehicles.

The renovated Upper Saranac Lake boat launch will be open for public use prior to Memorial Day Weekend 2015.