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Western New York Fishing Hotline

May 26 to June 9, 2017

Attention anglers: Muskellunge season opens on Saturday, May 27 on the inland waters of New York State. Muskellunge fishing remains closed on Lake Erie, Niagara River and Lake Ontario until the third Saturday in June.

Lake Ontario

All of the Niagara County launches are open in some capacity to motorboat launching except Golden Hill State Park. The north launch at Fort Niagara State Park is open, but the launch bulkheads are a few inches underwater. You will need knee high boots and a someone to help. There is limited launching at Wilson-Tuscarora State Park. The launch bulkheads are 10 inches under water and inaccessible. Waders are needed to launch directly in center of launch. Boaters on Lake Ontario should be on the look-out for floating debris at all times.

Anglers fishing last weekend's salmon tournament saw excellent fishing, all returning with full boxes of king salmon, coho salmon and lake trout. King salmon are showing well off Niagara County and are scattered between 80-250 feet of water. Spoons, flasher-fly combos and meat rigs are working well run 80-150 feet down. Coho salmon are riding high in the water column and readily hitting spoons run in top 40 feet. With the good salmon bite, not many anglers have been targeting brown trout. Browns should still be available inside 25 feet of water.

Lake Ontario Tributaries, Harbors & Piers

Harbors are high and muddy and pier sites are dangerous due to high and rough water. Fishing is on hold in those areas.

Lower Niagara River

Charters working the upper drifts continue to see decent catches of trout. However, rising water temperatures will soon chase trout back to the lake. White bass are showing in good numbers along the shoreline. Smallmouth bass catches are better in the lower section of river. Remember, bass fishing in the lower river is by catch and release only, artificial lures only until the 3rd Saturday in May. The NYPA fishing platform has been closed due to high water at times. Anglers can call 796-0135 ext. 45 for updates. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.

Inland Trout Streams

Most stream levels are up, but there should still be options this weekend. Be sure to have some smaller streams or upper stretches in mind for back-up spots. Depending on the stream, look for hatches of hendricksons, sulphurs, caddisflies or March browns. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

Spring Trout Stocking

The Region's trout stocking waters have been stocked with all of designated stockings. For County lists of stocked waters check the Spring Trout Stocking 2017 page. Hatchery staff stocked some surplus two-year-old brown trout in the following waters this past week: Genesee River - 400 brown trout from Wellsville to PA border; Cattaraugus Creek - 400 brown trout in Erie and Wyoming Counties; Cohocton River - 275 brown trout; Oatka Creek - 275 brown trout.

Genesee River Angler Diary Program

DEC Region 9 Fisheries Unit will be running an angler diary program for the Genesee River during 2017, and is currently looking for anglers to keep diaries. The diarist program aims to record data for trout and bass fishing trips on the Genesee River from the Pennsylvania line downstream through Letchworth State Park from March 1st through October 31st, 2017. If you fish the Genesee River (even once) and would like to contribute your observations by keeping a diary, please call DEC Fisheries at (716) 379-6372 or email

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.