March 27, 2009, Press Release: DEC Issues Tips and Reminders for Opening Day of Trout and Salmon Seasons

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For more information contact: Yaney Roy, 518-402-8000

DEC Issues Tips and Reminders for Opening Day of Trout and Salmon Seasons

Grannis Encourages Anglers to Introduce Someone New to NY's Excellent Fishing

ALBANY, NY (03/27/2009; 1312)(readMedia)-- With the traditional April 1 opening day for New York's trout and salmon fishing seasons fast approaching, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today issued tips and reminders for anglers in every region.

"New York has some of the finest trout waters in the country, including many well established in trout fishing lore," said DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis, a longtime trout fisherman. "I can think of no better way to relax and connect with nature than to spend an afternoon fishing. DEC works hard to provide a wide variety of fishing opportunities and I encourage anglers to get out this year and perhaps take someone along."

Early Forecast

Although early season trout angling in northern and mountainous reaches of New York may be slow due to lingering cold weather and melting snow, conditions in other areas of New York should be good for early-season angling. Waters on Long Island, the lower Hudson Valley and western New York tend to warm up earlier and provide the best early-season fishing opportunities.

Slow presentations using spinners or minnow-imitating lures and, where permitted, live bait, work well in the early season. Those preferring to fly fish will find that similar slow, deep presentations using weighted nymphs and streamers can be effective. Trout and salmon fishing on lakes and ponds is often best immediately after ice-out. Since many Adirondack and Catskill ponds are likely to remain frozen for the April 1 opener, anglers should scout out areas beforehand. Prime areas to fish are those locations that warm the earliest, including tributary mouths and near surface and shallow shoreline areas. Afternoons can be better than mornings during the early season, as the sun's rays can significantly warm surface waters. Early season anglers are reminded to be extra cautious as high flows, ice and deep snow can make accessing and wading streams particularly hazardous. Anglers are reminded that ice fishing is prohibited in trout waters, except as noted in the Fishing Regulations Guide.

Stocking and Hatcheries

Several hatchery improvement projects were completed last year. Most significant among these was the completion of an extensive pole-barn complex covering hatchery ponds at the Rome Fish Hatchery to reduce trout predation by birds. It is estimated that this project will save 50,000 to 100,000 fingerling trout annually from predatory birds and will lead to more efficient hatchery operations.

Additional hatchery rehabilitation projects are planned for this upcoming year including the rebuilding of the main hatchery building at Rome. Rome Hatchery is one of DEC's oldest and largest hatcheries, growing and stocking more than 650,000 yearling brown and brook trout annually.

Spring is a busy season for the DEC Hatchery System. From mid-March through mid-June, nine trout and salmon hatcheries stock fish five days a week using 30 state-of-the-art stocking trucks.

Stocking of catchable-size trout generally commences in late March and early April in the lower Hudson Valley, Long Island, and western/central New York, and then proceeds to the Catskills and Adirondacks. This year, DEC plans to stock more than 2.3 million catchable-size brook, brown, and rainbow trout in 304 lakes and ponds and roughly 3,000 miles of streams across the state. Approximately 100,000 two-year-old brown trout ranging from 12 to 15 inches in length will also be stocked into lakes and streams statewide.

More than 2 million yearling lake trout, steelhead, landlocked salmon, splake and coho salmon also will be stocked by DEC this spring to provide exciting angling opportunities over the next several years. For those who prefer a quieter more remote setting, 325,000 brook trout fingerlings will be stocked in 343 remote lakes and ponds this spring and fall to bolster "backwoods" fishing opportunities. For a complete list of waters planned to be stocked with trout this spring go to www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30465.html. A listing of waters stocked with all sizes of trout last year can be found at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30467.html. In addition to stocked waters, New York State has thousands of miles of wild trout streams that provide excellent fishing opportunities. Regional fisheries offices, which are listed in the Fishing Regulations Guide, can offer specific details about the locations and opportunities offered by these waters.

The general creel limit for brook, brown and rainbow trout is five fish per day and the open season for trout in most New York State waters runs from April 1 through Oct. 15. There are numerous exceptions however, so anglers should review the Fishing Regulations Guide before heading out to their favorite pond or stream.

