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Central New York Fishing Hotline

April 21 - April 28

Tip of the Week: Conditions have been good for picking night crawlers and now is a good time to stock up them while they are easy to get. This can be a fun activity to do with your children, some kids even like it better than fishing.

For information on fishing for trout, please view Fishing for Stream Trout. For information on streams with Public Fishing Rights, please view Public Fishing Rights Maps.

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 (; Oswego County (; and Wayne County ( Oswego and Wayne counties also have a weekly fishing hotline on their web page as well.

April 1st is also the start of the new regulation guide, April 1, 2017-March 31, 2018. You can obtain a copy from a licensing agent.

Trout season started on April 1st. A few sections of area streams, ponds and lakes will have been stocked by Friday April 21th. These streams and lakes are;

  • Broome County - Patterson Pond (April 19), Palmers Pond (April 17), Nanticoke Lake (April 18), Nanticoke 7a (April 19), Finch Hollow Site 1 (Overbrook, April 19), Arctic Lake (April 17), Oquaga Creek (April 12), Chenango Lake (March 30), Dudley Creek (March 29), East Branch Nanticoke Creek (April 12, March 29), and Nanticoke Creek (April 12, March 29).
  • Cayuga county- North Brook (April 14), Owasco Inlet (April 17), Salmon Creek (April 19), and Fall Creek (April 5).
  • Chenango County - Bowman Lake (April 19), Jeffrey Pond (April 19), Mill Brook Reservoir (April 19), Pharsalia Y Pond (April 19), Genegantslet Creek (April 3) and Otselic River (April 4).
  • Cortland County - Casterline Pond (April 18), Little York Lake (April 18), Durkee Pond (April 18), Otselic River (April 4).
  • Madison County-Beaver Creek (April 20), Chenango River (April 19), Limestone Creek (April 20), Stone Mill Brook (April 20), T32 of E. Branch of the Tioughnioga (April 20), Canaseraga Creek (April 12), Canastota Creek (April 12), Chittenango Creek (April 10), Cowaselon Creek (April 12), Old Chenango Canal (April 12), Oneida Creek (April 11), Payne brook (April 12), Otselic River (April 4), and Sangerfield River (April 3).
  • Onondaga County- is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and the stocking list can also be viewed at
  • Tioga County -Catatonk Creek (April 12), Cayuta Creek (April 11), East Branch of Owego Creek (March 28, April 5), Owego Creek (March 29, April 6), and West Branch of Owego Creek (March 29, April 6).
  • Tompkins County - Sixmile Creek (April 14), Virgil creek ( April 18), Enfield Creek (April 5), Virgil Creek (April 5), Buttermilk Creek (March 30), Fall Creek (April 14, March 28), Salmon Creek (April 14, March 28), and Sixmile Creek (March 30).

Region 7

Lake Ontario

When anglers have been able to get out on the lake, they have been getting some brown trout with stickbaits or small spoons. Using planer boards to get the baits away from the boat has also been helping.

Oswego River

The river is still up and is flowing at 19,600 cubic feet per second (cfs) as of 4/20. This high water still makes shore fishing impossible.

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 the same as last week and is flowing at 1,650 cfs as of 4/20. A few anglers have been out fishing in the high water and have been getting some steelhead. Typically, this time of year you are dealing with "drop-back" steelhead. A drop-back is a fish that has spawned and is now working it's way back out to Lake Ontario. 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. Try fishing the above baits either on bottom or under a float.

The Salmon River Fish Hatchery building continues to be closed due to construction. The grounds, including picnic area and fish ladder, are still open dawn to dusk. We anticipate construction to be finished early summer. If you are planning a visit, we suggest calling the Salmon River Fish Hatchery in advance. You can reach the hatchery at 315-298-5051, Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

Cayuga Lake

Though conditions are improving, keep an eye out for debris. Anglers are catching Atlantic salmon and brown trout by trolling on or near the surface with stickbaits or small spoons. The bite has been good at times but also very slow at other times. Some lake trout are being taken by anglers trolling or vertical jigging over a variety depths out to about 140 feet. Look for yellow perch on the north end with small minnows.Tributaries have come down but no word on if anglers are still getting trout.

Skaneateles Lake

The launch is now open and the docks are in. Yellow perch are hitting on the north end using small minnows. Tributaries are down but no word on if any trout are still being taken.

Owasco Lake

Use caution when boating as there is likely to be debris floating around and the tributaries are high and turbid.

Oneida Lake

Anglers are getting yellow perch on small minnows and a few bullheads are starting to be caught. Anglers taking advantage of the catch and release bass season are also starting to have some action. Use caution when boating as there is still debris floating around.

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

No new fishing information to report at this time on these waters and there will likely not be much till after walleye season starts, which starts on May 6th.

Eastern Region 8

A few sections of area streams, ponds and lakes will have been stocked by Friday, April 21. These streams, ponds and lakes are;

  • Chemung County - Eldridge Lake (April 7), Park Station Pond (April 7), Cayuta Creek (April 4), Wyncoop Creek (April 4), Post Creek (March 27), Sing Sing Creek (April 21, March 27), and Newton Creek (March 27).
  • Schuyler County - Cayuta Creek (April 21, April 4).
  • Seneca County - Canoga Creek (March 30).
  • Steuben County - Canisteo River (April 4), Canaseraga Creek (April 3), Post Creek (April 20, March 27), Meads Creek (March 31) and Cohocton River (March 23 and 24).
  • Yates County - Keuka Lake Outlet (April 13)

Lake Ontario

When anglers can make it out they are getting brown trout trolling with stickbaits or small spoons. Using side planers is also recommended to get the baits away from the boat. Casting from the piers with spoons is also producing some trout.

Sodus and Irondequoit Bays

Yellow perch are being taken in the bays on small minnows and a few bullhead are also starting to be caught in the bays.

Keuka, Canandaigua, and Seneca Lakes

Try trolling near the surface with stickbaits or small spoons for Atlantic salmon and brown trout. 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.