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Chittenango Creek

Chittenango Creek, located in Madison and Onondaga counties, runs from Nelson Swamp (north of the village of Cazenovia) to Oneida Lake. Chittenango Creek is one of the more popular trout fishing streams in Central New York. There are 4.8 miles of Public Fishing Rights (PFR) along this medium sized, partially open and swift flowing stream.

Besides being a prime trout stream, it is also a very scenic waterway with a large 167-foot waterfall located in Chittenango Falls State Park (leaves DEC website). There is no fishing allowed on a small section of stream directly above the falls for safety reasons (park regulation). Downstream of the falls, fishing is permitted in the park and you can catch trout and view the spectacular falls at the same time.

Access

There are 4.8 miles of PFR along Chittenango Creek. There are four PFR parking areas along the stream and numerous unofficial pulloffs as the stream borders Route 13 from Cazenovia to Chittenango.

Parking Areas

  • Route 13 parking area. 2.25 miles south of Cazenovia on Route 13. Parking for 4 cars.
  • Route 13 parking area. 3.5 miles north of Cazenovia on Route 13. Parking for 10 cars.
  • Emhoff Road parking area. 4.5 miles north of Cazenovia on Route 13 to Carey Hill Road, turn right onto Emhoff Road. Parking for 4 cars.
  • Olmstead Road parking area. 2.5 miles south of Chittenango on Route 13 take right onto Olmstead Road. Parking for 3 cars.

There is a universally assessable fishing platform in the Village of Chittenango that was created in 2009 by the Madison County Trout Unlimited Chapter. A trail head kiosk and parking area are located in the village of Chittenango just west of the junction of Route 5 and 13.

DECinfo Locator - Interactive Trout Stream Fishing Map (Decinfo Locator is best viewed on a desktop computer).

Trout Stream Fishing Map User Guide ("How to" instructions for using the fishing map on Decinfo Locator.)

Fish Species

Brown trout, brook trout, white sucker, walleye, and smallmouth bass.

General Fishing Information

The main gamefish found in the upper section of stream are stocked and wild brown trout and the occasional wild brook trout. As you get closer to Oneida Lake, the lower section begins to have some warm water species like walleye, smallmouth bass and panfish.

Most of the fishing pressure takes place on the stream during early spring shortly after the trout are stocked. When fishing during the cold water periods of early-spring and winter, concentrate on the deeper holes, fish slowly, and keep baits near bottom. Sometimes fishing during the mid-day period when things have had a chance to warm up also helps.

Please view Fishing for Stream Trout for more advice on trout fishing.

Regulations

Inland Trout Stream Fishing Regulations Apply.

Special Fishing Regulations Apply.

Fisheries Management

There are four stocked reaches along the Chittenango Creek. Boundaries, management categories, and stocking details per reach are listed below.

  • From Russell Street in Chittenango upstream to the mile marker 1237 south of the Village of Chittenango Line is managed as a Stocked-Extended reach and is stocked with around 1,170 one year-old (9") and 130 two year-old brown trout (14").
  • From the mile marker 1237 south of the Village of Chittenango Line upstream to the Town of Fenner/Town of Sullivan Town line at mile marker 1219 is managed as a Stocked-Extended-Catch and Release reach and is stocked with around 1,600 one year-old and 170 two year-old brown trout.
  • From the Town of Fenner/Town of Sullivan Town Line at mile marker 1219 upstream to Route 20 in Cazenovia is managed as a Stocked-Extended reach is stocked with around 8,030 one year-old and 890 two year-old brown trout.
  • From Route 20 in Cazenovia upstream to Ballina Road is managed as a Stocked reach and is stocked with around 1,520 one year-old brown trout and 170 two year-old brown trout.

Review more details on Inland Trout Stream Management in New York.

Survey Reports

Catch Rate Oriented Trout Stocking (CROTS) Survey Technical Brief Report (2021) (PDF)
A 2.2 mile section of Chittenango Creek is managed under a special trout fishing regulation of an all year season, catch-and-release (C&R) only, and artificial lures only. This special regulation has been in effect since October 2010. On August 26, 2020, a single pass electrofishing survey, following CROTS protocols, was conducted. The purpose of the survey was to assess whether the C&R regulation has increased the overall density and improved the size structure of the trout population within the reach.

Angler Survey Report (2016) (PDF)
An angler survey was conducted from April 1 through October 15, 2014 on the brown trout (Salmo trutta) stocked sections of Chittenango Creek. The stocked section was broken into four reaches based on the stocking policy and management type. The four reaches were named upper, lower-1, catch and release, and lower-2. The purpose of the survey was to estimate the amount of fishing effort expended in the stocked sections of Chittenango Creek. This information will be used to help refine stocking policies for the four stocked sections by updating and improving the estimates of angler effort.