A New York State fishing license is required for all anglers 16 years of age and older. Those looking to renew licenses can do so at http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6101.html or by calling 1-86-NY-DECALS. Fishing licenses can also be purchased from various sporting license outlets located throughout the state (town and county clerks, some major discount stores and many tackle and sporting goods stores).

When purchasing a fishing license, anglers should also consider purchasing a Habitat/Access Stamp, which is available to anyone for $5 from any sporting license issuing agent. Proceeds from sale of this stamp have funded many valuable trout stream access and habitat projects in New York, such as the development of a parking area and footpath on Felts Mill Creek in Jefferson County this past year.

For anglers seeking publicly accessible stream fishing locations, DEC continues to add to its inventory of public fishing rights (PFR) maps that can be downloaded from http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9924.html . New maps covering DEC Region 4 have recently been added to the existing maps covering DEC Regions 3, 5, 7, 8 and 9.

Prevent the Spread of Invasive Species and Diseases

With the recent discovery of the fish disease Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) in New York, and an invasive species of algae, didymo, in the Delaware River system and the Batten Kill, anglers are reminded of the important role that they play in preventing the spread of these and other potentially damaging invasive species and fish diseases. Please thoroughly dry equipment, particularly waders and wading shoes, for 48 hours before moving from water to water. If drying is not possible, equipment must be disinfected. One of the easiest and safest ways to disinfect gear is by soaking it for 10 minutes in a cleanser/disinfectant containing the ingredient alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride. This ingredient is found in most common household antiseptic cleansers such as Fantastic, Formula 409 and Spray Nine. Anglers are also encouraged not to use felt-soled waders as they are more apt to transport didymo and other invasives than other forms of wading soles. For more information on invasive species and disinfection procedures, request a copy of the new DEC brochure "Anglers and Boaters: Stop the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species and Fish Diseases in New York State" from your local DEC office.

New Baitfish Regulations Established to Protect New York Fisheries

Anglers are reminded that a new "Green List" of baitfish species that can be commercially collected and/or sold for fishing in any water body in New York where it is legal to use fish as bait has now been established in regulation. For a complete discussion of these regulations and how to identify these approved baitfish species, download the new brochure "Baitfish of New York State" at www.dec.ny.gov/docs/fish_marine_pdf/baitfishofny.pdf. Personal collection and use of baitfish other than those on the "Green List" is permitted, but only on the water from which they were collected and they may not be transported overland by motorized vehicle. These new regulations have been established to stem the spread of non-native baitfish and dangerous fish diseases in New York State.

Best Bets for Trout Anglers by DEC Region:

Long Island (DEC Region 1)

Long Island lakes, ponds and streams typically provide excellent early season trout angling. By the beginning of April, more than 12,000 trout, including 3,000 two-year-old brown trout in the 12- to 15-inch range, will have been stocked into Long Island lakes, ponds and streams. Another 11,000 trout will be stocked in April. For premier early season fly-fishing action, the Carmans and Nissequogue Rivers in Suffolk County are highly recommended. Tidal sections of these waters also provide excellent fishing opportunities and include trophy-size fish.

For still waters, Laurel Lake, Upper Lake, East Lake, West Lake, Southards Pond and Argyle Lake are recommended in Suffolk county. In Nassau county, Upper Twin Pond, Oyster Bay Mill Pond and Massapequa Reservoir are good bets. Many of these waters hold over a good number of fish from one year to the next, increasing the opportunity to catch large trout. Anglers are reminded that the trout season in Nassau and Suffolk counties is open year round. In addition to the fish that will be stocked this spring, 7,500 12-inch or larger brown trout were stocked during the fall of 2008.

Note that there is a three trout daily limit on Long Island and that brook trout are catch-and-release only in all streams on Long Island except the Connetquot and Nissequogue Rivers in the State Parks.

A great way for the whole family to kick off the fishing season is to participate in the Spring Family Fishing Festival at Belmont Lake State Park on Saturday, April 18, 2009 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The whole family can enjoy a day of fishing for stocked trout. Loaner rods, free bait and fish cleaning services will be available, along with fishing seminars, fly fishing instruction and other family oriented activities.

