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Prendergast Creek Preserve

The Prendergast Creek Preserve protects a portion of Chautauqua Lake shoreline, as well as Prendergast Creek streambank, at Whitney Point. The Prendergast Creek Preserve is largely wetland and floodplain, making it difficult to access, but it is a popular spot for anglers.

  • Size:  8 acres

  • Year Conserved by CWC: 1997, and expanded in 2013 and 2018 to include wetlands on Whitney Point

Conservation Values: The Prendergast Creek Preserve permanently protects 930 feet of naturally vegetated Chautauqua Lake shoreline, as well as 1,600 feet of natural stream front on Prendergast Creek. The preserve maintains the natural functions of the wetlands and streams, as well as the floodplain, to slow and filter water on its way to Chautauqua Lake. The preserve also provides important shoreline habitat for birds, waterfowl and wildlife.

Recreational Use: There are no developed trails or any other facilities within the preserve due to the very wet and mucky conditions typically found there. Fishing is allowed on this preserve.

Location and Parking: Located at the mouth of Prendergast Creek in the town of Chautauqua, the Prendergast Creek Preserve can be accessed through Snug Harbor Marina to the north.

Features of Interest: Forested streamline and lakefront wetlands. The preserve includes Whitney Point and is bordered along the northwest by Chautauqua Lake.


Trees: elms (Ulmus spp.), hickories (Carya spp.), silver maple (Acer saccharinum), Freeman’s maple (A. x freemanii), speckled alder (Alnus incana rugose), black willow (Salix negra)

Shrubs: red-osier dogwood (Cornus sericea), silky dogwood (C. amomum), willows (Salix spp.), highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)

Wildflowers: cuckoo flower (Cardamine pratensis), joe pye weed (Eupatorium sp.), cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), true forget-me-not (Myosotis scorploides), eastern skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus), thyme-leaved speedwell (Veronica serpyllifolia), wild strawberry (Fragaria vesca), dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis)

Birds: wood duck (Aix sponsa), great blue heron (Ardea Herodias), Baltimore oriole (Icterus galbula), Eastern phoebe (Sayornis phoebe), belted kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon), red-bellied woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)

Fish: northern pike (Esox Lucius), walleye (Stizostedion vitreum), blackchin shiner (Notropis heterodon), pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus), smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieui), oligochaetes (Oligochaeta)

Reptiles: painted turtle (Chrysemys picta), water snake (Nerodia sipedon)

Insects: eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilo glaucus), six-spotted tiger beetle (Cicindela sexguttata), little yellow butterfly (Eurema lisa)

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