Originally named the Barge Canal, this waterway replaced the Old Erie Canal in 1918. Stretching for roughly 210 miles, from Lock 21 west of Rome to Tonawanda on the Niagara River, the western half of the waterway averages 12 feet deep and is at least 200 feet wide in canalized creeks (Tonawanda) and rivers (Oneida, Seneca, and Clyde) and 75 feet wide in earth cuts. It starts out atop the divide separating the Mohawk and Oneida River drainages, descends 50 feet on two locks to reach Oneida Lake’s level, then goes through another lock to step down 7 feet to the level of the Seneca and Oswego Rivers. In Baldwinsville it starts an ascent that will elevate it 187 feet, via 12 locks, to the Niagara River. Along the way it bypasses natural oxbows with cuts. The longest, flattest stretch, known as the Long Level, runs from Lock 34 in Lockport to Lock 33 in Henrietta, a distance of about 60 miles. Key species: Black bass, northern pike, walleye, tiger muskie, channel catfish, black crappie, sunfish, yellow perch, white perch, white bass, rock bass, brown bullhead, and American eel
© Spider Rybaak/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.