Long Island trout anglers are encouraged to participate in the region's Coldwater Angler Diary Cooperator Program. Cooperating anglers are asked to keep a diary of the species, length, location, and number of trout caught during their fishing trips on Long Island. In return, cooperators receive periodic summaries of the results of the program and the satisfaction of knowing that they are making a significant contribution towards the effective management of Long Island's coldwater resources. For more information on this program, please contact the regional office at (631) 444-0280.

For a complete list of Long Island trout stocked waters, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: Trout Stocking List, Bureau of Fisheries, 50 Circle Road, SUNY, Stony Brook, NY, 11790 or e-mail us at: fwfish1@gw.dec.state.ny.us .

Hudson Valley/Catskills (DEC Region 3)

Public fishing rights (PFR) maps for Region 3 are now available on the DEC web site at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9924.html . These maps are designed to provide anglers with location information for public fishing easements in the Region. PFR easements are also marked with yellow signs to help anglers find these locations on the stream. Please contact the regional office if you have any questions or believe that a PFR is posted incorrectly.

Region 3 has introduced a new Fishing Hotline to provide information on how and where to catch fish throughout the region. Please call: 845-256-3101 or check the DEC web site at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/fishhotlines.html for timely updates.

Anglers looking for good early season trout fishing east of the Hudson River should consider Wappinger Creek, Ten Mile River, Sprout Creek and Fishkill Creek, all located in Dutchess County. These fairly large streams will be well stocked prior to opening day and all support holdover trout from previous years' stocking, as well as some wild brown trout. In Putnam County, good early season bets are the East Branch and West Branches of the Croton River. These streams are located on New York Watershed Property and a free NYC Public Access Permit is required. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection has updated and improved the permit issuing system. Permits can now be obtained online at http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/watershed_protection/html/wsrecreation.html. Information and permit applications can also be obtained by calling 1-800-575-LAND. In Westchester County, the Croton River, below New Croton Dam, and Stone Hill River are well stocked early season favorites that do not require a city permit.

Although most of the Catskill trout streams are readily accessible by road, people looking for a more remote fishing experience have many options. There are thousands of acres of state lands in Sullivan and Ulster counties, and most have small wild trout streams. Some much larger waters also exist in remote settings, like the Neversink River Unique Area below Bridgeville and above Oakland Valley, and the Mongaup River below Rio Dam in the Mongaup Valley Wildlife Management Area.

Other notable trout resources in the area include 17 New York City reservoirs totaling more than 23,000 acres. Large brown trout, including some weighing more than 20 pounds, may be found in many of these waters. Ashokan Reservoir is famous for large rainbow trout, and Rondout and Kenisco Reservoirs have thriving populations of lake trout. Lake trout fishing in the Kensico, a 2,218-acre reservoir in Westchester County, has improved greatly in recent years and now is supported primarily through natural reproduction. Neversink and West Branch Croton Reservoirs have modest populations of landlocked salmon that supplement the more traditional brown trout experience. As noted previously, all New York City watershed lands require a free permit for recreational access.

During the spring and early summer, DEC hatchery staff will deliver over 300,000 trout to 85 streams and 30 lakes and ponds within Region 3. Included in this total will be nearly 16,000 of the larger (12-15") two-year-old brown trout, which will be distributed to about 40 of the larger and more accessible streams. This year's stocking information can be obtained by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: Fisheries Office, DEC Region 3, 21 South Putt Corners Road, New Paltz, NY, 12561.

