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Central New York Fishing Hotline

April 29 - May 13

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.

Tip of the week: Walleye, northern pike, pickerel and tiger musky season starts on Saturday, May 7th. For information on walleye fishing please view Fishing for Walleye.

Fishing licenses are now good for 365 days, check to make sure your license is still valid before heading out on the water! April 1st is also the start of the new regulation guide, April 1, 2016 - March 31, 2017. You can obtain a copy from a licensing agent or it can be viewed online at Freshwater Fishing Guide.

A few sections of area streams, ponds and lakes will have been stocked by Friday April 29th. These streams and lakes are;

Broome County - Arctic Lake (April 18), Greenwood Lake (April 19), Finch Hollow Site 1 (April 20), Little Choconut 2e (April 20), Nanticoke 7a (April 20), Nanticoke Lake (April 20), Palmers Pond (April 18), Patterson Pond #1 (April 20), Oquaga Creek (April 11), Chenango Lake (April 21, March 30), Dudley Creek (March 29), East Branch Nanticoke Creek (April 29, April 13, March 29), and Nanticoke Creek (April 29, April 13, March 29).

Cayuga County - Owasco Inlet (April 18), Salmon Creek (April 19), Fall Creek (April 6) and North Brook (April 7).

Chenango County - Bowman Lake (April 18), Jeffrey Pond (April 18), Mill Brook Reservoir (April 18), Pharsalia Y Pond (April 18, Guilford Lake (April 14), Genegantslet Creek (April 26, March 29) and the Otselic River (March 30).

Cortland County - Casterline Pond (April 21), East Branch of the Tioughnioga River (April 5), West Branch of the Tioughnioga (April 5), Little York Lake (April 21, April 5), Merril Creek (April 5), and the Otselic River (March 30).

Madison County - Canaseraga Creek (April 7), Canastota Creek (April 7), Chittenango Creek (April 4), Cowaselon Creek (April 7), Old Chenango Canal (April 7), Payne Brook (April 7), Beaver Creek (March 28), Chenango River (April 1), Limestone Creek (March 28), Oneida Creek (March 31), Otselic River (March 30), Sangerfield River (March 25) and Stone Mill Brook (March 28).

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. By Friday April 29th, the following waters should be stocked; Onondaga Creek, Spruce Pond, Limestone Creek, Green Lakes, Pools Brook, Spafford Brook, Ninemile Creek, Butternut Creek, Fabius Brook, Carpenters Brook, Skaneateles Creek, Furnace Brook and Geddes Brook.

Oswego County - North Branch Salmon River (April 20), Salmon River (April 20), Redfield Sportsmen's Pond (April 20), Black Creek (April 5), Rice Creek (April 5) and West Branch of Fish Creek (April 5).

Tioga County -Catatonk Creek (April 14), Cayuta Creek (April 12), East Branch of Owego Creek (March 28, April 6), Owego Creek (March 29, April 7), and West Branch of Owego Creek (March 29, April 7).

Tompkins County - Enfield Creek (April 6), Trib. 4 of Enfield Creek (April 6), Virgil Creek (April 20, April 6), Buttermilk Creek (March 30), Fall Creek (April 15, March 28), Salmon Creek (April 15, March 28), and Sixmile Creek (April 20, March 30).

For more information on trout fishing please view Fishing for Stream Trout.

Region 7

Lake Ontario

Brown trout are still being taken in 10 to 25 foot of water on stickbaits or spoons. Natural colors have been working but so have bright colors, so don't be afraid to experiment. Using side planers is also recommended for these shallow water trout, especially on calm bright days, as is fishing early in the morning.

Oswego River

The river is about the same as last week and is currently at 3,840 cubic feet per second (cfs) as of 4/29. Anglers are still getting a few brown trout and steelhead with egg sacs, beads, pink trout worms or jigs all working. Bullhead are being taken around Wrights Landing.

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.

Salmon River

The river flow is down from last week, and it's at 350 cfs as of 4/29. Activity has spread out some on the river as anglers pursue "drop-back" steelhead. Often these "drop-back" fish are very hungry from the rigors of spawning and can offer some exciting action when they hit a bait. Try salmon egg sacs with blue, pink or chartreuse mesh, pink trout worms, single egg pattern flies, or a good old night crawler often works well this time of year as well. Bottom bouncing or float fishing all these baits has been working depending on the day. Covering water is often the key this time of year.

Oneida Lake

Fishing has picked up in the bays for bluegills and pumpkinseeds, with worms working well. Yellow perch fishing has slowed down, but some are still being taken on small minnows or worms. Black crappie fishing has just started to pick up in the shallows with jigs, worms, and minnows working. Bullhead fishing has been slow overall, but a few anglers are getting them at times. smallmouth bass are being found in 5 to 10 foot of water on crankbaits. As gobies become more abundant in the lake, it may be necessary to adjust your fishing style to avoid the bait stealing gobies. Sometimes just fishing worms 1.5-2 feet off bottom, instead of right on bottom, can help avoid some of the gobies.

