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Cannonsville Electric Trolling Motor Pilot Program 2017

Beginning on April 1, 2013, DEP allowed the use of electric trolling motors for fishing on the Cannonsville Reservoir under the Electric Trolling Motor Pilot Program. This new pilot program marked the first time that the public was allowed to use a motorized vessel on any New York City reservoir upstate.

This pilot provides many benefits to those who fish by rowboat on the Cannonsville and is based on the success of the Recreational Boating Program, which also began as a pilot program at Cannonsville Reservoir and has since expanded to include the Neversink, Pepacton and Schoharie Reservoirs.

The Cannonsville Electric Trolling Motor Pilot Program will continue as a pilot for the 2017 season.

2-day (temporary) trolling motor tags will be issued for the 2017 season, seasonal tags are not available.

Boaters can now carry a second marine grade, sealed battery onboard the boat when in use on the water. This spare battery must also be securely fastened to the boat to prevent loss in the event of capsize.

Program summary


The Cannonsville Reservoir continues to be the only reservoir open for trolling motor use.


The season will run from April 1st or ice out (whichever is later), until November 30th 2017.


Trolling motors are to be used only on fishing row-boats, (V-hulls and Jon-boats). Recreational boats such as kayaks, canoes, sculls, and small sailboats will not be permitted to use trolling motors.

The rowboat must have a valid NYCDEP boat tag issued for the Cannonsville Reservoir. The boat must also be registered with NYSDMV (or another States registration) and display a valid registration tag and registration identification numbers.


Motors cannot produce more than 55 pounds of thrust. All motors must be inspected and cleaned by a DEP Certified Steam Cleaning Vendor prior to use on the reservoir.


To power the motor, a marine-grade, sealed (no removable caps), 12-volt battery is permitted. A second spare battery is allowed to be carried onboard. The batteries must be sturdily secured to the boat while in use, preferably with a strapped or secured battery box to prevent separation from the boat in the event of capsize. Batteries must be removed from the property at the end of each use, each day.

Trolling motor cleaning

A DEP 2 Day Trolling Motor Tag will be issued for the motor upon successful inspection and cleaning. After the cleaning and tag issuance, the motor must be left secured with the rowboat on the shoreline when not in use.

Please note: You may take your motor home prior to the expiration of the tag, but you must have it cleaned and a new tag issued if you wish to return the motor for use on the reservoir.

The Certified Trolling Motor Cleaners will not be steam cleaning fishing row boats but will clean trolling motors only. Fishing Rowboats being used on the Cannonsville for the first time must be inspected and steam cleaned by NYCDEP at the Downsville Boat Office by appointment only. After the cleaning, the boat will be issued an NYCDEP Boat Tag for the Cannonsville Reservoir. The Downsville DEP Boating Office can be reached at 607-363-7009.

What you will need to do

  • Make sure your row-boat has a valid NYCDEP Boat Tag for the Cannonsville Reservoir and the tag is affixed to the boat.
  • Have your trolling motor cleaned at a DEP certified steam cleaning vendor.
  • Make sure your boat is registered with the NYSDMV, or an equivalent State DMV registration and all boat identification numbers are displayed on the boat.
  • Remember to carry your NYCDEP Access Permit, your NYSDEC fishing license and a wearable personal flotation device for each and everyone in the boat.
  • Don’t forget to bring along a whistle, anchor, lantern, and any other item required by state law to have in the boat. Also be sure to bring oars or paddles!

Helpful links

New York State Department of Motor vehicles website:

DEP Access Permit and DEP Boat Tag questions: email or call 1-800-575-5263

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