Northern Catskills/Hudson Valley/Capital District (DEC Region 4)

Though the winter has been long, flow conditions on most streams in the region have remained good. Furthermore, with the exception of one week in June, last summer was not particularly hot and stream flows were adequate to above normal which means that holdover survival should be good for both wild and hatchery trout. Good bets for fishing prior to stocking include the upper Kinderhook Creek and the upper Hoosic/Little Hoosic system; Poesten Kill and Wynants Kill in Rensselaer County; the upper Roeliff Jansen Kill in Columbia County; the upper Catskill and Onesquethaw in Albany County; and the upper Batavia Kill, Catskill, and Schoharie Creeks in Greene County; the East and West Branches of the Delaware River and Beaver Kill in Delaware County; and Schenevus Creek, Butternut Creek, Wharton Creek, and Otego Creek in Otsego County

Approximately 205,000 yearling trout, mostly browns, and 12,500 two year trout will be stocked in 43 streams and 24 lakes and ponds throughout Region 4 by the end of May. Trout stocking could be delayed by bad weather in March, but all streams will be stocked by late April. Waters to be stocked with two-year-old brown trout include both branches of the Delaware River, the Beaver Kill, the Batavia Kill, Butternut Creek, Catskill Creek, Canajoharie Creek, Charlotte Creek, Claverack Creek, Colgate Lake, East Kill, Greens Lake, Hannacrois Creek, the Holding Pond (Schoharie County), Kinderhook Creek, Oaks Creek, Onesquethaw Creek, Otego Creek, Ouleout Creek, the Poesten Kill, the Roeliff Jansen Kill, Schenevus Creek, Schoharie Creek, Tackawasick Creek, Taghkanic Creek, the Walloomsac River, and Wharton Creek.

Capital Region anglers will be pleased to know that the DEC will once again stock Six Mile Waterworks in Albany with rainbow trout. Stocking should be completed by the annual spring school break, providing an excellent opportunity to introduce youngsters to this wonderful sport. DEC plans to have fishing assistants at the pond from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the period April 13 to 17 to help those who would like to learn more about trout fishing. For more information contact 518-402-8891.

Anglers should remember that the Delaware River and West Branch Delaware River, where New York and Pennsylvania share a common boundary, has a delayed season that does not open until April 18 this year. The delayed season also applies to all tributaries to the Delaware River located in Delaware County and to the East Branch tributaries between Hancock and the Hamlet of East Branch.

Didymo (Didymosphenia geminata) is now present throughout the East Branch Delaware River below Pepacton Reservoir and in the West Branch Delaware River below Cannonsville Reservoir. Although didymo has not been verified in the Delaware River, it should be considered infested due to exposure from the East and West Branches. Didymo is a micropscopic algae (diatom) that can produce large amounts of stalk material to form thick mats on the stream bottom. Anglers fishing these waters should thoroughly dry or disinfect all fishing gear prior to fishing their home waters. Contact the Region 4 Fisheries Office for more information and disinfection methods.

Anglers looking for a new fishing spot can find many smaller, lesser-known streams in brochures such as Capital District Fishing and Fishing Delaware County. Stocking lists are also available. These can all be obtained by writing or calling DEC's Stamford Fisheries Unit. Anglers with access to the Internet can find a great deal of information from the DEC web site. Other web sites, such as the United States Geological Survey (http://water.usgs.gov/waterwatch), can provide up-to-date flow information for a number of the larger streams. West Branch anglers wanting to know current releases can call 1-845-295-1006. This hotline is run as a cooperative effort with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and Trout Unlimited.

Public fishing rights (PFR) maps for Region 4 are now available on the DEC web site at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9924.html .

Adirondacks/Northeastern NY (DEC Region 5)

Adirondack trout streams are icy and there is plenty of snow in the mountains. A relatively mild thaw should clear the ice, but expect high stream flows until the snow pack is reduced. Best bets for early season angling in the southern part of the region are the Batten Kill, Kayaderosseras and Mettawee rivers. Catch-and-release regulations were enacted on the Batten Kill in 2004 from the Eagleville covered bridge to the Vermont state line. Year-round trout fishing is permitted in the catch-and-release section (artificial lures only). The lower two miles of the catch-and-release section will be stocked with two-year-old brown trout some time in May. A creel census of anglers will be conducted in 2009 to assess the fish population and the effectiveness of the catch-and-release regulations.

