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Central New York Fishing Hotline

January 13 - January 20

Tip of the week: After purchasing new ice flies or jigs, make sure the line tie is clear of paint or epoxy before putting it in your jig box. It will save you some frustration when trying to tie the lure on when you're on the ice. They make special tools for this called jig eye cleaners and some line clippers also have a tool. An old pair of fingernail clippers also works well, as does a simple hook point. With the clippers, just score the paint at the bottom of the eye and then scrape it off with your fingernails.

For information on ice fishing, please view chapter 9: Introduction to Ice Fishing, in our I FISH NY Beginners Guide to Freshwater fishing.

For people visiting the hotline for the first time, and as a reminder to frequent visitors, the hotline is always done the week before. For example, it was done on January 13th this week. Information for the hotline is obtained by talking to employees at bait shops, searching fishing web pages, or directly from anglers. Ice thickness information is obtained the same way; we do not go out and check ice thickness. Remember ice thickness can vary greatly, even on the same water, so use extreme caution and your own good judgment if deciding to venture out. Some safety measures to follow are: use a spud and check ice thickness as you venture out, fish with a buddy, and bring a rope and ice-picks.

Use extra caution this week as the rain and snow melt that took place mid-week has, most likely, enlarged old holes and pressure cracks, and has also likely created gaps between the ice and shoreline.

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.

A number of county web sites offer good information on fishing in the region, 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.

Region 7

Lake Ontario

The lake report is done for the season.

Oswego River

The river is back up after the rain and snow melt we had this week, and it's flowing at 15,200 cubic feet per second (cfs) as of 1/13. This high flow makes shore fishing difficult. Anglers that have been fishing from drift boats are hooking into some brown trout and steelhead.

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 also up from last week and is flowing at 1,500 cfs as of 1/13. Egg sacs have been working for the steelhead either bottom-bounced or fished under a float. Beads, nymphs and pink trout worms are also working at times. Some fresh (fish that have recently entered the river) steelhead have been reported with the higher water. Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries

Oneida Lake

Use extra caution if heading out as the rain and snow melt that took place mid-week has, most likely, enlarged old holes and pressure cracks, and created gaps between the ice and shoreline. Anglers were getting out on Big Bay, but use caution as ice thickness reports continue to vary from 4 to 7 inches depending on locations. Anglers were just starting to get out on portions of the main lake earlier in the week, like Lewis Point, Chapman Park, and Constantia, but no reports of how that ice held up after the mid-week thaw.

Sandy Pond

Use extra caution if heading out as the rain and snow melt that took place mid-week has, most likely, enlarged old holes and pressure cracks, and created gaps between the ice and shoreline. Anglers were getting out on the pond but use caution as ice thickness reports continue to vary, with 5 to 7 inches being reported in spots, along with water and slush on the ice.

Whitney Point Reservoir

There are reports that the rain and snow melt has created a pretty large gap around the shoreline of the reservoir, because of that, no safe ice to report at this time. The Whitney Point Crappie Derby does have an ice conditions page on their web site as well (crappiederby).

Cayuga Lake

No safe ice to report at this time. A reminder that most Finger Lakes tributary fishing ended on December 31st, with the exception of a section of Fall Creek. Please review the Finger Lakes Tributary Regulations for more information. Shore anglers are getting some Atlantic salmon.

Skaneateles Lake

The launch is closed for the season. No safe ice to report. Some rainbow trout are being taken by shore anglers fishing the marshmallow and worm rig.

Otisco Lake

Though anglers were getting out during the first part of the week, after the rain and snow melt we had at mid-week, we are once again reporting no safe ice at this time.

Owasco Lake

No safe ice to report at this time.

Chenango, Tioughnioga and Susquehanna Rivers

Recent rain and snow melt events have the rivers running high and turbid. No new fishing information to report for these waters.

Eastern Region 8

Lake Ontario

There are brown trout and steelhead being taken in some of the tributaries, most streams have a decent flow of water at this time after the rain and snow melt. Egg sacs or egg imitating plastics are usually good bait choices.

Sodus and Irondequoit Bays

Before the mid-week rain and snow melt anglers were starting to get out on Sodus, but no reports of how well this ice held up to the thaw.

Keuka, Canandaigua, and Seneca Lakes

No safe ice and no new information. If anyone would like to contribute 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.