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Chautauqua Lake Wildlife Management Area

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Chautauqua Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) The primary purposes of the Chautauqua Lake WMA is for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This is a 123-acre parcel located six miles northwest of the City of Jamestown on Chautauqua Lake. It consists of three different parcels: Tom's Point, Cheney Farm, and Stow Farm.

Chautauqua Lake F&WMA lake access with accessible trail.
Chautauqua Lake WMA lake access.

Featured Activities

Chautauqua Lake WMA is located in Wildlife Management Unit 9J. An accessible hunting blind/observation deck provides access to the lake for waterfowl hunting. (View hunting seasons and trapping seasons)

Chautauqua Lake WMA is open to fishing, please visit Dec's website for more information about fishing. The accessible hunting blind/observation deck can also be used for fishing. Chautauqua Lake supports a diverse sportfishery, with angling for walleye, muskellunge, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and several species of panfish.

Wildlife Viewing
An accessible hunting blind/observation deck provides access to the lake for wildlife viewing. Deer, turkeys, black bears, squirrels, and a host of songbirds frequent the area. Use the Wildlife Management Area Mammal Checklist (PDF) (85 KB) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF) (240 KB) as a wildlife viewing guide.

Accessible Features


An accessible trail and combination hunting blind/observation deck were developed on the Stow Farm site. They provide access to the lake for waterfowl hunting and wildlife observation.

chautauqua lake brown sign


The Cheney Farm site is located on the east side of Chautauqua Lake in the town of Ellery, two miles south of the Village of Bemus Point on the west side of Route 430. The Stow Farm and Tom's Point sites are both located on the west side of Chautauqua Lake in the town of North Harmony, on the east side of Route 394. Stow Farm is about 1.5 miles south of the intersection of Interstate 86 and Route 394 and Tom's Point is just north of this intersection.

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Rules, Regulations & Outdoor Safety

Activity Rules & Regulations

The following activities are not permitted in Chautauqua Lake WMA:

  • Using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobiles
    • motorboats
  • Swimming (no lifeguard on premises) or bathing
  • Camping
  • Kindling fires
  • Damaging or removing gates, fences, signs other property
  • Overnight storage of boats
  • Cutting, removing or damaging living vegetation
  • Construction of permanent blinds or other structures such as tree stands
  • Littering
  • Storage of personal property

Outdoor Safety Tips

NOTE: Ticks are active whenever temperatures are above freezing but especially so in the late spring and early fall. Deer ticks can transmit Lyme and several other diseases. More information on deer ticks and Lyme disease can be obtained from the NYS Department of Health (Leaves DEC Website). Also, practice Leave No Trace (Leaves DEC website) principles when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts.

How We Manage

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Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, the Chautauqua Lake Fish & Wildlife Management Area is managed by DEC's Division of Fish and Wildlife 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.

Some of the principal management objectives and techniques for this WMA are to promote natural propagation and maintenance of desirable species in ecological balance, to provide optimum public access to natural resources compatible with wildlife and to manage resources at optimum quantity and quality for recreational use and maximum public benefit.


Early Holland Land Company records indicate that the areas around Chautauqua Lake were primarily forested in the early 1800's. By the late 1800's and early 1900's, the areas were cleared and dairy farming was the primary land use until the late 1960's. Also, during that time many areas were cleared for development.

Tourism Information for Nearby Attractions, Amenities & Activities

Numerous guide books and maps are available with information on the lands, waters, trails and other recreational facilities in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores, and on-line booksellers.

Web links below can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.

Nearby State Lands

Additional information, outdoor equipment, trip suggestions and guided or self-guided tours may be obtained from outdoor guide and outfitting businesses. Check area chambers of commerce, telephone directories or search the internet for listings. Consider hiring an outdoor guide if you have little experience or woodland skills. See the NYS Outdoor Guides Association (Leaves DEC Website) for information on outdoor guides.

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  • Contact for this Page
    Region 9 Wildlife Manager
    182 East Union Street, Suite 3
    Allegany NY 14706
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