Whitney Point Multiple Use Area
See the recreation icon key
- Location: Broome and Cortland counties; Triangle (Broome) and Willet (Cortland)
- Open: Year-round
- Fee: None
- Contact: DEC Region 7 (Cortland) 607-753-3095 ext. 247
Whitney Point Wildlife Multiple Use Area (MUA) is located on the Otselic River in Broome County. It is comprised of a reservoir and adjacent lands. The reservoir and land are proximately 4645 acres in size. This long, linear area was formed when the Army Corps of Engineers artificially created a reservoir by damming the river over 70 years ago. The dam is three-fourths of a mile above the confluence of the Otselic River with the Tioghnioga River at the village of Whitney Point. The area extends along the Otselic River Valley from the dam site at the village of Whitney Point in Broome County to the lower limits of the village of Cincinnatus in Cortland County, a distance of approximately 12.5 miles.
Whitney Point Multiple Use Area sustains an abundant and diverse sport fishery which includes: largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, crappie, sunfish, yellow perch, channel catfish, bullhead, tiger muskellunge and the occasional northern pike. Bass populations appear to be healthy and fish over five pounds are present. The walleye population increased significantly in the mid-1980's and has provided generally good open water fishing ever since. Whitney Point's most popular fish species is white crappie. Crappie fishing is popular throughout the year but never more so than through the ice. Yellow perch and sunfish generally are not targeted heavily by fisherman, but good numbers and sizes of both are present. Quality sized bullhead are also taken regularly, including two past state records. Their cousin the channel catfish is also occasionally taken.
- Wildlife Viewing - Resident wildlife (especially deer and song birds) exist on the WMA. Access for hunting and other upland activities is best from the parking lots at Upper Lisle.
- Hiking/Cross Country Skiing/Snowshoeing
There is a one mile trail at Whitney Point that runs along the northwestern side of the reservoir.
There are two trailered boating access spots. One is located at the north end of the reservoir and the other is located along the south eastern shore of the reservoir.
Boat access to Whitney Point Reservoir is provided by a paved ramp at Dorchester Park (located at the southeast end of the lake) and a gravel ramp at Upper Lisle (located at the extreme northern end). Excellent shore fishing access is also available from Kieble Road which runs parallel to the southwest half of the lake.
There is a 25 horsepower outboard motor restrictions and 10 mph limit when boating on the reservoir.
To access the west side of the reservoir (where the hiking trail is located) take Route 81 south. Exit Route 81 at Whitney Point, turn left onto Rt. 11 then right onto Keibel Road/County Route 77. There are several parking areas along this road.
To reach the east side of the lake where Dorchester Park is located, exit Rt. 81 at Whitney Point, turn left onto Rt. 11, make a left in the village at Main Street and cross over the bridge. Immediately after the bridge, turn left onto County Route 26 and head north to the park which will be on your left. http://maps.google.com/maps?daddr= 42.390538, -75.967412.
If you wish to access the north end of the reservoir, continue north on Route 26 and make a left onto Upper Lisle Road. Parking and a boat launch are located here. http://maps.google.com/maps?daddr=42.390538, -75.967412.
Rules, Regulations & Outdoor Safety
Activity Rules & Regulations:
- Hunting Regulations
- Trapping Regulations
- Fishing Regulations
- Public Use of Wildlife Management Areas Regulations
- The following activities are not permitted at Whitney Point MUA:
- Using motorized vehicles, including:
- all-terrain vehicles
- overnight mooring of boats
- Using motorized vehicles, including:
Outdoor Safety Tips:
How We Manage Whitney Point Multiple Use Area
Construction of the Whitney Point Dam was initiated in September 1938, and the dam was operationally completed in June 1942. The Reservoir is part of the general plan for the control of floods on the Upper Susquehanna River Basin, as authorized by the Flood Control Act of June 22, 1936.
The Whitney Point Reservoir Master Plan, completed in September 1961, recommended that the State of New York be granted a license for fish and wildlife management purposes. This license was granted to the Conservation Department (now NYSDEC) on August 2, 1973. A total of 4157 acres is presently licensed to the Department of Environmental Conservation. Through a formal agreement, also signed in 1963 by the Corps of Engineers, the Conservation Department and Broome County, a summer "recreation" pool of 1200 surface acres is maintained from May 15 to September 15. During the summer, the lake is 4 miles long and has 10.5 miles of shoreline.
Whitney Point Multiple Use Area is managed by DEC's Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources for wildlife conservation and wildlife-associated recreation (hunting, trapping, wildlife viewing/photography). Funding to maintain and manage this site is provided by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration or "Pittman-Robertson" Act, which is acquired through excise taxes on sporting arms, ammunition and archery equipment.
Tourism Information for Nearby Attractions, Amenities & Activities
- Broome County Tourism Office (leaves DEC website)