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Chautauqua Lake Fish & Wildlife Management Area

Chautauqua Lake WMA locator map

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The primary purposes of Chautauqua Lake Fish and Wildlife Management Area (FWMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This is a 123-acre property 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 FWMA lake access.

Featured Activities



General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

Please stay on the designated trails to protect the diversity and richness of the plant communities found within this area.

Hunting and Trapping


Wildlife Management Unit: 9J

General information on hunting and general information on trapping include 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. Please be sure to abide by all game laws (view hunting seasons and trapping seasons).


Fishing Icon

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

Chautauqua Lake FWMA is open to 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 Icon

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. Deer, turkeys, black bears, squirrels, and a host of songbirds frequent the area. Use the Wildlife Management Area Vertebrate Checklist (PDF) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF) as wildlife viewing guides.

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.

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. Tom's Point is just north of this intersection.

All Google links leave DEC website.

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

Rules, Regulations & Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace Principles (leaves DEC website) when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts with other users.

All users of Chautauqua Lake Fish and Wildlife Management Area must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

Activity Rules & Regulations

The following activities are not permitted in Chautauqua Lake FWMA:

  • Using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobiles
    • motorboats
  • Swimming (no lifeguard on premises) or bathing
  • Camping
  • Using metal detectors, searching for or removing historic or cultural artifacts without a permit
  • Damaging or removing gates, fences, signs, or 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).

How We Manage Chautauqua Lake Fish & Wildlife Management Area

Wildlife restoration logo

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, and 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.

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

Some of the principal management objectives and techniques for this FWMA are to:

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

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

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

State Lands and Facilities

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.

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  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 716-372-0645.
  • Contact for this Page
    Region 9 Wildlife Manager
    182 East Union Street, Suite 3
    Allegany NY 14706
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