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Lake Erie Fishing Hotline

March 27 to April 3, 2015

Attention Anglers: Walleye, northern pike, pickerel and tiger muskellunge seasons are now closed (will re-open on first Saturday of May).

Lake Erie Tributaries

Angler holding steelhead caught from Canadaway Creek.
Steelhead caught from Canadaway Creek.

Rain showers brought all Lake Erie tributary flows up to high and stained. Levels peaked overnight and are now falling. Some of the smaller streams may be an option later this weekend. The latest high water event should clear remaining ice from creek mouths. Earlier this week, anglers were catching some fresh steelhead in Silver, Walnut, Eighteenmile and Big Sister Creeks. Spring run steelhead hit a variety of baits including egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads, jigs with grubs, minnows, nightcrawlers, streamer patterns and bugger patterns. When fishing murky conditions, brightly colored baits and flies are good bets. 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.

Dunkirk Harbor

Anglers have been catching a few trout from the city pier and DEC fishing platform, but fishing has been slow for most. Spoons, spinners, jigs, live minnows and egg sacs are good trout offerings.

Chautauqua Lake

The main ice sheet is still about 10-12 inches of mixed ice (white and black). Be very cautious near shore as those areas are deteriorating fast. Areas off stream mouths are opening up, so keep a safe distance. Anglers continue to see good yellow perch catches around the north basin at depths of 25-40 feet. Nice sized perch of 8-10 inches have been found at sites off Long Point, Midway, Vikings, Prendergast and the Bell Tower. Small minnows have worked best. If you are catching mostly small perch, a short move can make the difference.

Inland Trout Fishing

Most, if not all of the area's inland trout streams are currently running on the higher side. Without additional significant precipitation, there should be fishable options when the traditional trout season kicks off on Wednesday, April 1st. Some streams are open to trout fishing all year, by catch and release only during the period before April 1st. Check the Special Regulations by County to find trout streams that are open to fishing now. All other inland trout waters will open for trout fishing on April 1st.

Spring Trout Stocking

DEC Fish Hatchery staff have been stocking trout in preparation for the traditional April 1st trout opener. Thousands of yearling brown, brook and rainbow trout will be stocked in over 80 different streams, lakes and ponds in the region. In addition, many of the popular trout streams and lakes will also received generous 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 2015 Spring Trout Stocking page. Public Fishing Rights Maps showing public access on many trout streams are available for printing. The following waters will be stocked prior to April 1st:

Allegany County: Dodge Creek (Clarksville), Clarksville Town Pond (Clarksville), Genesee River (Wellsville, Amity), Little Genesee Creek (Bolivar).

Cattaraugus County: Forks Creek (Great Valley), Great Valley Creek (Great Valley, Ellicottville), Wrights Creek (Humphrey), S. Branch Cattaraugus Creek (East Otto), Mansfield Creek (Mansfield), Beaver Meadow Creek (Ellicottville), Connoisarauley Creek (Ashford), Bone Run (South Valley), Guernsey Run (South Valley), North Branch Sawmill 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).

Chautauqua County: Goose Creek (Harmony, N. Harmony).

Erie County: Eighteenmile Creek (Boston Town Park), Little Buffalo Creek (Lancaster, Marilla), East Branch Cazenovia Creek (Aurora, Holland).

Wyoming County: Buffalo Creek (Java), Beaver Meadow Creek (Java), Cattaraugus Creek (Java), Little Tonawanda Creek (Middlebury), Tonawanda Creek (Orangeville), East Koy Creek (Gainesville).

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

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