The Mohawk River is located in central New York State; with its
headwaters located within the southwestern portion of the Adirondack
Mountains and the eastern edge of the Tug Hill Plateau. From here
the river flows south towards Rome. In the area of Rome where Wood
Creek begins to flow west, the Mohawk turns due east and continues
140 miles to join the Hudson River in Cohoes.
The Mohawk River is the largest tributary to the Hudson River making
up roughly 25% of the entire Hudson River drainage area, with a
basin area approximately 3,460 square miles. The basin consists
of roughly 6,656 miles of rivers, streams, and canals and 135 lakes,
ponds, and reservoirs which are greater than 6.4 acres in size.
There are several tributaries to the Mohawk which constitute a substantial
number of river miles within the basin. Schoharie Creek is the largest
tributary making up 25% of basin miles, the second largest is West
Canada Creek (18%), and the third largest is East Canada Creek (8%).
The largest ponded bodies of water within the Mohawk River basin
are man made reservoirs. Together the Hinckley Reservoir, Delta
Reservoir, Schoharie Reservoir, and Peck Lake make up 42% of total
The Mohawk River flows through many counties on its way to the
Hudson including Albany, Delaware, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer,
Lewis, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, Saratoga, Schenectady,
and Schoharie. Most of the major centers of population within the
basin have evolved in close proximity to the river. This is likely
a function of the productive floodplain soils and the ability to
use the waterway for transportation. The total basin population
in 2000 was 583,500 with Albany (95,658), Schenectady (61,821),
Utica (60,651), Rome (34,950), and Amsterdam (18,355), being the
largest centers of population.
The above information was collected from: NYSDEC. 2003. 2002 Mohawk
River Basin Waterbody Inventory and Priority Waterbodies List. New
York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of
Water. 318 pages plus appendices.
Land-use The majority of the Mohawk River drainage basin is forested
with agriculture land-use second. Within the Adirondack Mountains
and the Schoharie Creek watershed, forest cover dominates, while
agriculture dominates in areas adjacent to the main stem of the
Mohawk River. There is very little residential, commercial, or industrial
land-use in relation to basin size, most of which occurs within
centers of high population (e.g., within the Capital District at
the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers).
Data collected by the Mohawk River Research Center: Analysis of
Mohawk River drainage basin land-use. United States Geological Survey,
New York Land Cover Data Set (GeoTIFF: UTM Zone 18N : NAD83 : 1997).
Map of the Mohawk River drainage basin showing
the various land-use categories found in the basin. Forest cover
dominates in the north near the Adirondack Mountains, and in
the Schoharie Creek watershed. Residential, commercial, and
industrial land-use dominates at the western and eastern edges
of the basin in the proximity of the main stem of the river.
Agricultural practices dominate in the immediate area surrounding
the main stem of the river.
Percent of land-use within the Mohawk River
drainage basin. Forest cover dominates within the watershed
with agriculture as the second highest use of land area. Residential,
commercial, and industrial land-use is minimal within the basin
in relation to basin area. However, there are areas of significantly