Cayuga Lake

Trolling stickbaits on the south end is still producing some brown trout and Atlantic salmon. Watch for debris when trolling, as there is usually some around this time of year. Lake trout are being found in 120 to 150 foot of water. Yellow perch are being found on the north end with small minnows or jigs working. A reminder that on Finger Lakes tributaries fishing is from sunrise to sunset from April 1 through May 15. Please view Finger Lakes Tributary Regulations.

Skaneateles Lake

The state launch is open and the docks are in. Yellow perch fishing has been hit or miss. On some days anglers are seeing perch but the perch are being very tight lipped and difficult to catch. Carry a variety of baits, and keep trying different ones till you find what they want that particular day.

Owasco Lake

Look for lake trout in 150 foot of water, and try the north or south ends for yellow perch.

Otisco Lake

Anglers taking advantage of the catch and release bass season are getting a few smallmouth bass on football jigs. Some suggested spots to try would be the north end for bluegills and south of the causeway for white crappie.

Sandy Pond

Anglers are starting to get a few yellow perch and crappies on the pond. No word on the bullhead bite, but that too should be picking up.

Whitney Point Reservoir

The Dorchester docks are now in. Look for bullhead and catfish on the north end or off Keibel Road, night crawlers are always a good choice. Try minnows or small jigs around woody structure near shore for crappies.

Chenango, Tioughnioga and Susquehanna Rivers

No new fishing information to report this week, and there will probably not be any until after May 7th when walleye season starts.

Just a reminder that there are a few sections on the Susquehanna River and Tioughnioga River that are closed to ALL fishing until the walleye season opener. Please review page 38 in your Freshwater Fishing Guide or Special Regulations for Broome County.

Eastern Region 8

Special Permit Allows Increased Fish Harvest at NYSDEC Avon Office Pond

Pond maintenance is planned to begin May 2 at the DEC Region 8 headquarters. This work will require lowering of the water level. Although steps will be taken to avoid fish mortality, fish kills are possible.

To reduce potential fish kills, effective April 18, 2016, until further notice - Black bass, Yellow perch, Crappie, Sunfish, and Bullhead may be taken by rod and reel, for human consumption only, in any number and at any size from the DEC Region 8 Office Pond. A special permit is required to harvest fish in excess of the Statewide Regulations or during the closed season. Special permits are available at the DEC Region 8 front desk Mon-Fri, 8:30 AM - 4:45 PM.

Permittees must have a valid fishing license or meet the requirements for not needing a license.
Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) 11-0517(2) gives DEC authority to allow removal of fish by rod and reel from a water body when a loss of fish is anticipated.

A few sections of area streams, ponds and lakes will have been stocked by Friday April 22cnd. These streams and lakes are;

Chemung County - Eldridge Lake (April 8), Park Station Pond (April 8), Post Creek (March 21), Sing Sing Creek (April 28, March 21), Newton Creek (March 21), Cayuta Creek (April 25, March 22), and Wyncoop Creek (March 23).

Schuyler County - Cayuta Creek (April 22).

Steuben County - Canisteo River (April 4), Bennett Creek (April 4), Canaseraga Creek (April 27, April 5), Post Creek (April 28, March 21), Meads Creek (March 31) and Cohocton River (April 26, March 25).

Yates County - Keuka Lake Outlet (April 21).

Lake Ontario

Brown trout are being taken in 10 to 20 foot of water with both stickbaits and spoons working. Natural colors have been working but so have bright colors, so don't be afraid to experiment. Using side planers is also recommended for these shallow water trout, especially on calm bright days. Lake trout are being found in 50 to 100 foot of water.

Sodus and Irondequoit Bay

Casting spoons off the pier at Sodus is still producing some steelhead and brown trout. Look for yellow perch in the bays with small minnows.

Seneca Lake

Some lake trout are being taken in 90 to 120 foot of water. Look for Atlantic salmon near the surface with stickbaits, spoons or streamers. If anyone would like to contribute please use the fwfish7 email link below. A reminder that on Finger Lakes tributaries fishing is from sunrise to sunset from April 1 through May 15.

Keuka Lake

Anglers trolling stickbaits with side planers are getting some fish just below the surface, stickbaits fished off downriggers are also producing lake trout down to about 105 foot. If anyone would like to contribute, or recommend some tackle shops to call for information, please use the fwfish7 email link below . A reminder that on Finger Lakes tributaries fishing is from sunrise to sunset from April 1 through May 15.

Canandaigua Lake

No new information to report. A reminder that on Finger Lakes tributaries fishing is from sunrise to sunset from April 1 through May 15.
If anyone would like to contribute, or recommend some tackle shops to call for information, please use the fwfish7 email link below.

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 fwfish7@dec.ny.gov. 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 fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.

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 fwfish7@dec.ny.gov. Good luck fishing.

The fishing line can also be heard at (607) 753-1551.