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Western New York Fishing Hotline

April 18 to April 25, 2014

Genesee River Angler Diary Program

The New York State DEC Region 9 Fisheries Office will be running an angler diary program on the Genesee River in Allegany and Wyoming Counties. The program will run from March 1st through October 31st, 2014. This program will cover the portion of the river from the PA line, downstream through Letchworth State Park, and will record data for both trout and bass fishing trips.

If you fish the Genesee River (even once) and would like to keep a diary for DEC please call the Region 9 Fisheries Office at (716) 372-0645 or e-mail fwfish9@gw.dec.state.ny.us. This diary program will be used to evaluate the quality of the fishery and determine future management actions.

Lake Ontario Tributaries

Angler holding steelhead caught from shore on the lower Niagara River
Winter steelhead caught from shore on the
lower Niagara River.

There are plenty of steelhead fishing opportunities this weekend, as all tributaries in Niagara and Orleans Counties are currently fishable. Oak Orchard Creek has slightly high flow with a stain, and 1-2 feet of visibility. Eighteenmile Creek has moderate flow with about 2 feet of visibility. The medium sized streams are in good shape, while the smallest tributaries are running low and clear. The better steelhead and brown trout catches have come from Oak Orchard and Eighteenmile Creeks, however anglers are catching steel in all streams. 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

The brown trout action along the Lake Ontario shoreline has been very good. Trolling over depths of 6 to 15 feet has produced mostly brown trout, with some coho salmon mixed in. Running shallow diving stickbaits off planer boards has worked well. It is best to seek out murky (but not muddy) waters.

Anglers at Wilson and Olcott Piers have reported catches of brown trout, steelhead and the occasional coho salmon. The piers at Route 425 (Wilson), Point Breeze and Genesee River are worth a shot as well. Casting spoons or fishing a minnow under a float are good bets.

With warming and clearing conditions at harbor sites, fishing has improved. Yellow perch have started to show at Wilson Harbor, Oak Orchard, Cranberry Pond and Long Pond. Anglers are catching bullhead in harbor areas, Lake Ontario connected ponds and the lower, slow moving sections of tributaries. Nightcrawlers, chicken livers, leeches or dead minnows fished on the bottom work well for bullhead, with better catches after dark.

Lower Niagara River

Boaters have had to work for trout catches in clearing conditions. The upper and mid-river drifts have produced catches of mostly steelhead with some brown trout and lake trout mixed in. Three-way rigs with minnows, egg sacs or Kwikfish lures works well. Shore anglers can target steelhead, brown trout and lake trout from Artpark, Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks. Drifting egg sacs and minnows (under a float) or casting spoons and spinners are good bets. River water temperatures still hover around 34 degrees Fahrenheit, due to the extensive ice covering that remains on Lake Erie. The smelt run that is usually underway by now, will likely be delayed for another week or so because of the cold water temps. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.

Out on the Niagara Bar, boaters are catching brown trout and lake trout on 3-way rigs with minnows or Kwikfish lures.

Construction projects are causing some access issues for shore anglers. Roadwork continues along the NYPA access road and the stairway to the Devils Hole shoreline remains closed. For project updates call NYPA at 716-796-0135, Ext. 45. Anglers can still access the shoreline by the longer set of stairs at Devils Hole State Park. A project to replace the stairway at Artpark State Park (near lower parking lot) is currently underway. That access point is closed, and will likely not be re-opened until May 2014. The upper trails that lead down to the shoreline are still open, however Portage Rd. and the upper parking lots are closed. Anglers can park in Lot C (near 4th Street entrance) and walk from there.

Inland Trout Fishing

The larger inland trout streams, such as the Genesee River, Cohocton River, East Koy, Cattaraugus and Oatka Creeks are still running a bit high. Another day or two without precipitation and they should be ready. The region's small to medium sized streams are in good fishing shape, going into the weekend. With the cold water temperatures there has not been much surface activity yet. Sub-surface nymphs, such as stoneflies, scuds, pheasant tails and caddisflies are good bets. As waters warm, 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.

