The Oswego River is the second largest river flowing into Lake Ontario, draining 5,100 square miles of land. The watershed includes all of Seneca County, most of Onondaga, Cayuga, Tompkins, Schuyler, Yates and Ontario Counties, and large portions of Oswego, Oneida, Madison and Wayne Counties in New York State. Most of the New York Finger Lakes are in the drainage basin of the Oswego River, and land use ranges from heavy agriculture in the Finger Lakes region to urban development in Oswego. The Oswego River Harbor is the largest Oswego County embayment and is vital to the shipping industry due to its connection to the Erie Canal through the Oswego River Canal. New York State’s Coastal Zone Management Program has also designated Oswego Harbor and the segment of the river behind the Varick Dam as significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat. Major water quality concerns include legacy industrial discharges in the Syracuse and Onondaga Lake area, sewer overflows in Syracuse, and nonpoint source pollution sources primarily from agricultural runoff (NYSDEC 2009). This short report provides a synopsis of data collected monthly from May through September (2003 to 2009) on the water quality of the Oswego River and the lakeside (swimmable depth) of Lake Ontario near the river.
Makarewicz, Joseph C. and Nowak, Matthew J., "Oswego River Oswego County, New York" (2010). Technical Reports. 50.