Department of Environmental Conservation

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East Branch Tioughnioga River

The East Branch of the Tioughnioga River begins in Madison County a few miles north of Sheds Corners. It meanders into Cortland County, through mostly agricultural lands, for approximately 36 miles to its confluence with the West Branch of the Tioughnioga River. These two branches combine where I-81 passes the City of Cortland to form the Tioughnioga River.

Public Access

There are 1.5 miles of Public Fishing Rights (PFR) along the East Branch of the Tioughnioga River with one official PFR parking area. Anglers also use unofficial pull offs and parking areas along the stream.

Route 13 PFR Parking Area- Located on Route 13 just south of the Hamlet of Cuyler.

East Branch of Tioughnioga River Public Fishing Rights Brochure and Maps (PDF, 343 KB)

Fish Species

Brown trout, smallmouth bass, walleye, rock bass, fall fish, creek chub, common carp, white sucker, hog sucker and burbot.

General Fishing Information

Most of the pressure takes place during spring and early-summer shortly after the trout are stocked. Good baits for the stocked trout are worms, salted minnows, and simulated natural baits like Gulp or PowerBait. Lures to try are spinners, spoons, small plastics (2" twister tails or tube baits) and stickbaits. Fly fishing is also popular on the stream.

The East Branch of the Tioughnioga River is open to trout fishing year-round. Anglers have the opportunity to fish this river during the winter and early spring with artificial lures only. When fishing during these cold water periods, concentrate on the deeper holes, fish slowly, and keep lures near bottom. Sometimes fishing during the mid-day period after things have had a chance to warm up a little also helps.


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

Fisheries Management

The East Branch of the Tioughnioga River is stocked with 8,800 year-old brown trout (8-9") and 750 two year-old brown trout (12-14"). The East Branch of Tioughnioga Creek (Trib 32 of the East Branch of the Tioughnioga River) flows through the Village of DeRuyter and is stocked with 470 year-old brown trout.