Spring Trout Stocking

DEC Hatchery staff have been busy stocking thousands of yearling brown, brook and rainbow trout in western New York. In addition, many of the popular trout streams also receive stockings of two-year-old brown trout that are between 12-15 inches long. 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 2014 Spring Trout Stocking page. The following waters have been stocked by 4/18, *italicized listings will be stocked between 4/21 and 4/25.

Allegany County: Dodge Creek (Clarksville), Clarksville Town Pond (Clarksville), Little Genesee Creek (Bolivar), Genesee River (Wellsville, Amity), Cryder Creek (Independence), Dyke Creek (Andover), Caneadea Creek (Rushford), Black Creek (West Almond), Canaseraga Creek (Burns), California Hollow Brook (Bolivar), Hunt Creek (Alma), Root Creek (Bolivar), Belmont R&G Club Pond (West Almond), Vandermark Creek (Scio, Ward), Chenunda Creek (Willing), Allen Lake (Allen).

Cattaraugus County: Great Valley Creek (Great Valley, Ellicottville), Forks Creek (Great Valley), Wrights Creek (Humphrey), S. Branch Cattaraugus Creek (East Otto), Mansfield Creek (Mansfield), Beaver Meadow Creek (Ellicottville), Connoisarauley Creek (Ashford), Guernsey Run (South Valley), North Branch Sawmill Run (South Valley), Bone Run (South Valley), Little Conewango Creek (Conewango), Paisley Park Pond (Randolph), Bay State Brook (Red House), Quaker Run (Cold Spring), Red House Brook (Red House), Science Lake (Red House), Rice Brook (Carrollton), Paisley Park Pond (Randolph), Elton Creek (Freedom), Haskell Creek (Hinsdale), Five Mile Creek (Allegany), Perrysburg Conservation Club Pond (Dayton), New Albion Lake (New Albion), Birch Run Pond (Allegany), Franklinville Retention Pond (Franklinville), Ischua Creek (Franklinville), Maples Club Pond (Otto), Crandall Pond (Ashford), Case Lake (Franklinville), Harwood Lake (Farmersville), Lake Flavia (Dayton). *Quaker Lake (Elko), Red House Lake (Red House).

Chautauqua County: Goose Creek (N. Harmony, Harmony), Clay Pond (Poland), Bear Lake Outlet (Stockton), Cassadaga Creek (Stockton), West Branch Conewango Creek (Villenova), Farrington Hollow Brook (Cherry Creek), Mill Creek (Gerry), Canadaway Creek (Arkwright).

Erie County: East Branch Cazenovia Creek (Aurora, Holland), Little Buffalo Creek (Lancaster, Marilla), Eighteenmile Creek (Boston Town Park), Cattaraugus Creek (Yorkshire), Como Park Lake (Lancaster), Clarence Main Park Pond (Clarence), Ellicott Creek (Amherst). *Sprague Brook Park Ponds (Concord).

Niagara County: Oppenheim Park Pond (Wheatfield), Hyde Park Lake (Niagara Falls), Gill Creek (Niagara Falls).

Wyoming County: Buffalo Creek (Java), Beaver Meadow Creek (Java), Cattaraugus Creek (Java), Little Tonawanda Creek (Middlebury), Tonawanda Creek (Orangeville), East Koy Creek (Gainesville), Oatka Creek (Warsaw), Perry Park Pond (Perry), Letchworth Park Pond (Perry).

Genesee County: Oatka Creek (Le Roy). *Dewitt Pond (Batavia).

Monroe County: Oatka Creek (Wheatland), Irondequoit Creek (Brighton, Perinton, Pittsford, Penfield).

Livingston County: Little Dansville Creek (Nunda).

Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).

Steuben County: Post Creek (Hornby), Cohocton River (Cohocton, Avoca), Meads Creek (Campbell), Canisteo River (Hornellsville), Bennett Creek (Greenwood), Canaseraga Creek (Dansville).

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@gw.dec.state.ny.us). Good Luck Fishing!

The fishing hotline can also be heard at (716) 855-FISH.