Department of Environmental Conservation

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Tioughnioga River

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) along the river with two PFR parking areas. There are also two DEC boat launches along the river.

Parking Areas

  • Messengerville. On Route 392.
  • Marathon. Off Route 11, 1.2 miles north of Marathon.

Boat Launches

  • Itaska. On Route 79. Hand launch. 6 cars
  • Chenango Forks. At Route 12 bridge. Hand launch. 6 cars.

For more information on these launches including Google Maps driving directions, visit the Boat Launch Sites for Broome County and Boat Launch Sites for Cortland County pages.

Trout Stocked Section

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, smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, yellow perch, pumpkinseed sunfish, bluegill, rock bass, brown bullhead, common carp, fall fish, and white sucker.

General Fishing Information

Brown trout are less common then smallmouth bass 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.


Special Fishing Regulations Apply.

Fisheries Management

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.