Rising some 27 miles south of the City of Syracuse, Onondaga Creek flows north by northwest to Onondaga Lake. Its headwaters are in Tully, where slightly downstream from its origins, are found the now infamous “Tully Mud-boils.” Contributing fine particulate matter to the Creek in widely varying amounts; the mud-boils can make the entire Creek turn the color of chocolate milk, with or without a heavy rain.
Onondaga Creek does not look like your typical central NY trout stream. Channelization and urban sprawl have changed the historical path of this stream but the overall water quality is still a “fair” trout stream. Onondaga County Parks Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery stocks the stream annually with over 1,600 brown trout. Many of the access points are bridge crossings or public park access. Some of this stream flows through Native Onondaga Nation Lands, and should be considered posted and private waters.The City of Syracuse and local developers have revitalized the northern stretches of the stream, and improvements continue to be made. Onondaga Creek is diverse in it’s habitat, and different in it’s water clarity but one constant is the creek’s ability to produce large trout.
West Branch Onondaga Creek:
A 6 mile long clear water tributary to Onondaga Creek, the west Branch is a free stone stream with a diverse water ecology. Originating in the western part of the town of Onondaga the creek flows and flows south east before meeting up with the main stem of Onondaga Creek, near the Native Onondaga Nation Lands. All Native Nation Lands should be considered posted and private. Access is limited to bridge crossing rights of way and public lands.
The West Branch Onondaga Creek is diverse in it’s trout habitat. The upper head waters of the stream are fast moving freestone and as the water makes it’s way towards the junction of Onondaga Creek it begins to lose it’s natural gradient and it meanders more. The entire length of the stream has the potential to produce large healthy trout. Onondaga County Parks Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery annually stocks the West Branch with almost 1,000 brown trout.