The Chenango River flows through Madison, Chenango and Broome counties. It begins in Morrisville (Madison County) and flows for around 90 miles until it empties into the Susquehanna River (Broome County) in Binghamton. The Tioughnioga River is a major tributary which combines with the Chenango River at Chenango Forks.
Public Access Sites
In the City of Norwich at the Hale Street bridge. Hard surface ramp. Parking for 6 cars and trailers.
In the Village of Greene at the Route 41 bridge. Hand launch. Parking for 6 cars.
NYS Route 12 in the Hamlet of Brisben. Beach launch. Parking for 8 cars.
Off Route 12 at North Norwich. Hand launch. Parking for 16 cars.
Off Route 80 just west of the Village of Sherburne. Hand launch. Parking for 8 cars.
Off Route 12 on County Route 32B. Hand launch. Parking for 10 cars.
Brown trout, smallmouth bass, northern pike, muskellunge, walleye, yellow perch, pumpkinseed sunfish, bluegill, brown bullhead, channel catfish, common carp, fall fish, and white sucker.
General Fishing Information
Brown trout are the main gamefish in the upper section of river around Morrisville. Most anglers target the trout in early spring shortly after they are stocked. In the lower section, from around Sherburne downstream, smallmouth bass, northern pike, and walleye are the main gamefish. From Chenango Bridge downstream muskellunge can be found along with the above mentioned gamefish. Yellow perch, sunfish, brown bullhead, common carp and channel catfish can also be found in the lower river. Smallmouth bass are abundant in the river and can be caught by fishing the head or tail end of pools. Drifting bait such as crayfish, worms and shiners or casting lures such as tube baits, stickbaits, jigs and spinnerbaits are good methods for catching the bass. Fishing these same baits around fallen trees or other current breaks is also productive. Smallmouth bass can be caught any time during the open season, but fishing for them is often best from late-June to October. Walleye can be caught by fishing in the pools with a jig tipped with a worm or minnow. Stickbaits and deep diving crankbaits also work well for the walleye. The walleye fishing tends to be more productive during May to late-June and again from September to December. Northern pike and muskellunge can be caught on large in-line spinners, stickbaits, spinnerbaits and large shiners or sucker minnows. Using a wire leader is highly recommended when fishing for these toothy fish. Common carp are plentiful in the river and can be fun to catch on corn or dough balls. They grow large and fight hard.
For current fishing information visit the Central New York Fishing Hotline online or by calling (607) 753-1551.
The upper section (Madison County) is stocked annually with approximately 3,240 year-old brown trout and 450 two year-old brown trout. Special Regulations exist for the Chenango River, so please review the Special Regulations by County section of your fishing guide.
Fish Survey (2008)
This sampling effort was conducted in order to try and document the presence of wild, pure-strain muskellunge in the river. Large musky and/or tiger musky have been captured in this portion of the river for years, but no juveniles have been captured. Previously it was believed that these large fish were tiger musky which had either washed out of Whitney Point Reservoir or moved up out of the Susquehanna River. However, examination of over 150 "musky" photos caught from the Susquehanna and lower Chenango Rivers by one angler revealed that almost all of the fish appeared to be pure musky while only six had the classic tiger musky appearance. These photos, along with the experiences of Regional Fisheries staff, led us to believe that a self-sustaining population of muskellunge had become established in portions of both these rivers. Despite numerous sampling efforts in the Chenango and Susquehanna Rivers, no young-of-year muskellunge had ever been captured to substantiate this hypothesis.
This sampling effort resulted in the capture of one young-of-year muskellunge and the observation of a second. These two fish are the first definitive documentation of naturally reproduced muskellunge in the Chenango River. Interestingly enough, young-of-year muskellunge were also captured in a similar sampling effort on the Susquehanna River this year, indicating that environmental conditions may have been conducive for good production/survival of young in 2008.