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Western New York Fishing Hotline

October 21 to October 28, 2016

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 large king salmon caught from Lake Ontario.
Staging king salmon caught off Olcott Beach
on a Dreamweaver trolling plug.

There have been no recent reports, however nearshore trollers still have opportunity to catch brown trout, steelhead and king salmon. Areas in proximity to tributary and harbor mouths are your best bet, near dawn and dusk.

Lake Ontario Tributaries, Harbors & Piers

Anglers have been catching king salmon on Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks for over a week, however fishing has greatly improved since rainstorms moved in yesterday. Eighteenmile Creek has improved flow and a little color today. As a result, anglers are catching good numbers of king salmon, along with decent numbers of brown trout mixed in. Oak Orchard Creek has also seen a bump in flow. Good numbers of king salmon are in the section below the dam. Kings are also holding in the swifter section along with brown trout and steelhead. There is heavy angling pressure on the Oak and Eighteenmile. This rain event will surely kick start the salmon and trout runs on Johnson, Marsh and Sandy Creeks. Depending on total rainfall amounts, there may also be salmon movement into small streams like Fourmile, Twelvemile and East Branch Twelvemile Creeks. Egg sacs, salmon skein, egg pattern flies and streamers are good offerings for migrating salmon and trout. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps.

Boaters still have good opportunity to catch kings and trout that are holding in the lower, slack water sections of Eighteenmile Creek and Oak Orchard Creek. Trolling with stickbaits (where possible) or casting and retrieving stickbaits are good methods. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest.

Lower Niagara River

The peak of the king salmon run on the lower river has passed. However, there are still some salmon available in the Devils Hole drift, and a lot less boat traffic to deal with. Controlled drifting with three-way bottom bouncing rigs and cured salmon skein is the top technique. Keep in mind that conditions are challenging in the Devils Hole drift, and only the most experienced boaters should attempt to fish there. Lower river water temperature is still a bit high for a major influx of trout. In the meantime, fishing is for remaining kings, the occasional trout and warmwater species like walleye and smallmouth bass. Keep in mind that lake trout season is closed, all lakers must be promptly released.

Shore anglers at Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks are still catching some fresh king salmon. Large casting spoons, Vibrax spinners, rattle baits and cured salmon skein are good salmon offerings. Anglers at the NYPA fishing platform are also picking up some salmon, along with the occasional brown trout. In addition, live bait fished on the bottom has produced decent catches of white bass. Another spot where shore anglers can now fish within the gorge is at the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center. An elevator, running between 7:30 AM and 5:00 PM (through 10/31), takes anglers (and other pedestrians) to the base of the old Schoellkopf Power Plant site. There is no formal fishing access, however there are a few spots where anglers can get to the shoreline. Fishing here is at your own risk. 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 stocked 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 13th: Case Lake received 300 brown trout (15"-26") and 25 rainbow trout (28"); Quaker Lake received 150 brown trout (21"-26") and 200 rainbow trout (15"); Red House Lake received 250 brown trout (15"-26"); Allen Lake received 200 brook trout (15"-20"), 50 brown trout (15") and 25 rainbow trout (21"); Genesee River received 150 brown trout (15"-26") and 325 rainbow trout (15"-28").

Inland Trout Fishing

All inland streams are on the rise an likely unfishable at present. When conditions permit, the inland trout streams are a good option for solitude in the fall. The statewide trout season closes on October 15 (Great Lakes tributaries excluded). However, a number of inland streams are open to trout fishing all year. Check the Special Regulations by County to see what streams are open to trout fishing beyond October 15.

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.