The Tioughnioga River is a large deep pooled river that flows through Cortland and Broome counties. It begins in Cortland (Cortland County) where the East and West Branches combine, and then flows south for 34 miles until its confluence with the Chenango River (Broome County) at Chenango Forks. The Otselic River, a major tributary, enters the Tioughnioga near Whitney Point. The Tioughnioga is probably best fished from a canoe, kayak or small car-top boat.
Public Access Sites
There are four miles of Public Fishing Rights (PFR's) along the river with two PFR parking areas. There are also two DEC boat launches along the river.
- Messengerville. On Route 392.
- Marathon. Off Route 11, 1.2 miles north of Marathon.
- Itaska. On Route 79. Hand launch. 6 cars
- Chenango Forks. At Route 12 bridge. Hand launch. 6 cars.
General Fishing Information
Brown trout, smallmouth bass, northern pike and walleye are the main gamefish. Common carp can also be found in the river along with panfish like yellow perch, sunfish, and brown bullhead. The brown trout are less common then the smallmouth and walleye, but when you do hook into one, they are usually large. Smallmouth bass are more abundant and can be caught by fishing the head or tail end of pools. Smallmouth bass can be caught any time during the open season, but fishing for them is often best from late-June to October. The walleye fishing tends to be more productive during May to late-June and again from September to December. 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 Tioughnioga River is not stocked. Brown trout found in the river are either wild fish or holdovers that have moved downstream from stockings that take place in both the East and West Branches. Special Regulations exist for the Tioughnioga River, so please review the Special Regulations by County section of your fishing guide.