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Chautauqua Lake Fish & Wildlife Management Area

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Chautauqua Lake Fish & Wildlife Management Area 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 F&WMA lake access.

Featured Activities

Hunting
General information on hunting includes how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules and regulations.

An accessible hunting blind/observation deck provides access to the lake for waterfowl hunting.

Fishing
General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules and regulations.

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
General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.

An accessible hunting blind/observation deck provides access to the lake for wildlife viewing.

Accessible Features

General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.

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.

Directions

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.

All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.

Rules, Regulations & Outdoor Safety

Activity Rules & Regulations:

The following activities are not permitted in the Chautauqua Lake Fish & Wildlife Management Area:

  • Off Road Vehicular Travel, including:
    • Cars
    • Trucks
    • Snowmobiles
    • Motorcycles
    • All-terrain vehicles
  • Swimming
  • Camping
  • Boating with motors

Outdoor Safety Tips:

How We Manage Chautauqua Lake Fish & Wildlife Management Area

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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.

The following highlights some of the principal management objectives and techniques for the Chautauqua Fish & Wildlife Management Area:

  • To promote natural propagation and maintenance of desirable species in ecological balance.
  • To provide optimum public access to natural resources compatible with wildlife.
  • To manage resources at optimum quantity and quality for recreational use and maximum public benefit.

History

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.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau (leaves DEC website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.

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.

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.