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Western New York Fishing Hotline

April 29 to May 6, 2016

Lake Ontario and Tributaries

Stocking of steelhead fingerlings in Twelvemile Creek, Niagara County.
Stocking of future Lake Ontario "lunker" trout
and salmon is in full swing.

Reports of spring king salmon catches are just starting to trickle in, with smaller coho salmon mixed in. Typical spring king starting points are in 70-100 feet of water, with spoons and stickbaits run at mid-water depths. The "ledge" or drop-off of the Niagara Bar is usually another good spot to target spring kings and coho. Trollers are still picking up excellent catches of lake trout in 50-100 feet of water on spoons run close to the bottom. Target brown trout inside 20 feet of water on stickbaits run 75 to 100 feet behind planer boards. Try to seek out murky waters or troll along mud lines.

The steelhead run is all but over on the Ontario tributaries. Warmwater species have moved into the streams. Black bass fishing is by catch and release only, artificial lures only until the 3rd Saturday in June. Northern pike season will open on Saturday, May 7th.

Lake Ontario Harbors & Piers

The piers are often good spots to target trout in spring. Casting spoons and spinners, or fishing a live shiner under a float are good offerings for trout. Bullhead are biting in harbor and inlet areas. Nightcrawlers, chicken livers, leeches or dead minnows fished on the bottom work well for bullhead, with better catches often after dark.

Lower Niagara River

Boaters are still catching a mix of steelhead and lake trout, with increasing numbers of smallmouth bass. Shore anglers can target trout from Whirlpool, Devils Hole and Artpark State Parks. The Whirlpool stairs are closed for repairs, so access is from the adjacent Devils Hole State Park. The smelt run has been tapering off and is likely done.

The fishing platform and parking at the base of the NYPA power project is now open. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.

Inland Trout Fishing

The region's inland trout streams are in good shape with moderate to lower and clear flows. light hatches of blue-winged olives and hendricksons are starting on some streams. The majority of action is still below the surface on nymphs. Small streamers or buggers also work. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. If you are a catch-and-release anglers and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook.

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, fishing equipment and techniques.

Spring Trout Stocking

Most of Region 9's trout stocking waters have been stocked. Hatchery staff are now delivering additional stocking increments to the larger and more popular area waters. Anglers can 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 2016 Spring Trout Stocking pages. The following waters will receive an additional stocking increment between 5/2 and 5/6.

Allegany County: Allen Lake (Allen), Dodge Creek (Clarksville). First stocking: Clarksville Town Pond (Clarksville).

Cattaraugus County: Harwood Lake (Farmersville), Bone Run (South Valley), Case Lake (Franklinville), Quaker Lake (Elko), Red House Lake (Red House).

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

Erie County: First stocking: Springville Field & Stream Creek (Concord).

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.