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Additional information can be found at DEC's Language Assistance Page.

Central New York Fishing Hotline

February 5 - February 12

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 February 5th 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.

A reminder that from Nov 1 to May 1, all persons regardless of age, 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's Website.

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: Same as last weeks, but with the rain and warm weather over the last week thought I would reuse it. Be extra careful around the shoreline and areas of flowing water as the ice in these areas tend to weaken first. Also, be careful around old holes or cracks in the ice as they have most likely expanded from all the water on the ice.

Free Ice Fishing Weekend: President's Day weekend (February 13-14, 2016) will be a free ice fishing weekend to encourage more New Yorkers to try Ice fishing while many are on winter recess. Residents and visitors age 16 and older will be able to fish the waters of New York State without a license, providing a great opportunity for people to learn about this popular sport.

Region 7

Lake Ontario

The lake report is done for the year.

Oswego River

The river is currently at 11,100 cubic feet per second (cfs) as of 2/05. Shore fishing becomes more difficult at this flow. Anglers are getting steelhead and brown trout, with egg sacs or beads working.

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 is currently at 750 cfs, as of 2/05. Not a lot of activity on the river over the last week, and steelhead fishing has been slow for the anglers that have been out. For steelhead try salmon egg sacs with blue, pink or chartreuse mesh, pink trout worms, single egg pattern flies or nymphs; bottom bouncing or float fishing these baits are both working depending on the day.

Skaneateles Lake

The state launch is closed for the season. No safe ice to report.

Cayuga Lake

No safe ice to report. Anglers trolling near the surface down to about 50 feet are getting some Atlantic salmon around Taughannock Point. Lake trout are being found in about 150 foot of water.

Oneida Lake, Sandy Pond, Otisco Lake, Owasco Lake, and Whitney Point Reservoir

No safe ice to report as of 2/05. The warm weather and rain over the last week put a real hurting on the ice, especially along the shore; for waters that actually had fishable ice. A few days of cold temperatures should help to greatly improve conditions for Oneida Lake, Sandy Pond and Whitney Point.

Chenango, Tioughnioga and Susquehanna Rivers

Rivers are up from the recent rain and snow melt. When rivers go down try for walleye in the deeper holes with jigs tipped with minnows.

Eastern Region 8

Lake Ontario

Lake report is done for the season. Most of the tributaries are up from rain and snow melt, when they come back down to fishable levels try egg sacs for steelhead in Maxwell and for brown trout and steelhead in Irondequoit Creek.

Sodus and Irondequoit Bay

No safe ice to report as of 2/05.

Seneca Lake

Yellow perch fishing can often be good this time of year on Seneca, but so far no reports of how anglers have been doing.

Keuka and Canandaigua Lakes

No safe ice to report as of 2.05, and no new information to report.


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.