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Central New York Fishing Hotline

March 27 - April 4

Under a new law, known as Brianna's Law, all motor boat operators will need a boating safety certificate. How soon this certificate is required depends on your age, but by January 1, 2025 all operators of motorized vessels regardless of age will need a certificate. For more information on Brianna's Law, classes, and the age breakdown please view Boating Education (leaves DEC website) on the NYS Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation site.

You can still go fishing under the Governor's PAUSE Executive Order. However, in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, we ask that you please act safely when fishing. If you arrive at an angler parking area that is congested, consider finding another area that is less crowded. When you're on the water, please make sure there is ample room between you and your fellow anglers. Don't share a boat unless it is large enough so that all persons aboard can always remain at a minimum distance of six feet apart. Providing ample distance helps to reduce the spread of colds, flu and COVID-19 and also contributes to an overall better angling experience. Good Luck Fishing!

Trout season starts on Wednesday, April 1st. For more information please view:Public Fishing Rights, Trout Fishing in Streams and Trout Stocking Maps in CNY. DEC Hatchery staff have been busy stocking trout. As of Friday March 27, the following waters have been stocked:

Broome County- Dudley Creek (March 20), East Branch Nanticoke Creek (March 20), and Nanticoke Creek (March 20).

Onondaga County -is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery, their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and stocking reports can also be seen at fishonondagacounty (leaves DEC website). As of March 17 the following streams have been stocked: Geddes Brook, Spruce Pond, Onondaga Creek, Tannery Creek, Furnace Brook, Skaneateles Creek, Spafford Brook, Carpenter's Brook, and Ninemile Creek.

Tioga County- East Branch Owego Creek (March 19), Owego Creek (March 19), and West Branch Owego Creek (March 20).

Tompkins County-Fall Creek (March 19), and Salmon Creek (March 19).

For those interested, there are also other fishing hotline/reports available for the region. A few of the web sites are: Wayne County Tourism, Visit Oswego County, and Oneida Lake Fishing Report (leaves DEC website).

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 (leaves DEC website).

The New York State Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide runs from April 1st of the current year to March 30th of the following year. The new guide, starting on April 1, 2020, has been sent out to locations that sell licenses. Unfortunately, because of COVID-19 many of these retailers are currently closed. Starting on April 1 the new guide will be available online at the above link.

Region 7 and Eastern Region 8

Lake Ontario

Brown trout are being taken by anglers trolling near shore with stickbaits or spoons. Steelhead are being found in the tributaries but flows are bouncing around from recent rain events making them difficult to fish at times. When fishable try egg sacs, beads and egg imitating flies either bottom bounced or fished under a float.

Oswego River

The flow is running at 8,740 cubic feet per second (cfs) as of March 27. Steelhead, and some brown trout, are being taken on beads, jigs, and egg sacs either fished under a float or bottom bouncing.

Please view this link for more information on Fishing for Steelhead. A video on Salmon and Trout Identification can be found on the top of the Great Lakes Fishing page.

Remember, the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are mandatory personal flotation device (PFD) zones on the river. Visit Oswego County Tourism website (leaves DEC website) for more information on this and also for information on the life jacket loaner programs in the area.

Salmon River

The river is back up and has been running at 1,500 cfs as of March 27. This flow makes shore fishing tricky. Steelhead were being taken on egg sacs, beads, pink worms, jigs, or egg imitating flies either bottom bounced or fished under a float. Activity is spread out from top to bottom with some fresh fish being taken. Just a reminder that the Upper Fly Section opens on April 1st.

Please view this link for more information on Fishing for Steelhead. A video on Salmon and Trout Identification can be found on the top of the Great Lakes Fishing page.

Water flow information by Brookfield Renewable Energy for the Salmon River can be found at the Brookfield Renewable website (leaves DEC website).

Skaneateles Lake

The DEC launch was opened on Monday, March 9th. As of March 27 the docks are not in yet. Anglers have been getting some perch and also some Atlantic salmon.

Oneida Lake

The ice is off the lake but nothing new to report. The Cleveland Dock Fishing Access Site is CLOSED until further notice due to site improvement construction.

Cayuga Lake

Lake trout are being taken in shallow water by anglers casting or trolling. Brown trout and Atlantic salmon fishing should start to pick up on the south end any day. Trolling in this area with stickbaits can often be good this time of year. The lake level is currently low so plan accordingly for launching, for example you may want hip boots.

Sodus Bay

Yellow perch are being taken in the bays with both small minnows or jigs working.

Seneca, Canandaigua, Keuka, Owasco, and Otisco Lakes, Sandy Pond, and Whitney Point Reservoir, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Susquehanna Rivers

No new information to report at this time. Just as a reminder that walleye, northern pike, chain pickerel, and tiger musky season closed on March 15.

Warm water (bass, pike, etc.) angler diary cooperators are needed for Seneca, Keuka, Canandaigua, Hemlock, and Canadice Lakes. If interested please contact Region 8 Fisheries at or by calling 585-226-5343.

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.