NORTH BLENHEIM – The New York Power Authority (NYPA) Blenheim-Gilboa lower and upper reservoirs open for the season to recreational boating in early April. The exact date varies and is dependent on weather and water levels. Both fishing areas were enhanced in 2021 with picnic tables and portable bathrooms for the convenience of the boating and fishing communities as a result of the power project’s new 50-year operating license.
Use of the upper reservoir is limited to rowboats, canoes and kayaks only - with or without electric-trolling motors. Gasoline-powered engines and sailboats are prohibited on the upper reservoir. Recreational craft, including rowboats or canoes, with or without-electric trolling motors and boats with gas-powered motors may be used in the lower reservoir.
The public fishing access along the Schoharie Creek just below the lower reservoir is currently open.
NYPA stocks the lower and upper reservoir with approximately 1,500 fish every year with a combination of brown and brook trout. There are also large walleye in the upper reservoir.
For access to the upper reservoir, boaters are required to stop at the south gate on Valenti Road no earlier than 7 a.m. on the day you intend to use the upper reservoir. All boats must be off the reservoir promptly at 5 p.m. Shoreline fishing closes at dusk. Daily inspections of the reservoir will be performed by NYPA security.
For access to the lower reservoir, boaters are required to stop at Mine Kill State Park’s toll booth or the park office on the day you intend to use the lower reservoir. Boating will be permitted from 7:30 a.m. until the park closes. However, all boats must be off the reservoir one hour before the park closes. The park will be open until 4 p.m. until the first weekend in May; afterward, it will remain open until dusk.
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