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Western New York Fishing Hotline

March 27 to April 3, 2015

Attention Anglers: Statewide walleye, northern pike, pickerel and tiger muskellunge seasons are now closed (will re-open on first Saturday of May).

Lake Ontario Tributaries

Angler holding steelhead caught from Oak Orchard Creek.
Colorful steelhead caught from Oak Orchard

The spring steelhead run is underway on the Lake Ontario tributaries, but stream conditions vary. Anglers report good numbers of fresh steelhead below the dam on Eighteenmile Creek. Eighteenmile currently has slightly higher flow with about 16 inches of visibility. Oak Orchard Creek likely also has good numbers of steelhead moving in, however fishing has been tough due to high and stained flows with less than a foot of visibility. The smaller streams have moderate to slightly higher flows, and range from clear to murky. All of the smaller streams should improve throughout the weekend. Spring run steelhead will hit egg sacs, egg pattern flies, trout beads, jigs with grubs, streamer patterns, bugger patterns, minnows and nightcrawlers. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for information on equipment, baits and fishing techniques.

Early spring is a good time to target steelhead, brown trout and coho salmon from the piers at Wilson, Olcott, Point Breeze and the Genesee River. On some colder days there have been slick ice coverings on some piers. It is advised that anglers only fish the piers on warmer, ice-free days. Casting spoons or stickbaits are a good bet, but a minnow under a float also produces when waters are not too muddy. Lures or baits fished along a mud line work best.

Lake Ontario

The Olcott boat launch and harbor are free of ice. A few Olcott boaters have been out on the lake this week with limited success. The early spring bite is generally best in the nearshore zone near stream inlets where slightly warmer water attracts brown trout, steelhead and coho salmon. Trolling along mud lines with spoons or stickbaits is a good method.

Lower Niagara River

Lower river waters have a slight color and minimal floating ice. Boaters are catching steelhead in all drifts, with some brown trout and lake trout mixed in. Drifting with a 3-way bottom bouncing rig with minnows, Kwikfish or egg sacs works well. Shore anglers are also catching some nice trout at the state parks by drifting egg sacs or minnows (under a float) and by casting spoons or spinners. Be very cautious, as there is some shelf ice along the shoreline and the access paths/stairs are very icy. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.

Inland Trout Fishing

Most, if not all of the area's inland trout streams are currently running on the higher side. Without additional significant precipitation, there should be fishable options when the traditional trout season kicks off on Wednesday, April 1st. Some streams are open to trout fishing all year, by catch and release only during the period before April 1st. Check the Special Regulations by County to find trout streams that are open to fishing now. All other inland trout waters will open for trout fishing on April 1st.

Spring Trout Stocking

DEC Fish Hatchery staff have been stocking trout in preparation for the traditional April 1st trout opener. Thousands of yearling brown, brook and rainbow trout will be stocked in over 80 different streams, lakes and ponds in the region. In addition, many of the popular trout streams and lakes will also received generous stockings of two-year-old brown trout that are between 12-15 inches long. Call the Randolph Hatchery Fish Stocking Hotline at (716) 358-4950 or check back here for weekly stocking updates. For County lists of stocked waters and numbers of trout stocked, check the 2015 Spring Trout Stocking page. Public Fishing Rights Maps showing public access on many trout streams are available for printing. The following waters will be stocked before April 1st:

Allegany County: Dodge Creek (Clarksville), Clarksville Town Pond (Clarksville), Genesee River (Wellsville, Amity), Little Genesee Creek (Bolivar).

Cattaraugus County: Forks Creek (Great Valley), Great Valley Creek (Great Valley, Ellicottville), Wrights Creek (Humphrey), S. Branch Cattaraugus Creek (East Otto), Mansfield Creek (Mansfield), Beaver Meadow Creek (Ellicottville), Connoisarauley Creek (Ashford), Bone Run (South Valley), Guernsey Run (South Valley), North Branch Sawmill Run (South Valley), Little Conewango Creek (Conewango), Paisley Park Pond (Randolph), Bay State Brook (Red House), Quaker Run (Cold Spring), Red House Brook (Red House), Science Lake (Red House).

Chautauqua County: Goose Creek (Harmony, N. Harmony).

Erie County: Eighteenmile Creek (Boston Town Park), Little Buffalo Creek (Lancaster, Marilla), East Branch Cazenovia Creek (Aurora, Holland).

Wyoming County: Buffalo Creek (Java), Beaver Meadow Creek (Java), Cattaraugus Creek (Java), Little Tonawanda Creek (Middlebury), Tonawanda Creek (Orangeville), East Koy Creek (Gainesville).

Steuben County: Post Creek (Hornby), Cohocton River (Cohocton, Avoca), Meads Creek (Campbell).

Wiscoy Creek Angler Diary Program

DEC Region 9 Fisheries Unit will be running an angler diary program for Wiscoy Creek in Allegany and Wyoming Counties during 2015, and is currently looking for anglers to keep diaries. If you fish Wiscoy Creek (even once) and would like to keep a diary, please call DEC Fisheries at (716) 372-0645 or email at fwfish9@dec.ny.gov. The program will run March 1st through October 31st. This program duplicates one run in 2012 (2012 survey summary) and will be used in conjunction with a late-summer electrofishing survey to evaluate the fishery's overall quality.

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; fwfish9@dec.ny.gov). Good Luck Fishing!

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