Department of Environmental Conservation

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Chenango Canal

The Old Chenango Canal, located in Madison County, is a small-to-medium sized stream that flows through the Hamlet of Bouckville. The canal, which operated from 1837 to 1878, connected Utica to Binghamton.

Public Access

  • Though there are no official Public Fishing Rights (PFR) easements along the canal, much of it's length it is bordered by the Chenango Canal Towpath Trail and the Canal Road. Both offer access to the canal.
  • The Chenango Canal Museum has a universal fishing access platform located at the intersection of Route 20 and Canal Road in Bouckville.
  • For information on this and also for a map showing the Towpath Trail please visit the Chenango Canal Association website in the right hand column under sites leaving the DEC webpage.

Fish Species

Brown trout and white sucker.

General Fishing Information

The canal can be challenging to fish as it has an abundance of aquatic vegetation and woody structure in the stream. For most of it's length, the bank is lined with trees and brush.

Regulations

Special fishing regulations apply (leaving DEC website to official Fishing Regulations Guide vendor website).

Fisheries Management

The Chenango Canal is stocked annually with around 1,000 year-old brown trout (8-9 inches). The brown trout are stocked for a put-grow-take fishery.

Fisheries Survey 2015

The Chenango Canal, Madison County, was electrofished on August 20, 2015. It was surveyed as there was some concern by anglers that fishing "wasn't what it used to be." Also, no survey has been done by the department (DEC) on the stream since 1991. Two sites were electrofished for 1.34 hours of "on-time." A total of 167 brown trout were collected for a catch per unit effort (CPUE) of 125/trout hour. This CPUE was greater than the 1991 CPUE of 53/trout hour (n=137 brown trout). However, the 2015 mean brown trout length was only 5.1 inches; it was 8.3 inches in 1991. It does appear that there is currently a good year class of wild young-of-year (YOY) brown trout in the stream, but larger older aged trout appear to be underrepresented. The Chenango Canal is managed under special trout fishing regulations with an all year open season, a minimum length of 12 inches, a two trout daily limit, and artificial lures only policy. Of the 167 trout, only two were ≥12 inches (1.2%). In 1991, 24% of the brown trout were ≥12 inches. We will resurvey the canal in 2017 before making any recommendations or changes to the current stocking policy of 1,000 one year-old brown trout.