Explore Wild New York

Black Creek

Black Creek originates in a marshy valley east of Keeney Swamp State Forest. Due to the surroundings and posting, the stream is largely inaccessible as it flows northward through the valley. It then bends to the west and enters the Keeney Swamp Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and then Keeney Swamp State Forest before turning south to flow parallel to County Road 16. The stream is fishable within these state properties and there is plenty of public access to the stream, but the surroundings are very marshy. Additional public access is available further downstream where Black Creek flows through Gillies Hill State Forest.

Black Creek has good water quality and a bottom of silt (especially in the WMA and state forest sections), gravel, and rubble. Ranging from about 15 to 30 feet in width, the stream is surrounded by wetlands, pastures, and woodlands, and most sections have a significant amount of streamside vegetation. Black Creek is a secondary tributary of the Genesee River (via Angelica Creek, which is generally unfishable and unfloatable).


Brown trout are found in Black Creek roughly from where the stream exits Keeney Swamp State Forest down to the junction with Angelica Creek, which it joins about three-quarters of a mile east of Buehrings Road. The best trout fishing is found in the middle and upper sections of the stream, but few trout are going to be found past early June due to high water temperatures and excessive amounts of silt, possibly from beaver impoundments further upstream. In March or April, Black Creek is stocked with brown trout and, occasionally, rainbow trout. The stocked section extends from the most downstream crossing of County Road 16, just west of Murphy Hill Road, upstream to the second County Road 16 crossing, a distance of about 3.9 miles. (The map pin is located at the upper end of the stocked section). In addition to trout, several large, old beaver impoundments along the middle and upper reaches reportedly hold modest-sized largemouth bass and panfish. The DEC captured a northern pike in one of these impounded areas during a stream survey in 2011, but they are, at best, uncommon in this stream. I am unaware of any fishable tributaries of Black Creek. For and interesting article on the upper reaches of Black Creek by Walt Franklin, see Links.


I haven't paddled Black Creek, but I have viewed the stream from all of the road crossing at various times of the year over a period of several years, and I've also viewed the stream using Google Maps (satellite setting). Based on what I've seen, I doubt it's possible to kayak the entire length of Black Creek from the wildlife management area down to its junction with Angelica Creek. However, some sections of this stream are certainly sufficiently wide and deep enough for some interesting short trips, especially in the spring when water levels are up. For example, the 2.5-mile-long section between the crossing of County Road 16 in the state forest, just north of Gordon Forest Road, and the downstream crossing of County Road 16 near the junction with Old Worden Road usually seems to have sufficient water for paddling, and I spoke to a resident of the area who claims to paddle this section yearly. The same can be said for the 1.7-mile-long section of the stream that flows in and along the east side of Gillies Hill State Forest. While these may not be long trips, they would provide opportunities to fish or observe wildlife in beautiful, untrammeled settings.        


In addition to providing ample opportunities for fishing and paddling, Black Creek flows through a uniquely good region for bird watching, especially in the three state properties identified in the first paragraph. For information on the nearly 170 bird species identified along or in the vicinity of Black Creek, see Links.    


Information on associated resources (Genesee River - Belmont to Portageville, Gillies Hill State Forest, Keeney Swamp State Forest, and Keeney Swamp Wildlife Management WMA) will be added soon.

Location Map


Black Creek, photographed in October 2020, seen looking downstream from Forest Road just before it flows out of the Keeney Swamp Wildlife Management Area and into Keeney Swamp State Forest.
Black Creek, seen looking downstream from the crossing of County Route 16 near Worden Road. This is a rather marshy area, and this portion of the stream is best investigated from a kayak if there is sufficient flow.
Three sections of Black Creek flow through Gillies Hill State Forest for a total distance of about 0.8 miles. The section shown here is visible from County Route 16. In addition to providing opportunities to fish for brown trout, Black Creek usually has enough flow for kayaking. This photo was taken just after the very dry summer of 2020, and it still had enough water (barely) for paddling.

Resource Map

See Location Map.

Driving Directions


Road Access:

Much of Black Creek is paralleled and crossed by County Road 16 (CR 16). Public access is available in the three state properties along the stream (see main text and links below).

There are no PFRs on Black Creek, but the stocked section of this stream is generally open to fishing by landowners. Landowner permission should always be obtained before fishing non-stocked sections of this stream except where it flows through public lands.

Boat Launch Site(s):

There are no formal launch sites along this stream. Potential kayak launch sites are located at road crossings along County Road 16. Be aware that, in the summer, this stream gets quite weedy, and water levels can be too low to paddle.


Fishery Management

Management Category: Stocked: From the most downstream County Route 16 crossing upstream to the second County Route 16 crossing, a distance of 3.9 miles. Other sections of the stream are wild (on state property) or uncategorized.

Fish Species:

  • Panfish
  • Brown Trout (stocked)
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Rainbow Trout (stocked)

Stocking Information: In the spring, Black Creek is stocked with brown trout and rainbow trout.

Special Fishing Regulations: None. Statewide fishing regulations apply.


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