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Oaks Creek

Oaks Creek
Oaks creek looking north in oaksville.jpg
Oaks Creek looking north in Oaksville
Oaks Creek is located in New York Adirondack Park
Oaks Creek
Location of the mouth of Oaks Creek
Oaks Creek is located in the United States
Oaks Creek
Oaks Creek (the United States)
CountryUnited States
StateNew York
RegionCentral New York Region
TownsOtsego, Hartwick, Exeter
Physical characteristics
SourceCanadarago Lake
 ⁃ locationSchuyler Lake
 ⁃ coordinates42°47′31″N 75°00′57″W / 42.7920174°N 75.0157126°W / 42.7920174; -75.0157126[1]
 ⁃ elevation1,266[2] ft (386 m)
MouthSusquehanna River
 ⁃ location
 ⁃ coordinates
42°39′43″N 74°57′02″W / 42.6620197°N 74.9504339°W / 42.6620197; -74.9504339[1]
 ⁃ elevation
1,161 ft (354 m)[1]
Length9.32 mi (15.00 km)
Basin size102 sq mi (260 km2)[3]
 ⁃ locationIndex (1929-1995)
 ⁃ average147 cu ft/s (4.2 m3/s)
 ⁃ minimum1.4 cu ft/s (0.040 m3/s)
 ⁃ maximum2,280 cu ft/s (65 m3/s)
Basin features
 ⁃ leftFly Creek
 ⁃ rightLidell Creek, Phinney Creek
Oaks Creek near source, looking south at dam.
Map detail showing the western frontier of New York including Oaks Creek

Oaks Creek is a river that drains Canadarago Lake, which is situated in the north central region of Otsego County, New York. The creek begins by the Hamlet of Schuyler Lake and flows southeast approximately 9.32 miles (15.00 km), dropping only 105 feet (32 m) in elevation, before converging with the Susquehanna River south of the Village of Cooperstown, by the Hamlet of Index.[3] From the source to Oaksville the creek flows along Panther Mountain. Fly Creek is a main tributary, that converges with Oaks Creek south of the Hamlet of Fly Creek.

In 1779 it was referred to as "O-at'-tis" as the Iroquois name.[4]


Oaks Creek begins at the outlet of Canadarago Lake close to where the Herkimer Creek enters the lake. It starts flowing southward for a short distance before flowing under County Route 22 then reaching the Panther Mountain Dam which was the old trolly line bridge. After the dam it continues meandering southward, receiving Lidell Creek and Phinney Creek from the right, as well as a few unnamed tributaries draining Panther Mountain. Then a short distance after the confluence of Phinney Creek it passes the Parslow Road Conservation Area and then reaches the Hamlet of Cattown. In Cattown the creek splits and forms a small island that Hoke Road passes over. At Cattown the creek starts flowing more southeastward and heads toward the Hamlet of Oaksville and crosses under State Route 28 and State Route 80 and then the former location of the trolley bridge. After the former trolley bridge it crosses under Road then reaches the confluence of Fly Creek. After the confluence the creek travels for a short distance before reaching the Hamlet of Toddsville where it curves to the southwest and crosses under County Route 59 and then Lower Toddsville Road. After Lower Toddsville Road it continues southwestward and passes Greenough Road Conservation Area and shortly after curves to the east. After the curve to the east it soon reaches the old dam and trolley bridge and then crosses under State Route 28 again in the Hamlet of Index. Shortly after Index it curves to the southeast for a short distance before reaching the mouth at Susquehanna River.


Major John Tunnicliff located in the southeast corner of the Town of Exeter. The Tunnicliff farm was named "The Oaks" due to the many oak trees on the estate. Oaks Creek was later named after this place. The first fruit orchard planted in the county was on the farm.

David Marvin built the first grist and saw mill on the creek. The first grist and saw mill in the Hamlet of Oaksville on the creek was built in 1797 by George Johnson. Eliphalet Williams had a cloth and carding machine on the creek. Russell Williams built a cotton mill on the creek in the Hamlet of Oaksville in 1830.

David Shipman , the "Leatherstocking" and "Deerslayer" of James Fenimore Cooper’s novels, was a resident of Town of Otsego living in a log cabin on the east bank of Oaks Creek between Toddsville and the confluence of Fly Creek.[5][6]


The United States Geological Survey (USGS) formally maintained a stream gauge along Oaks Creek. It was in operation from 1929 to 1995 and was located in the Hamlet of Index. During this period it had an average discharge of 147 cubic feet per second (4.2 m3/s), a maximum discharge of 2,280 cubic feet per second (65 m3/s) and had minimum discharge of 1.4 cubic feet per second (0.040 m3/s).[7]

The USGS also did non-daily field measurements, at random intervals, of the creek by the Hamlet of Schuyler Lake between 1963 and 1974. The highest measured discharge of 864 cubic feet per second (24.5 m3/s) on September 13, 1974 and had minimum discharge of 1.68 cubic feet per second (0.048 m3/s) on September 8, 1970.[8]


In spring 2019 and years in the past, the DEC stocked 1420 8 to 9 inches (20 to 23 cm) and 100 12 to 15 inches (30 to 38 cm) long brown trout into the creek in the Town of Hartwick. Other fish species present in the creek are brook trout and rainbow trout.[9][10]

The Oaks Creek Conservation Area, opened August 2010, is located off State Route 28 by the Hamlet of Schuyler Lake along the creek. It runs for .5 miles (0.80 km) along the creek and provides access for fishing. It is currently only accessed by kayak or canoe. Another opened April 2012, the Parslow Road Conservation Area, located on Parslow Road in the Town of Otsego. It is 86 acres (0.134 sq mi) in size and runs .5 miles (0.80 km) along the creek. There is a 900 feet (270 m) trail that leads from the parking lot leading to the creek for fishing, kayaking and canoeing access. The Greenough Road Conservation Area, opened March 2011, is located on Greenough Road in the Town of Hartwick. It is open for fishing and paddling with a 375 feet (114 m) trail leading to the creek. The last area, opened August 2008, is the Compton Bridge Conservation Area. It is located at the mouth of the creek and is open for hiking, fishing and canoeing via a short trail from the parking lot to the creek.[11][12]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Oaks Creek". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  2. ^ "Canadarago Lake". Nysdec. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "USGS 01496500 OAKS CREEK AT MOUTH". June 4, 2019. Retrieved 4 June 2019. data
  4. ^ "Aboriginal place names of New York". 1969. Retrieved 5 January 2018. data
  5. ^ young, holice (2001). "Otsego town". usgennet. Retrieved 16 April 2017. data
  6. ^ Almena Perkins Stewart. "Chronicles of Schuyler Lake and Vicinity". Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  7. ^ "USGS 01496500 OAKS CREEK AT INDEX NY". June 4, 2019. Retrieved 4 June 2019. data
  8. ^ "USGS 01496451 OAKS CREEK AT SCHUYLER LAKE NY". June 4, 2019. Retrieved 4 June 2019. data
  9. ^ "Spring 2019 Trout Stocking for Otsego County". 2019. Retrieved 4 June 2019. data
  10. ^ "Oaks Creek Fishing". 2019. Retrieved 4 June 2019. data
  11. ^ "OAKS CREEK CONSERVATION AREA". 2019. Retrieved 4 June 2019. data
  12. ^ "BLUEWAY TRAIL". 2019. Retrieved 4 June 2019. data