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Lake Erie 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 Erie Tributaries

Angler holding brown trout caught on Cattaraugus Creek.
Past April 1st brown trout catch on
Cattaraugus Creek near Arcade.

All of the Lake Erie tributaries, except Cattaraugus Creek are in good fishing shape today. The medium sizes streams have moderate flows with clearing conditions. Cattaraugus Creek is running a bit high and dropping. Without any additional precipitation, the Catt may drop back to fishable levels in a few days. Anglers have been catching mostly darker steelhead with a few fresh fish mixed in. Brown trout have also shown in the Chautauqua County tributaries. Spring run steelhead hit a variety of baits including egg sacs, egg pattern flies, trout beads, jigs with grubs (fished under a float), minnows, nightcrawlers, streamer patterns and bugger patterns.

For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, locations and links to stream maps.

Lake Erie Harbors

Anglers are still catching steelhead and brown trout at Dunkirk Harbor, from the city pier, fishing platform and from boats. There has also been an uptick in brown trout catches at Barcelona Harbor, some around 10 pounds. Minnows or jigs with grubs fished under a float and casted spoons and spinners are good offerings for harbor trout.

Upper Niagara River

Harbor, bay and inlet areas are good places to target yellow perch and sunfish in the upper river, along Grand Island and the Tonawandas. These areas warm quicker than the main river channel, attracting both bait and panfish. Emerald shiners are the top bait for perch and sunfish, but other small minnows and worms will work too. Look for crappie schooling in the backwater areas of Tonawanda Creek, between the confluence with the Erie Canal and the Niagara River. Anglers usually catch some rainbow trout at this time of year from Bird Island Pier and Broderick Park. Target trout by drifting egg sacs and minnows or by casting spoons and spinners.

Chautauqua Lake

The crappie action cooled a bit with the last cold front that moved through. However, this current warming trend should get things rolling again. Good places to target crappie include Rock and Grass Islands, Lakewood Bar, Ashville Bay, along the narrows between the bridge and ferry, Mayville flats and in the canals. Jig heads (1/32 and 1/64 ounce) with one inch tubes in hot colors and tipped with a minnow, are good bets. Search around to find the tight crappie schools. Bullhead are hitting well in the canals and shoreline areas. Worms, leeches or chicken livers fished on the bottom at night, works well for bullhead.

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).

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; mttodd@gw.dec.state.ny.us) or Jim Markham (716-366-0228; jlmarkha@gw.dec.state.ny.us). Good Luck Fishing!

The fishing hotline can also be heard at (716) 679-ERIE or (716) 855-FISH.