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Lake Erie Fishing Hotline

November 25 to December 5, 2014

Lake Erie & Tributaries

Two anglers holding yellow perch caught on Lake Erie.
Anglers enjoying excellent late season
yellow perch action on Lake Erie.

Snowmelt from the unprecedented lake effect snowstorm has all Lake Erie tributaries running high and muddy today, Tuesday, November 25th. Without additional precipitation, look for the Chautauqua County streams to drop back to fishable levels in a couple days. Since Erie County received the heaviest snowfall, it will take longer for those streams to come around. This high water event should draw fresh, silvery steelhead into all creeks.

Lake Erie steelhead commonly hit natural baits like egg sacs and worms, flies such as egg imitations, nymphs, streamers and bugger patterns and lures like minnow-type stickbaits and in-line spinners. 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 Steelhead Diary Cooperator Program: The DEC Lake Erie Fisheries Unit is seeking active Lake Erie tributary anglers to participate in the Diary Cooperator Program. The diary program provides valuable information on angler's fishing trips and helps biologists assess the status of the lake and tributary trout fishery in the New York waters of Lake Erie. For more details or to sign up, contact senior aquatic biologist Jim Markham by phone at 716-366-0228 or email: james.markham@dec.ny.gov.

Upper Niagara River

High winds and muddy runoff will shut down fishing on the river for at least a few days. Hopefully conditions improve enough to give musky anglers another day on the water before the season closes on November 30th. Target musky by drifting along weed edges or over bottom structure with 8-10 inch tube jigs, large stickbaits or large shiners. Trolling around the outer Buffalo Harbor and North Gap can sometimes produce a musky catch.

Broderick Park and Bird Island Pier will be tougher to access for fishing over the foreseeable future, as the Ferry Street Bridge is now closed for repairs. Visitors can only access Squaw island by the bridge at the north end, and then walk the riverside path to Broderick Park. Yellow perch often show in decent numbers along City of Buffalo shore sites in fall. Emerald shiners fished just off the bottom is a good bet. Casting spoons or drifting egg sacs usually produces some rainbow trout catches this time of year, from Bird Island Pier, Broderick Park and the northern tip of Squaw Island.

Chautauqua Lake

The open-lake fishing season is all but over, and most anglers have pulled their boats for the season. However, anglers still have until Sunday to chase muskellunge. Boaters can target musky near weed edges in 8-15 feet of water. Productive methods include trolling large stickbaits or casting large bucktail spinners or stickbaits. Time to get the ice fishing equipment in order.

Surplus Broodstock Trout Stocking

DEC Randolph Fish Hatchery completed their annual fall stocking of broodstock trout in Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties. All breeder trout stocked are over 2 years old and are stocked in waters where trout fishing is permitted year-round. The following waters were stocked: Quaker Lake 100 brown trout (24 inch) and 100 rainbow trout (28 inch); Red House Lake 190 brown trout (18-24 inch); Birch Run Ponds 25 brook trout (18 inch); Case Lake 150 brook trout (14 inch) and 75 rainbow trout (22 inch); Allen Lake 150 brook trout (14 inch) and 75 rainbow trout (22 inch); Harwood Lake 30 rainbow trout (30 inch) and 75 rainbow trout (22 inch); Genesee River (Wellsville to PA border) 100 rainbow trout (14 inch) and 100 rainbow trout (22 inch).

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; michael.todd@dec.ny.gov). Good Luck Fishing!

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