Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Western New York Fishing Hotline

March 10 to March 17, 2017

Attention Anglers: The Western New York Fishing Hotline will not be updated for the week of March 17 to 24. The next update will be on Friday, March 24.

Lake Ontario

When weather permits, boaters are already working the shorelines for decent catches of brown trout. Trolling with smaller stickbaits run behind planer boards is the top tactic in 6-20 feet of water. Lures run directly behind boat get far less trout attention. Key on areas with slightly warmer water near tributary and harbor outflows, in stained water and along mud lines.

Lake Ontario Tributaries, Harbors & Piers

Youth angler holding large steelhead caught on Eighteenmile Creek
David, age 9, caught this large steelhead at
Eighteenmile Creek on a black jig with pink head.

Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks both have moderate and stained flows. Angler are picking up light numbers of steelhead and brown trout on brightly colored baits. Anglers are also catching steelhead in many other smaller streams including Johnson, Sandy, Fourmile, Twelvemile, E. Branch Twelvemile and Keg Creeks. Conditions range from stained to clear. Egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and grub-tipped marabou jigs are good trout offerings. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to stream maps.

Olcott Harbor anglers have recently been catching some northern pike and yellow perch.

Lower Niagara River

Improving water conditions have again been foiled by high winds. It will take at least a couple days to settle out. During the brief window of favorable conditions earlier this week, boaters saw some decent fishing for a mix of steelhead and lake trout. Three-way rigs with egg sacs, shiners or Kwikfish lures work well for trout. Egg sacs or shiners cured with a florescent colored dye product are a better bet when fishing murky conditions. Fishing has generally been slow for shore anglers lately. Shore anglers can target trout at Artpark, Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks. The New York Power Authority fishing platform is closed for the winter season. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.

Inland Trout Streams

During warmer periods, trout have been cooperating on some inland streams that allow for trout fishing all year. The upper Cattaraugus Creek and feeder streams have been productive. On streams that are currently open to trout fishing, fishing is by catch and release only, artificial lures only until April 1st. Check the Special Regulations by County to see what streams are open all year.

Spring Trout Stocking

Randolph Fish Hatchery has stocked some of the southern tier lakes early this year since they are ice-free. The following lakes were stocked with yearling trout (9 inches) last week and are open to trout fishing all year; Quaker Lake (3,460 brown trout), Redhouse Lake (1,160 brown trout), New Albion Lake (2,310 brown trout), Case Lake (1,480 brown trout), Allen Lake (2,800 brook trout) and Harwood Lake (2,100 brook trout).

If you need more fishing information or would like to contribute to the fishing report, please call or e-mail Mike Todd (716-851-7010; Good Luck Fishing!

The fishing hotline can also be heard at (716) 855-FISH.