Department of Environmental Conservation

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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 the Whitney Point Reservoir before its confluence with the Tioughnioga River. Whitney Point Reservoir is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Flood Control project that 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 along Route 26, which 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.

For more information on boat launches including Google Maps driving directions, visit the Boat Launch Sites for Cortland County page.

Otselic River Public Fishing Rights Brochure and Maps (PDF)

Fish Species

Brown trout, brook trout, smallmouth bass, walleye, rock bass, white sucker, and common carp.

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 in 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 midday period after things have had a chance to warm up a little also helps.


Madison County Special Fishing Regulations
Chenango County Special Fishing Regulations
Cortland County Special Fishing Regulations
Broome County Special Fishing Regulations

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").