Central New York Fishing Hotline
March 27 - April 3
The DEC Bureau of Fisheries annual report highlights many of the findings and accomplishments of activities and efforts carried out by Bureau of Fisheries staff. The reports are not inclusive of all Bureau staff activities conducted during a given year.
A number of County web sites offer good information on fishing in the area, including bait shops, guides, etc. A few examples are: Onondaga County (fishonondagacounty.com); Oswego County (visitoswegocounty.com); and Wayne County (waynecountytourism.com). Oswego and Wayne counties also have a weekly fishing hotline on their web page as well.
As a reminder, this will be the first year with April 1st as the start of the new Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide (April 1, 2015-March 31, 2016, this new guide has a picture of an angler holding a musky on the cover). The new guide should be available at any location that fishing licenses are sold. It will also be available to view on (or around) April 1st at, Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide.
Tip of the week: With the current weather conditions it sure doesn't feel like spring, but trout season starts on April 1st. because of the snow, accessing many of the waters may be tricky and the water temperatures will be running cold. Fishing slowly, in the deeper pools will probably be a good starting point for most if the streams. On the Finger Lakes tributaries though, there should be rainbow spawning activity taking place in the riffles. For information on trout fishing please view the following links: Stream Trout Fishing, Public Fishing Rights Brochures, and the 2015 Trout Stocking list.
Trout season starts Wednesday, April 1st. Conditions permitting, a few sections of area streams and lakes will have been stocked by the opener. These streams and lakes are;
Broome County - Dudley Creek, Nanticoke Creek, and East Branch Nanticoke Creek.
Onondaga County- is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com. As of Friday March 27, the following streams have been stocked. Onondaga Creek, W Br. Onondaga Creek, Tannery Creek, Ninemile Creek, Butternut Creek, Fabius Brook, Pools Brook, Carpenters Brook, Skaneateles Creek and Geddes Brook.
Tioga County - East Branch of Owego Creek, Owego Creek, and West Branch of Owego Creek.
Tompkins County - Buttermilk Creek, Salmon Creek, Fall Creek and Sixmile Creek.
Lake report has not started for the season.
The river is about the same as last week and is flowing at 8,990 cubic feet per second (cfs) as of 03/27. This higher flow makes shore fishing more challenging but usually helps the drift boat anglers. Steelhead action has picked up with the "warmer" conditions and more anglers have been getting out. Good baits have been egg sacs, trout beads, and pink trout worms.
Remember, the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are mandatory personal flotation device (PFD) zones on the river. Visit Oswego County Tourism web site for more information on this and also for information on the life jacket loaner programs in the area.
The flow is the same as last week and is 350 cfs as of 03/27. With the "warmer" temperatures a few more anglers have been out, with activity taking place from the mid-to-upper river. There are reports of some "fresh" steelhead being taken with eggs sacs (blue or pink mesh), trout beads and pink trout worms working. A "fresh" fish is one that has recently entered the river. A reminder that the Upper Fly area opens on April 1st.
Oneida Lake, Sandy Pond, Otisco Lake and Whitney Point Reservoir
Anglers are still getting out on the ice. Walking conditions had improved on the ice but that may change with the warmer weather predicted for next week. Be prepared with cleats, spikes, etc. as spots where the snow has melted off are very slick. Watch out for areas of flowing water with the recent thaw, like stream/river mouths, culverts, etc. Also be careful along shore as there are spots where the shore ice has deteriorated from the thaw/rain last weekend.
Cayuga, Owasco and Skaneateles Lakes
There is still ice on the lakes, with Skaneateles and Owasco being completely frozen over. With the prolonged cold conditions, there should be rainbow trout spawning activity taking place in the tributaries, along with fish holding preparing to spawn. Good baits are typically egg sacs, streamers, egg imitating flies and good old night crawlers. Remember Finger Lakes tributary fishing begins at sunrise on April 1st, for more information please view the Finger Lakes Tributary Regulations.
Eastern Region 8
Tributaries are thawing out so steelhead fishing should be picking up. Streams, like Maxwell, are becoming ice free but are running high so be prepared to deal with higher water.
Seneca, Canandaigua and Keuka Lake
Canandaigua and Keuka are still iced over. With the prolonged cold conditions, there should still be rainbow trout spawning activity taking place in the tributaries, along with fish holding preparing to spawn. Good baits are typically egg sacs, streamers, egg imitating flies and good old night crawlers. Remember Finger Lakes tributary fishing begins at sunrise on April 1st, for more information please view the Finger Lakes Tributary Regulations.
Sodus and Irondequoit Bays
There is still ice on the bays. Watch out for areas of flowing water with the recent thaw, like stream/river mouths, culverts, etc. There is open water on some areas of Irondequoit Bay as well.
Note: We are always looking for new participants in our Angler Diary Cooperator Program for our program on the Finger Lakes. Our numbers have dropped in recent years, and we need new cooperators now more than ever. If you fish Cayuga Lake, Owasco Lake, Skaneateles Lake, Otisco Lake or any of their tributaries and want to learn more about this program and how to sign up, please contact the Region 7 Fisheries office at (607) 753-3095 ext. 213, or on-line at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you fish Canadice Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Conesus Lake, Hemlock Lake, Honeoye Lake, Keuka Lake or Seneca Lake and want to learn more about this program and how to sign up, please contact the Region 8 Fisheries office at (585) 226-5343, or on-line at email@example.com.
If you would like to contribute to the fishing report, or need more fishing information, or have any fishing/fishing equipment related questions, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck fishing.
The fishing line can also be heard at (607) 753-1551.