Fish Creek, E. Branch - Point Rock to Taberg

Fish Creek, E. Branch, New York, US


Point Rock to Taberg

Usual Difficulty II-IV (varies with level)
Length 9.4 Miles
Avg. Gradient 48 fpm

Burly Rodeo Hole

Burly Rodeo Hole
Photo by Harry A. Marinakis, M.D. taken 04/01/01 @ 2.50 ft

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-04242500 1000 - 6000 cfs II-III 00h44m 234 cfs (too low)

River Description

Fish Creek may be the finest play river in the Northeast, with big, fast waves and holes that range from purring pussycat to sneering tiger. Paddlers may put in below the City of Rome dam (Lat: 43.3377991 Lon: -75.5815353) or at Point Rock (coords given below); the takeout is 1/2 mile below the town of Taberg along Blossvale Road (4.5 miles from the dam, feels like 10 miles).

Most of the action takes place below the dam; you get a shorter, concentrated run, but you have to walk your boat down to put in. The stretch from Point Rock to the dam is more mellow, but many paddlers use it, especially at higher levels (3 feet and above), because that avoids the long walk to the dam; also, the upper section does have good play and some beautiful scenery, with waterfalls (icy in the early spring) cascading down the steep gorge walls at every turn.

Important: The takeout is located on private property, and relies on the generosity of the land owner. During the year the area is used by fisherman who litter and make a mess.  If you use the takeout please pick up any trash, and be friendly if approached by the elderly gentleman who owns the property. He takes great pride in the distances boaters come to boat the river and has been a friend to the community for decades. Please show him the respect he deserves.


Directions to takeout:

From the West (Syracuse and Thruway West):
Take Exit 34 (Canastota), head North on Rte. 13 toward Vienna.
Where Rte. 13 T's into Rte. 49 (North of Sylvan Beach), head Right onto Rte. 49.
After about 2.2 miles, just after Kimball Rd., take a Left onto Pine Rd. (If you miss this turn, take the Left, three miles farther, onto Herder Rd.)
Pine Rd. will T into Blossvale / Herder Rd. Take a Left, toward Taberg.
After about 3 miles, the road will follow E. Br., Fish Creek. Park where a takeout looks convenient.
The takeout is about 1/2 mile South of Taberg; if you miss it and hit the stop sign in town, turn Right and get a look at the gage on the Bridge, upstream river left.

From the East (Utica, Albany):
Take Exit 32 (Westmoreland / Rome); head North on Rte. 233 toward Rome.
In Rome, head Northwest on Rte. 69 toward Taberg.
Follow Rte. 69 about ten miles
After the bridge over the creek (check out the gage!), take a Left onto Blossvale Rd. Head about half a mile and park here for the takeout.

Directions to Point Rock putin from takeout:

From Blossvale Rd., cross Rte. 69 onto Main St.
Take your first Right onto Coal Hill Rd.
After about 8 miles on Coal Hill Rd., you'll come to a T intersection. Take a Right onto Yorkland Rd.
Cross the Creek, park, and put in on River Left.

To Rome Dam putin from takeout:

As above, cross 69, take Main St., and a Right onto Coal Hill Rd.
After about a mile on Coal Hill Rd., take a Right onto Palmer Rd.
After about a mile on Palmer Rd., take a Left onto Boyd Rd.
After maybe 1.5 miles on Boyd Rd., pretty much across from Streun Rd. is a small, gated road on the Left, leading to the dam. Park on Boyd Rd. and walk your boat downhill to the putin.


Syracuse Area Runs:

Butternut Creek                                              Chittenango Creek (Cazenovia)

Chittenango Creek (Chittenango)               Fish Creek E. Branch (Taberg)

Limestone Creek (Edwards Falls)              Oriskany Creek (Oriskany Falls)

Oriskany Creek (Clinton)                             Owasco River (Outlet)

Salmon River (Section 1)                             Salmon River (Section 2)   



Tug Hill - Old Forge Area Reaches

Beaver (1. Moshier)                               Beaver (2. Eagle)                                 Beaver (3. Taylorville)

Black (1.)                                                Black (2.)                                             Black (3.)

