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Western New York Fishing Hotline

November 10 to November 17, 2017

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.

Angler holding King Salmon caught at Olcott Pier.
Thomas Holycross with king salmon caught
from Olcott west pier on silver Little Cleo.

Lake Ontario Tributaries, Harbors and Piers

There are some salmon still hanging around the Lake Ontario tributaries, however trout are now the predominant catch. Eighteenmile Creek has slightly lower flow and about 2 feet of visibility. Anglers at Fisherman's Park report good catches of brown trout and steelhead. Oak Orchard Creek has had consistently higher, but fishable flow this fall. Currently the Oak is slightly high with about a foot of visibility. Oak anglers are seeing decent catches of large brown trout, steelhead and the occasional fresh coho salmon. High flows at mid-week on the freestone streams have subsided, giving anglers more options for the weekend. Creeks such as Johnson, Sandy and Marsh Creeks have moderate and murky flows, with trout scattered throughout their reaches. Some of the other smaller tribs are worth a look as well. Egg sacs, single eggs, trout beads and egg pattern flies are good trout offerings. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information.

When weather permits, there is still opportunity to target trout from the piers at major tributary mouths. Casting spoons and spinners works well. Yellow perch are showing in good numbers in the lower section of Oak Orchard Creek. Small minnows work well.

Lower Niagara River

Due to high wind and wave action on Lake Erie, lower river waters are heavily stained today. It will take at least a couple days for waters to settle out (without additional wind). Previously, drifters were doing well in the Devils Hole and Artpark Drifts for a mix of trout and the occasional late salmon. Steelhead are now the top target, but catches also include plenty of lake trout. Keep in mind that lake trout season is closed until January 1st, so all incidentally caught lakers should be quickly released. Three-way bottom bouncing rigs with Kwikfish lures, egg sacs or live shiners work well for trout. Shore anglers entice trout bites with egg sacs, egg pattern flies, shiners, jigs with plastics, spoons and spinners.

Be aware that the Devils Hole State Park stairs are closed for repair project. Access to the gorge is by the Whirlpool State Park stairs, and the Devils Hole drift shoreline is accessible by the metal stairs at the NYPA fishing platform's lower parking lot. The NYPA fishing platform is open from dawn to dusk until December 1st, or the onset of ice and snow. 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 has completed their annual fall stocking of broodstock trout in select Allegany and Cattaraugus County waters. All breeder trout are over 2 years old and are stocked in waters where trout fishing is permitted all year. The following waters were stocked in mid-October: Quaker Lake received 550 brown trout (14"-24") and 410 rainbow trout (14"-28"); Case Lake received 400 brook trout (14"-18"), 100 brown trout (14") and 50 rainbow trout (21"-28"); Harwood Lake received 100 brook trout (14"-18") and 100 brown trout (14"); New Albion Lake received 150 brown trout (14") and 75 rainbow trout (14"-21"); Allen Lake received 275 brook trout (14"-18") and 50 brown trout (14"); Genesee River received 150 brown trout (14") and 380 rainbow trout (14"-28"), stocked between Wellsville and the PA line.

Inland Trout Streams

Fall is a good time to fish the inland trout streams, as trout are on the feed and angling pressure is light. The statewide trout season closed on October 15th (Great Lakes tributaries excluded). However, a number inland trout streams are open to trout fishing all year. Check the Special Regulations by County to see which trout streams are open to trout fishing beyond October 15th.

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.