Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Central New York Fishing Hotline

December 15 - December 22

We are in that in-between period, when we are awaiting safe ice so there is little to report at this time. With the cold weather in the forecast it shouldn't be to long though.

A reminder that from Nov 1 to May 1, all persons aboard a pleasure vessel less than 21 feet must wear a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) while underway. For more information on boating regulations please view the NYS Boater's Guide. A link can be found in the right hand column under Links Leaving the DEC Website.

Also, as a word of warning, all of the dock structures at the DEC boat launches have been removed. So, please plan accordingly.

April 1st was the start of the new Freshwater Fishing Regulation Guide: April 1, 2017 - March 31, 2018. You can obtain a copy from a licensing agent or view it at Summary of Freshwater Fishing Regulations.

Region 7

Lake Ontario

The Lake Ontario fishing report is done for the season.

Oswego River

The river is running at 3,350 cubic feet per second (cfs) as of 12/14. This area has been right in the middle of the lake-effect snow band so be prepared to deal with snow. Anglers getting out in drift boats are catching mainly steelhead, only a few brown trout are being caught at this time. For information on steelhead fishing please view the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tribs link found below in the Salmon River report.

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

This river flow is at 1,500 cfs as of 12/14. This area has also been in the snow band. Steelhead fishing continues to be good and fish are being taken on egg imitating flies, plastics or real egg sacs with blue, chartreuse or pink mesh. Fish are being taken mainly in the upper river at this time. For information on steelhead fishing please view Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries.

Cayuga Lake

Atlantic salmon and brown trout fishing has been good in the tributaries. Just a reminder that Finger Lakes tributary fishing is from sunrise to sunset this time of year, angling is prohibited between sunset and sunrise.

Skaneateles Lake

The DEC launch has been closed for the season.

Oneida lake, Owasco Lake, Otisco Lake, Whitney Point Reservoir, Sandy Pond, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Susquehanna Rivers

No new information to report for these waters at this time. If anyone would like to contribute to the next hotline, please use the fwfish7 email link below to report fishing activity.

Eastern Region 8

Lake Ontario

Steelhead and brown trout are being taken in the tributaries on egg sacs, beads or egg imitating plastics.

Sodus and Irondequoit Bays

Just waiting for ice to form at this time, so there is nothing new to report this week.

Seneca, Keuka and Canandaigua Lakes

No new information to report. If anyone would like to contribute to the hotline or if they have a good recommendation for a contact (baitshop, etc.), please use the fwfish7 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

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

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 Good luck fishing.

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