Black (4.)                                                Black (5.)                                             Black, S. Branch

Cincinnati Creek                                     Crystal Creek                                       Deer River (Section 1)

Deer River (Section 2)                        Fish Creek, E. Branch                          Independence River (1. Upper) 

Independence River (2. Main)               Indian (S.Br. Moose trib.)                     Little Black Creek

Little Woodhull Creek                             Mad River                                           Mill Creek 

Mohawk (1.)                                           Moose (1. Middle)                                Moose (2. Lower) 

Moose (3. Bottom)                                 Moose, Middle Branch                          Moose, S. Branch (1.)  

Moose, S. Branch (2.)                            Negro Brook                                       Otter Creek  

Roaring Brook (Brokeback Gorge)    West Canada Creek (1.)                      West Canada Creek (2. Ohio Gorge) 

West Canada Creek, S. Branch                Woodhull Creek (Upper)                     Woodhull Creek (Middle) 

Woodhull Creek (Miracle Mile)


Mohawk Valley Area Reaches

Canajoharie Creek                           Caroga Creek                                  Cincinnati Creek 

East Canada Creek                          Fish Creek, E. Branch                     Ninemile Creek  

North Chuctanunda Creek               Nowadaga Creek                             Mohawk (1.)  

Oriskany Creek (Clinton)                  Oriskany Creek (Oriskany Falls)      Schoharie Creek 

Sprite Creek (Upper)                        Sprite Creek (Lower)                       Spruce Creek 

Timmerman Creek                           West Canada Creek 


Google Map of New York Whitewater

New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group



StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-02-16 15:53:25


Stream team editor

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0PutinPutin Photo
1.0Ice Pool
3.7Fall Brook Falls5.3Hazard Waterfall
4.6City of Rome DamAccess Portage
5.4Waterfall WavePlayspot Photo
5.8Kelly's CornerIII
6.0Hotel CaliforniaIII+Hazard Playspot Photo
6.6Palmer Rd. RapidII+
7.1The NarrowsII+Playspot
8.5Sand PitHazard
8.9Town RapidII+Playspot
9.8TakeoutTakeout Playspot Photo

Rapid Descriptions


Fish Creek (NY) Map

Fish Creek (NY) Map
Photo by Ratt Boy (KHCC / FLOW) taken 11/19/06

Check out the map, which shows the shuttle to the Point Rock putin, as well as the shuttle to the Dam. At Point Rock, park on the North side of Yorkland Rd., and walk down the easy path to the river.

Ice Pool
A big eddy, from which you can see huge ice cascades on the river walls in the early Spring. Not really a rapid, but very scenic.

Fall Brook Falls (Class 5.3, Mile 3.7)
This is a beautiful waterfall on the tributary, river right, just before the confluence with the East Branch Fish. We have no indication that this has ever been run, but some paddlers have the opinion that it's runnable.

City of Rome Dam
Don't even think about it. Portage left.This is also the secondary access point; to get there, walk half a mile down from Streun Road.

Waterfall Wave

Burly Rodeo Hole

Burly Rodeo Hole
Photo by Harry A. Marinakis, M.D. taken 04/01/01 @ 2.50 ft

Just above a waterfall on the right, this is one great wave for surfing.

Kelly's Corner (Class III, Mile 5.8)
The river takes a sharp left here.

Hotel California (Class III+, Mile 6.0)

Hotel California at 2.5'

Hotel California at 2.5'
Photo of Looking upstream at Hotel California by Steve Graley taken 04/27/02 @ 2.5'

Big-a$$ed hole. "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave". As the level rises, Hotel gets meatier and grabbier. How badly do you wanna get spanked today?

Palmer Rd. Rapid (Class II+, Mile 6.6)
After you pass under the road, this rapid appears. It's got a bunch o play.

The Narrows (Class II+, Mile 7.1)
Not a hard rapid; it has some phenomenal surfing holes/waves at the end.

Sand Pit
After the river takes a sharp right turn, you'll see sand cliffs on your right. This one isn't particularly difficult, but it's a common place where wood collects (on the right side, the outside corner of the turn). The wood should be easy for seasoned paddlers to avoid, but people who find the Fish a step up would be well advised to head hard left to avoid any screw-ups.

Town Rapid (Class II+, Mile 8.9)
This one has a couple of ledges in it. Some play must be attained on the fly, though the last wave has big eddy service.


Phil @ Take-Out

Phil @ Take-Out
Photo of Phil by Phantomboater taken 04/04/04 @ 2.0'

After a couple more phenomenal play waves, look for the ladder on river right.

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