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Western New York Fishing Hotline

May 22 to May 29, 2015

Free Learn to Catch a Fish Clinic: Saturday, May 23rd at Letchworth State Park's Trout Pond and Trailside Lodge from 11AM to 4PM. Enjoy games, activities, educational workshops and FISHING! No fishing license required by event participants. Fishing poles available to borrow or bring your own. Bait provided.

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.

Trollers continue to see good trout and salmon action from the Niagara Bar to Golden Hill State Park. King salmon (chinook salmon) are the main target, and anglers report good catches in 70-150 feet of water. Catches consist of mostly 13-19 pound kings with the occasional fish over 20 pounds, with steelhead and lake trout mixed in. Fish are scattered throughout the water column, so staggering lures at multiple depths is a choice idea. Spoons have been the top producer, but flasher-fly combos will also catch fish. If you want to target lake trout, run spoons near the bottom and you will have no problem catching them. For king salmon on the Niagara Bar, concentrate efforts along the drop-off. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

The steelhead run is over on the Ontario tributaries. Fishing is now for a mix of smallmouth bass, northern pike and panfish. Keep in mind that bass fishing is by catch and release only, artificial lures only, until the regular season opens on 3rd Saturday in June.

Lake Ontario Harbors & Piers

Brown trout and coho salmon are still available at pier sites. Fishing during low light periods or when waters are murky green, will improve your catch odds. Spoons, spinners and a minnow under a float are good pier offerings.

Lower Niagara River

Steelhead numbers are tapering off, but they are still available in the upper drifts. Boaters targeting steelhead are also catching some smallmouth bass and walleye. Target steelhead with a three-way bottom bouncing rig with live minnows or egg sacs. Good numbers of smallmouth bass have moved into the river, and catches are best in the lower section of the river. White bass and yellow perch generally start to show up in the river at this time of year as well. This year's smelt run never really materialized, with very light catches on the best nights. Now that river temperatures are over 50 degrees, its unlikely that any more will show. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.

Inland Trout Fishing

The region's trout streams are great fishing shape for the holiday weekend. There are plenty of fly hatches happening, including caddisflies, March browns, grey fox and sulphurs. Fly anglers do well with the appropriate imitation dry flies in the afternoon or sub-surface nymphs early in the day. 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 received an additional trout stocking between 5/18 and 5/22:

Cattaraugus County: Red House Brook (Red House), Quaker Run (Cold Spring), County Ponds A&B (Randolph).

Wyoming County: Cattaraugus Creek (Java), Oatka Creek (Warsaw), Letchworth Park Pond (Genesee Falls).

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.