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Finger Lakes and Tributaries Regulations

Finger Lakes Regulations

Conesus Lake, Hemlock Lake, Canadice Lake, Honeoye Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Keuka Lake, Seneca Lake, Cayuga Lake, Owasco Lake, Skaneateles Lake, and Otisco Lake

Special Fishing Regulations for the Finger Lakes
Water Species Open Season Minimum Length Daily Limit Method
All Finger Lakes
Northern Pike First Saturday in May through March 15 22" 5 Ice fishing permitted
Walleye First Saturday in May through March 15 18", except 15" in Honeoye Lake 3
Canadice Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Conesus Lake, Hemlock Lake, Honeoye Lake, Keuka Lake, Seneca Lake Black Bass Third Saturday in June though March 15 12" 5
March 16 through Friday preceding the third Saturday in June Catch and release only Artificial lures only
Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Lake Trout, Landlocked Salmon All year 15" 5 in combination. Catch shall include no more than 1 Rainbow Trout or 3 Landlocked Salmon
Honeoye Lake Alewife (sawbellies) Possession prohibited
Owasco Lake, Cayuga Lake Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Lake Trout, Landlocked Salmon All year 15" Except 18" for Landlocked Salmon in Cayuga Lake 5 in combination. Catch shall include no more than 3 Brown Trout, 3 Rainbow Trout, or 3 Landlocked Salmon
Otisco Lake Tiger Muskellunge First Sat in May through March 15 36" 1
Trout All year 12" 5
Skaneateles Lake Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Lake Trout, Landlocked Salmon All year 15" 5 in combination. Catch shall not include more than 3 of any species.
Alewife (sawbellies) Possession prohibited

Finger Lakes Tributary Regulations

Special Fishing Regulations for Finger Lakes Tributaries
Water Species Open Season Minimum Length Daily Limit Method
All tributaries to Canadice Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Hemlock Lake, Keuka Lake, and Seneca Lake upstream to the first barrier impassable by fish Lake Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Landlocked Salmon April 1 through December 31 15" 3 in combination, catch shall include no more than 1 Rainbow Trout
All tributaries to Owasco Lake, Otisco Lake and Skaneateles Lake upstream to the first barrier impassable by fish Lake Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Landlocked Salmon April 1 through December 31 15" except 9" for Brown Trout 3 in combination
All tributaries to Cayuga Lake upstream to the first barrier impassable by fish except tributaries listed below Lake Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Landlocked Salmon April 1 through December 31 15" except 18" for Landlocked Salmon 3 in combination
Fall Creek (Cayuga Lake) from the downstream edge of the railroad bridge below Rt. 13 to Ithaca Falls Lake Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Landlocked Salmon April 1 through December 31 15" except 18" for Landlocked Salmon 3 in combination
Jan 1 through March 31 Catch and release only Artificial lures only
Angling prohibited between sunset and sunrise from Oct 1 through May 15
Spafford Creek (Otisco Lake) Trout April 1 through October 15 Any size 5 - with no more than 2 longer than 12"
Tributaries to all Finger Lakes upstream to the first barrier impassable by fish All other species Open season, daily limit and minimum length regulations that are
in effect for the Finger Lakes

Additional Regulations for Finger Lakes Tributaries

  1. Any action to frighten fish and move them from concealment, including herding, driving, kicking, and stoning is prohibited.
  2. Angling is prohibited from January 1 through March 31, except for those stream sections listed below and Fall Creek downstream of Ithaca Falls;
  3. Angling is also prohibited between sunset and sunrise from April 1 through May 15 and October 1 through December 31 except for those stream sections listed below;
  4. d. Angling is prohibited all year in Cayuga Inlet for a distance of 500 feet up and downstream of the dam located within the flood control channel and Coy Glenn Creek from Cayuga Inlet up to and including the second check dam, in Tompkins County;
  5. Use of more than one line with a single hook point is prohibited, except for those stream sections listed below;
  6. Possession of hooks with a gap greater than 1/2" is prohibited, except for those stream sections listed below;
  7. Possession of landing nets larger than 50 inches around the frame or with handles longer than 20 inches is prohibited except for those stream sections listed below.

Stream sections for which additional tributary regulations b, c, d, e and f above do not apply (trout season is closed January 1 through March 31 in these sections):

  • West River and Sucker Brook from Canandaigua Lake upstream in Ontario County;
  • Guyanoga Creek from Keuka Lake upstream to route 54A bridge in Yates County;
  • Cayuga Inlet and flood control channel from Cayuga Lake upstream to posted "No Fishing" boundary below the fishway in Tompkins County;
  • Barge Canal from Seneca Lake upstream to northernmost Route 14 bridge in Montour Falls, Schuyler County.
  • Old Seneca Inlet in the southeast corner of Seneca Lake upstream of State Route 414.
  • Yawgers Creek from Cayuga Lake upstream to abandoned Lehigh Valley railroad bridge in Cayuga County;
  • Owasco Inlet from Owasco Lake upstream 0.7 mile to marked boundary at old railroad bed in Cayuga County.
  • Fall Creek from Cayuga Lake to the downstream edge of the railroad bridge below Rt 13 in Ithaca, Tompkins County.