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Otselic River

The Otselic River begins in Madison County and then meanders 54 miles into Chenango, Cortland and Broome counties where it eventually flows through Whitney Point Reservoir before its confluence with the Tioughnioga River. Whitney Point Reservoir, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Flood Control project, was created by the damming of the Otselic River. There are 22 miles of Public Fishing Rights (PFR) along this large sized mostly open river.

Public Access

There are 22 miles of PFR along the Otselic River with eight official PFR parking areas and numerous unofficial pull offs used by anglers as Route 26 parallels a large portion of the stream.

Parking Areas

  • Otselic Center: Off County Route 16 on south side of river.
  • Seventh Day Hollow: Two miles north of Hamlet of South Otselic on State Highway 26.
  • South Otselic: Off State Highway 26 just south of the South Otselic Fish Hatchery.
  • Ufford Corners: Off Route 26 by intersection of Old Joe Road.
  • North Pitcher: Off Mill Road on north side of river.
  • Foulds Road: 1.8 miles north of Hamlet of Pitcher on Route 26 to Foulds Road.
  • Pitcher: Off County Route 12 on north side river.
  • Taylor: Off State Route 26 just south of Cortland and Chenango County boundary.

Otselic River Public Fishing Rights Brochure and Maps (1.06 MB pdf)

General Fishing Information

Both stocked and wild brown trout are present in the river along with some wild brook trout. Smallmouth bass and walleye can also be found in the lower section of river below Cincinatus. The most suitable trout habitat on the river is between Otselic and Cincinatus. A major portion of the fishing pressure takes place in this area during spring and early-summer shortly after the trout are stocked. The Chenango County section of the Otselic River is open to trout fishing year-round. Anglers have the opportunity to fish this section during the winter and early spring. When fishing during these cold water periods concentrate on the deeper holes, fish slowly and keep your lures and flies near bottom. Sometimes fishing during the mid-day period after things have had a chance to warm up a little also helps.

Fisheries Management

The Otselic River is stocked annually with around 14,000 one year-old brown trout (8-9") and 2,000 two year-old brown trout (12-15").

Fishing Regulations

Numerous special fishing regulations exist for the Otselic River, so please review the Broome, Chenango and Cortland counties sections of the Special Regulations by County section of your Freshwater Fishing Guide.