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Western New York Fishing Hotline

June 23 to June 30, 2017

DEC Free Fishing Weekend: On June 24th and 25th, anyone can fish the waters of New York State and no fishing license is required! Since no license is required, its the perfect time to introduce someone to fishing. Anglers must still abide by the New York State fishing regulations during the free fishing weekend.

Lake Ontario

Just like the previous week, Lake Ontario king salmon fishing has been good overall, with a couple of tough days mixed in. Kings are biting well from the Niagara Bar to Oak Orchard. West of Olcott, trollers are targeting king salmon in 175-300 feet of water with spoons, flasher fly combos and meat rigs run 40-100 feet down. Anglers also report catches of coho, steelhead and lake trout. Closer to Oak Orchard, the quality salmon bite starts in 100 feet of water on gear run in the top 60 feet. Salmon are available out to the 300 foot contour as well. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

Lake Ontario Tributaries, Harbors & Piers

At harbor sites, anglers can catch a variety of warmwater fish including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bowfin, yellow perch, rock bass and other sunfish. Near the mouth of Oak Orchard harbor, anglers are catching good numbers of yellow perch. Catches of bass and northern pike have also been reported at the point.

Lower Niagara River

Smallmouth bass are now the top target in the lower river, with boaters picking up bass from Devils Hole down to the mouth of the river. Boaters can target bass by drifting with bottom bouncing rigs with tubes, Kwikfish, crayfish and live shiners or by casting towards shore with jerkbaits, stickbaits and spinners. Lower river anglers may also see catches of white bass, sheepshead and the occasional walleye or trout mixed in. Line-fouling filamentous algae or "moss", is starting to become a problem. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.

Inland Trout Streams

The area's trout streams are in good shape with moderate flows. Surface action is picking up. Sub-surface nymphs are good bets early in the day, while dry flies can be productive in the afternoon. Look for hatches of sulphurs, caddisflies and stoneflies on the streams that have them. 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 between May 23rd and 26th: 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.