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Western New York Fishing Hotline

December 2 to December 9, 2016

Lake Ontario Tributaries, Harbors & Piers

Angler holding large king salmon caught from Lake Ontario.
Staging king salmon caught off Olcott Beach
on a Dreamweaver trolling plug.

The Erie Canal de-watering is currently underway, and Oak Orchard and Eighteenmile Creeks are receiving some supplemental water flow as a result. Oak Orchard Creek currently has moderate to slightly high flow with a slight stain, while Eighteenmile Creek has moderate flow with a slight stain. Fishing pressure has been lighter on both creeks lately, despite good trout action. Anglers are catching mostly brown trout and steelhead with the odd fresh king salmon mixed in. Johnson and Sandy Creeks have lighter numbers of trout spread throughout their reaches. Flows are lower and clear, so key on deeper holes. Downsize lines, hooks, baits and move stealthily when fishing clear conditions. Egg sacs, single eggs, trout beads and egg pattern flies are tops for brown trout and steelhead. 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.

Lower Niagara River

Steelhead hook-ups are on the rise in the lower river. Boaters see the best trout action in the Devils Hole and Artpark drifts, while shore anglers report catches along Artpark, Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks. Expect to catch some incidental lake trout as well. Keep in mind that lake trout season is closed until January 1st, all incidentally caught lake trout should be promptly released. Egg sacs, live shiners or Kwikfish lures on a three-way bottom bouncing rig is the typical trout tactic. Egg sacs, egg pattern flies, shiners and jigs with plastics fished under a float, or casting medium-sized spoons and Vibrax spinners are good trout offerings. Muskellunge season has closed just about everywhere in the state, however the muskellunge and tiger muskellunge seasons extend to December 15 on the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario. The New York Power Authority fishing platform typically closes on December 1st or with the onset of ice and snow. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.

Inland Trout Fishing

Fall can be a good time to fish the inland trout streams, as trout are on the feed and many other anglers have shifted their focus to the Great Lakes tributaries. The area trout streams currently have moderate to slightly high flows. The statewide trout season closed on October 15 (Great Lakes tributaries excluded). However, a number of inland streams are open to trout fishing all year. Check the Special Regulations by County to see what streams are open to trout fishing beyond October 15.

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.