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Western New York Fishing Hotline

April 24 to May 1, 2015

Lake Ontario and Tributaries

Angler holding 32 inch steelhead caught and released on Oak Orchard Creek.
Beautiful 32 inch steelhead caught and released
(fly rod) on Oak Orchard Creek.

The nearshore zone offers good prospects for brown trout and lake trout. Trolling inside 30 feet of water with spoons and stickbaits is a good bet for brown trout and the occasional coho salmon. Murky water is better. If waters are clear, concentrate efforts closer to 30 feet. Lake trout action has been very good at depths of 30-60 feet. Trolling with spoons run near the bottom works well. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

There are still steelhead available in the Lake Ontario tributaries, with better concentrations below the dams at Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks. Those creeks have moderate flows with about 2-3 feet of visibility. The smaller streams have moderate to lower, clear flows. The steelhead run is winding down in the smaller creeks. Anglers see mostly spawning or drop-back steelhead with lots of suckers. 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.

Lake Ontario Harbors & Piers

Warmer harbor outflows are drawing in baitfish, with trout and salmon on their tails. Anglers see a decent salmonid bite on overcast days. Casting spoons and spinners produce catches of brown trout, steelhead, coho salmon and the rare Atlantic salmon mixed in. Fishing a minnow under a float can also be productive. Target trout and salmon from the piers at Wilson, Olcott, Sandy Creek, Point Breeze and the Genesee River.

Bullhead are still available in harbors, inlets, low-slow moving sections of tributaries and the connected ponds out near Rochester. Some good recent action was reported in the West Branch Twelvemile Creek Harbor and Golden Hill State Park. Nightcrawlers, chicken livers, leeches or dead minnows fished on the bottom work well for bullhead, with better catches after dark. Yellow perch are showing in good numbers at Wilson Harbor.

Lower Niagara River

Lower river anglers are still catching some steelhead, but action has slowed down lately. Some smallmouth bass have recently been caught by steelhead anglers as well. Boaters can target steelhead in the Devils Hole and Artpark Drifts, and shore anglers work the state parks' shorelines. Dippers are anxiously waiting on the start of the smelt run. There has not been any confirmed catches yet. However, with water temperatures climbing into the upper 30s, the smelt run could start any night now.

The New York Power Authority has announced that the fishing platform at the base of the power plant is open for the season as of Monday, April 6th. For information on the fishing pier call 716-796-0135, extension 45. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.

Inland Trout Fishing

Most of the inland trout streams are in good shape. Some of the larger streams may be a little high and off color. Waters are slowly starting to warm, but there still is not much surface activity yet. Sub-surface nymphs, such as stoneflies and pheasant tails are good bets. In the coming weeks, look for hatches of blue-winged olives and hendricksons to start up. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is a 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 area'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

DEC Fish Hatchery staff have stocked thousands of yearling brown, brook and rainbow trout throughout western New York, as well as two-year-old brown trout in many waters. All of the region's trout stocked waters have now received at least one stocking increment. For County lists of stocked waters and numbers of trout stocked, check the 2015 Spring Trout Stocking page. Hatchery staff are now stocking select waters with additional stocking increments. Call the Randolph Hatchery Fish Stocking Hotline at (716) 358-4950 or check back here for weekly stocking updates. The following waters will receive an additional trout stocking between 4/27 and 5/1:

Allegany County: Genesee River (Wellsville, Amity).

Cattaraugus County: Harwood Lake (Franklinville).

Erie County: East Branch Cazenovia Creek (Aurora, Holland), Cattaraugus Creek (Yorkshire).

Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).

Steuben County: Post Creek (Hornby).

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.