Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Lake Erie Fishing Hotline

November 22 to December 1, 2017

Lake Erie Tributaries

More water and more fish, that seems to be the theme this fall in all Lake Erie tributaries. When stream conditions are good, steelhead anglers are doing very well. Most steelhead have been in the 21-24 inch range, with the occasional bigger fish. With fairly saturated area soils, it doesn't take much rain to rile the creeks. The light rain that swept through last night has all creeks running slightly high and brown today. Levels are peaking now. Some of the smaller streams should be fishable on Thanksgiving Day, and without additional precipitation, all others could be ok by Friday (except Cattaraugus Creek). Tributary steelhead commonly take flies such as egg imitations, nymphs, streamers and wooly buggers. Drift anglers do well with egg sacs, beads and jigs with grubs fished under a float.

There are new resources available for anglers looking for stream conditions. There are now water-stage recorders on Chautauqua, Canadaway, Silver, Walnut, Big Sister and Eighteenmile Creeks. At present, these recorders only measure gage height, which is height of the water in the stream above a reference point. There will be a bit of a learning curve here, to figure out how gage height translates to actual stream flow or condition. See the USGS Water Data for New York webpage for this information. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

Upper Niagara River

Upper river musky anglers have one more week before the season closes after November 30. Unfortunately, windy weather has again left the river with a heavy stain. When waters clear, target musky by casting large stickbaits or by drifting and jigging large (8"-10") tube jigs. Trolling around the outer Buffalo Harbor and breakwall gaps can sometimes produce a musky catch.

Chautauqua Lake

There has been very little angler effort and available information lately. There were recently some vague reports of walleye catches in 40 feet of water. Deeper may be better now, as walleye have been known to congregate around the deeper holes in late fall. Vertical jigging is a good bet. Chautauqua Lake anglers still have one more week to target muskellunge before the season closes after November 30. Trolling or casting along deep weed edges is a good bet with large stickbaits and bucktail spinners.

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.

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) 679-ERIE or (716) 855-FISH.