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Western New York Fishing Hotline

October 13 to October 27, 2017

Attention anglers: Lake trout season is closed as of October 1st, on the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario. Lake trout season will reopen on those waters on January 1st.

Lake Ontario

Angler holding King Salmon caught at Olcott Pier.
Thomas Holycross with king salmon caught
from Olcott west pier on silver Little Cleo.

Not much boating activity on Lake Ontario lately, however nearshore trollers still have opportunity to catch staging king salmon, along with brown trout and steelhead. Areas in proximity to tributary mouths are a good bet, near dawn and dusk. Another option on calmer days is to anchor during low light periods in 15-30 feet of water off tributary mouths, and cast spoons, spinners or stickbaits. Be sure you are outside casting range of pier anglers.

Lake Ontario Tributaries, Harbors and Piers

Recent rains have really got the king salmon run rolling on the Lake Ontario tributaries. Heavy numbers of salmon have moved up to Fisherman's Park on Eighteenmile Creek, and plenty of fish are holding in the mid to lower sections as well. Opportunity for waders, boaters and pier casters alike. Oak Orchard Creek has slightly high flow with a stain and about 2 feet of visibility. Solid numbers of salmon below the dam on the Oak as well. Decent catches of brown trout and steelhead too. There has been great salmon fishing on the Genesee River at the lower falls since Tuesday. The river has been running a little high over past 24 hours, but is fishable and conditions will improve through weekend. Levels are up on the small to medium sized tributaries as well and salmonid catches are on the rise. Johnson, Sandy and Marsh Creeks are also good options for the weekend. Egg sacs, salmon skein, egg pattern flies and streamers are good offerings for migrating salmon. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information.

The harbors and lower, slow moving sections of Eighteenmile Creek, Oak Orchard Creek, Sandy Creek and Genesee River are decent options for trout and salmon. The majority of these sections are only accessible by boat. Trolling with large stickbaits (where possible) or casting stickbaits, spoons and spinners are good bets. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information.

Lower Niagara River

The king salmon bite is still going strong on the lower Niagara River for boaters and shore anglers. Anglers are starting to see the occasional brown trout or steelhead catch as well. Boaters do best by controlled drifting the Devils Hole drift with a three-way rig with cured salmon skein. Shore anglers are catching some salmon in the gorge during low-light periods. Glow spoons, Vibrax spinners, rattle baits or salmon skein fished under a float are typical salmon offerings. Trout and smallmouth bass are also available from shore and can be caught during daylight hours. Lake trout season is now closed, so inadvertently caught lakers should be promptly released. Be aware that the Devils Hole State Park stairs are closed for repair project. Access to the gorge is by the Whirlpool State Park stairs, and the Devils Hole drift shoreline is accessible by the metal stairs at the NYPA fishing platform's lower parking lot. The NYPA fishing platform is open from dawn to dusk. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.

Surplus Broodstock Trout Stocking

DEC Randolph Fish Hatchery are conducting their annual fall stocking of broodstock trout in select Allegany and Cattaraugus County waters. All breeder trout are over 2 years old and are stocked in waters where trout fishing is permitted all year. The following waters have been stocked as of October 19th: Quaker Lake received 550 brown trout (14"-24") and 410 rainbow trout (14"-28"); Case Lake received 400 brook trout (14"-18"), 100 brown trout (14") and 50 rainbow trout (21"-28"); Harwood Lake received 100 brook trout (14"-18") and 100 brown trout (14"); New Albion Lake received 150 brown trout (14") and 75 rainbow trout (14"-21"); Allen Lake received 275 brook trout (14"-18") and 50 brown trout (14"); Genesee River received 150 brown trout (14") and 380 rainbow trout (14"-28"), stocked between Wellsville and the PA line.

Inland Trout Streams

The area trout streams are in great shape with moderate flows. Fall is a good time to fish the inland trout streams, as trout are on the feed and angling pressure is light. The statewide trout season closes on October 15th (Great Lakes tributaries excluded). However, a number inland trout streams are open to trout fishing all year. Check the Special Regulations by County to see which trout streams are open to trout fishing beyond October 15th..

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.