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Central New York Fishing Hotline

December 2 - December 9

Tip of the week: Making your own fishing equipment, from tying flies to making a custom fishing rod, can be a fun and rewarding wintertime activity. Plus, it gives you the satisfaction of catching fish on something you created. A quick internet search should reveal plenty of web sites for materials and "how to" videos.

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.

As mentioned in previous weeks, reports are getting harder to come by as anglers put down their fishing gear and begin heading to the woods. This trend will continue through the fall/early winter until ice fishing begins. So, there will likely be little new fishing information in coming weeks.

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.

Region 7

Lake Ontario

The lake report is done for the season.

Oswego River

Between the snow melt and rain the river is up and is flowing at 14,800 cubic feet per second (cfs) as of 12/02. Anglers fishing from drift boats are getting some steelhead and brown trout. This high flow makes shore fishing very difficult.

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 area is also dealing with snow melt and rain and the river is up and is flowing at 1,800 cfs as of 12/02. Overall, steelhead fishing continues to be slow. The upper river seems to be producing the best action, from the Trestle Pool to the Lower Fly. Egg sacs, beads or egg imitating flies are working. Just a reminder that the Upper Fly Section closed on November 30th. Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries

Cayuga and Owasco Lakes

Between the rain and snow melt that took place this week, most streams should have a good flow at this time. The higher flows should have helped to bring some more brown trout and Atlantic salmon into the tributaries. Egg sacs or egg imitating flies and plastics are usually good bait choices for these fish. Please review the Finger Lakes Tributary Regulations before heading to the streams.

Skaneateles Lake

The gate to the launch was closed on 11/22. Some rainbow trout are being taken by shore anglers fishing the marshmallow and worm rig.

Oneida Lake

When the wind hasn't been blowing too hard and anglers could actually get out, they are getting some yellow perch on small minnows. The fall walleye bite never really got going this year, anglers are getting some but it hasn't been "hot" by any means. Casting stickbaits (minnow imitating lures) from shore just before and after dark is often a great way to catch walleye this time of year. With round gobies now being in the lake, it may also pay to try fishing goby imitating baits near bottom for these fall walleye.

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

No new fishing information to report for these waters. Area rivers are running high after this weeks rain and snow melt.

Eastern Region 8

Lake Ontario

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

Sodus and Irondequoit Bays

Yellow perch fishing has been slow but some are being taken on small minnows.

Keuka Lake

Lake trout are being taken by anglers vertical jigging with plastics in 130 to 150 foot of water.

Canandaigua Lake

Fishing with small minnows on the north end is working for yellow perch.

Seneca Lake

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 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.