Many regional streams and rivers will be stocked in April and May. However, due to ice conditions, very few streams are stocked prior to opening day. If possible, yearling brook trout will be stocked in the Chateaugay River in Franklin County by April 1. The Chateaugay, Salmon and St. Regis rivers are scheduled for a creel census in 2009 to assess angler use and the fish population in these rivers. Rainbow trout might also be stocked in the Saranac River within the Village of Saranac Lake prior to April 1. Hundreds of smaller streams contain wild brook and brown trout. Fish slowly, especially if the water is cold, high, and swift. Contact the regional fisheries office for a brochure listing many of the wild trout streams in Region 5.

Remote ponds in the Adirondacks are rarely ice-free until mid-April or later, a pattern that is likely to hold this year. Once waters are ice-free and temperatures rise, surface trolling for salmon and lake trout is a good bet on the larger lakes. Brook trout pond fishing is good from ice-out through May. Anglers are reminded that in many Adirondack ponds the use of fish as bait is prohibited. For a list of these waters check the "Special Regulations by County" section in the Fishing Regulations Guide, or contact the DEC's Region 5 Fisheries Office in Ray Brook at (518) 897-1333. A variety of leaflets are also available from the regional office including stocking lists for Region 5, top fishing waters, a list of reclaimed trout ponds, and others. For up-to-date information on fishing conditions in the region, anglers can access www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9219.html on the DEC web site. While browsing the Region 5 Fisheries website, be sure to check out the public fishing rights maps at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/32610.html for many area rivers. These maps can be downloaded and printed out to provide detailed locations for stream sections with purchased and deeded public rights for angling. Maps are also available from the regional office.

Western Adirondacks/North Central New York (DEC Region 6)

The opening of trout season expands the region's trout fishing beyond Lake Ontario and a select set of large lakes, to the rest of the region's great variety of large and small streams, ponds and lakes. Region 6 includes the Western Adirondacks, Tug Hill, and the Black, Mohawk and St. Lawrence river valleys. The region's wide diversity of water types provide habitat for everything from small headwater brook trout to large deepwater lake trout.

Stocking proceeds from the Mohawk Valley in mid-April north to St. Lawrence County throughout the month of May. The Oswegatchie River below Cranberry Lake is the only river in the region that is stocked prior to April 1, if conditions allow. The popular two-year-old brown trout stocking occurs in early May on some of the region's larger, more accessible streams. Worms usually produce the best catches this time of year when the water temperatures are colder and the fish are more sluggish. Spinners and salted minnows also are popular lures. For best results, fish the pools and slow, deep riffles. Fishing in the late afternoon after the water has been warmed by the sun is also productive.

Lake Ontario tributaries should also offer good fishing conditions for steelhead. Try Stony Creek, North and South Sandy Creeks, Lindsey Creek, Skinner Creek and the Black River in Watertown, from the Mill Street dam down to the Village of Dexter. Use egg sacs, single hook spinners, wet flies and streamers.

Coldwater anglers in Region 6 should be aware of a few new regulations that are currently in effect. The catch-and-release section for trout on West Canada Creek in Herkimer and Oneida counties has been extended to the Route 28 bridge (Comstock Bridge) and is open year-round. A three-trout-creel limit with a minimum size limit of 12 inches has been established in Beardsley Lake (Montogomery and Herkimer Counties), Kyser Lake (Fulton and Herkimer Counties), and Stillwater Reservoir (Herkimer County). The catch-and-release season for trout on the West Branch St. Regis River in St. Lawrence County has also been extended to all year.

This year, Region 6 staff will be surveying approximately 25 remote brook trout ponds that contain stocked temiscamie hybrids to assess wild reproduction. This information will help guide future management of this unique resource.

Central New York/Eastern Finger Lakes (DEC Region 7)

Steelhead anglers heading to tributaries of Lake Ontario do not have to wait until April 1 to begin fishing because there is no closed season for trout and salmon in these waters up to the first barrier impassable to fish. The peak of the spring steelhead run generally occurs in mid-to late March with fish averaging eight to ten pounds. The Salmon River in Pulaski is the best area steelhead river, and anglers have reported exceptional steelhead action this winter. Other productive areas are Ninemile Creek (Oswego County) and the Oswego River. Nearshore brown trout fishing can also be very productive during the spring. Last season's spring brown trout fishing was one of the best in recent history. The peak of this fishery generally occurs in mid-April with the best areas being Fair Haven, Oswego Harbor, and Mexico Bay.

The Region 7 Finger Lakes are also early season favorites. Good fishing typically carries through to mid June on Cayuga, Skaneateles, and Owasco Lakes. Cayuga Lake is well known for rainbow trout, and along with Owasco Lake, offers excellent fishing for brown trout and lake trout. Skaneateles Lake offers good fishing for lake trout, rainbow trout, and, along with Cayuga, provides an exceptional opportunity for landlocked salmon as well. Otisco Lake also offers good brown trout fishing during early April.

For the best opportunities to catch lake-run rainbow trout in the Finger Lake tributaries (which open to trout fishing on April 1), try Salmon Creek, Cayuga Inlet, Yawgers Creek and Fall Creek on Cayuga Lake; and Grout Brook on Skaneateles Lake.

Other streams provide excellent early trout fishing as well. Most notable are: Nine Mile (Onondaga County), Limestone and Butternut Creek in Onondaga County; Oquaga and Nanticoke Creeks in Broome County; the Otselic River in Chenango and Cortland counties; Genegantslet Creek in Chenango County; Chittenango Creek and the Otselic River in Madison County; the west and east branches of Tioughnioga River and Factory Brook in Cortland County; Fall and Virgil Creeks in Tompkins County; and Owego Creek, the east and west branches of Owego Creek and Cayuta Creek in Tioga County.

Anglers are reminded that most waters in Region 7 are managed under a five-trout-daily-creel limit, with no more than two fish being greater than 12 inches. Many waters also allow the harvest of an additional five brook trout under 8 inches. Check the "Special Regulations by County" section of your Freshwater Fishing guide. Weekly fishing reports can be viewed on the Central New York Fishing Hotline web page at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9218.html or it can be heard at 607-753-1551. Public fishing rights maps can also be viewed and downloaded at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9924.html .

West-Central New York/Western Finger Lakes (DEC Region 8)

Numerous trout fishing opportunities abound in Region 8. Beginning April 1, Finger Lake tributaries Naples Creek (Ontario County), Catharine Creek (Schuyler and Chemung Counties), Cold Brook (Steuben County) and Springwater Creek (Livingston County) offer anglers excellent opportunities to pursue beautiful, quality rainbow trout in excess of five pounds, while catches of fish two to three pounds are common. Good fishing can be found into May in these tributaries. In addition to wild, stream run rainbow trout, numerous streams throughout the region are full of stocked and wild brown trout. Year-round, quality fishing can be found in Oatka Creek near Caledonia (Livingston and Monroe counties), throughout the Cohocton River from Cohocton to Bath (Steuben County), and Cayuta Creek near Odessa (Schuyler and Chemung counties). Additional opportunities beginning April 1 for stocked trout can be found in Post Creek (Steuben and Chemung Counties), Meads Creek (Steuben County), and Canandaigua Outlet (Ontario County). Check the Fishing Regulations Guide for other special regulations in the region.

As snow and ice on and around the lakes begin to thaw, good trout (brown and rainbow) fishing may be found from shore along many of the western Finger Lakes. Possibilities exist at the Keuka Lake State Park and from the piers at the southern tip of Seneca Lake in Watkins Glen. Pristine shore fishing can also be found along the shores of Hemlock Lake and Canadice Lake. When fishing Hemlock or Canadice a visitor pass must first be obtained at the north end of Hemlock or at www.cityofrochester.gov/des/docs/watershedbroch.pdf. Note that the trout fishing in the Finger Lakes is open year-round.

Lake Ontario tributaries in Region 8 such as Oak Orchard Creek (Orleans County), Sandy Creek, Genesee River, Irondequoit Creek (Monroe County), and Maxwell Creek (Wayne County) should provide good steelhead fishing prior to April 1. Most Lake Ontario tributaries are open for fishing year-round.

Early April should offer opportunities for near-shore fishing on Lake Ontario. Brown trout, rainbow trout, coho salmon and a few chinooks should be available near shore. Pier fishing and shallow water trolling in mid- to late-April should be very productive. Look for trout and salmon "hot spots" in warm water pockets from Rochester to Sodus and vicinity. Even small reaches having only two or three-degree warmer surface temperatures attract these fish.

Weekly fishing reports can be viewed on the Central New York Fishing Hotline web page at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9218.html or can be heard at 607-753-1551. To assist anglers in finding public fishing rights (PFR) areas on regional trout streams, color brochures of those streams can be found and downloaded from www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9924.html. A list of boating access sites may be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7832.html on the DEC web site.

Western New York (DEC Region 9)

A total of 57 streams and 24 lakes/ponds in Region 9 are stocked with thousands of yearling brown, brook or rainbow trout each spring. In addition to the yearling trout stocked, many waters receive hundreds of two-year-old brown trout (12-15 inches) or are salted with an occasional "surplus" breeder trout that would be a trophy in anyone's creel. The most popular and heavily stocked streams in the region are the Genesee River, Cattaraugus, Ischua, East Koy and Goose Creeks. When stream conditions are unfavorable due to high or turbid water, anglers may fish the seven inland trout lakes. Allen, Case, Harwood, New Albion, Rushford, Quaker and Red House Lakes all receive substantial stockings (after the ice thaws) and provide good access for shore and boat angling. Stocked waters in the Buffalo/Niagara metropolitan area include: East Branch Cazenovia Creek (towns of Holland and Wales), Little Buffalo Creek (towns of Lancaster and Elma), Ellicott Creek (Amherst), Sprague Brook Park Ponds (Concord), Oppenheim Park Pond (Wheatfield) and Hyde Park Lake (Niagara Falls). Brochures discussing management and stocking of western New York streams with maps showing areas with public fishing rights easements are available at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/31596.html, while management information and contour maps for the inland lakes can be found at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/31595.html .

A number of Region 9 streams support high-quality wild trout populations. Wiscoy Creek is considered the region's premier wild brown trout stream, with an average of more than 1,400 adult brown trout per mile of stream. Clear Creek (Ellington) is another good bet for wild brown trout. Lime Lake Outlet, Elton Creek, McKinstry Creek, Mansfield Creek and Clear Creek (Arcade) have excellent populations of wild brown and rainbow trout. Brochures discussing management for these streams and maps showing areas with public fishing rights easements can be found at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/29286.html, while information on fish population surveys in Region 9 can be found at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27272.html.

Great Lakes waters and their tributary streams are open year-round for trout and salmon. Late March through early April is prime time for Great Lakes-run steelhead. Western New York steelhead opportunities are exceptional, especially in Lake Erie tributaries. Recent angler surveys indicated very high success rates for steelhead on Canadaway Creek, Chautauqua Creek, Cattaraugus Creek, Eighteen Mile Creek (Erie Co.), Cazenovia Creek, and the Buffalo River. Popular Lake Ontario tributaries such as Twelve Mile Creek, Keg Creek, Eighteen Mile Creek, and the Lower Niagara River in Niagara County also provide excellent fishing for steelhead. Brown trout, rainbow trout, lake trout and coho salmon are typically found in shallow, nearshore waters of Lake Ontario, its tributaries and embayments during April. Brochures discussing management for these steelhead streams and maps showing areas with public fishing rights easements are available at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/32426.html .

A number of fishing regulations have been enacted to expand trout fishing opportunities in western New York. Year-round trout fishing is now available on Cattaraugus Creek (upstream of Springville Dam), Elton Creek, Mansfield Creek, Elm Creek, East Koy Creek, Wiscoy Creek, Clear Creek (Arcade), Hosmer Brook, Lime Lake Outlet and McKinstry Creek. These streams can now be fished during the normally closed trout season (October 16 through March 31) on a catch-and-release basis, artificial lures only. During the regular season, the stream's normal regulations apply. Goose Creek in Chautauqua County is now open for fishing with the normal regulations applying all year (no minimum size, five trout/day, with only two trout greater than 12 inches allowed; no bait restrictions).

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