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High water conditions in Upper, NY tributaries and lot’s of ice in Niagara Whirlpool!

Posted on April 8th, 2014

Barb, our pup Mulligan and I had a chance to check-out the Niagara River Whirlpool and many of the Upper NY Lake Ontario tributaries to see how much run-off and rain had affected water levels and clarity.

Not the best conditions to fish the Niagara Whirlpool. Not only is the ice clogging-up the drifts, but standing and walking around on the melting shoreline ice is also dangerous!
Not the best conditions to fish the Niagara Whirlpool. Not only is the ice clogging-up the drifts, but standing and walking around on the melting shoreline ice is also dangerous!

The Niagara River was nice and clear, but there was lot’s of ice floating and literally “jamming” shorelines making it unfishable.  The ice is a result of the “ice-bridge” breaking up that build up over the winter months just below Niagara Falls, ON.

While checking out the Whirlpool we med a fellow steelheader Darryl Penhale and his girlfriend.  Darryl had fished the eastern Lake Ontario tributaries that morning but found the waters too crowded with few fish being caught so he decided to head west to check-out the Niagara River also.

After leaving the Whirlpool we all decided to go to Olcott, NY where Darryl purchased a 1-yr non-resident fishing licence and we proceeded to check out many of the tributaries that flow into Lake Ontario.  By the way, the NY non-resident fishing licence price has dropped down to $50.00 US and now the NY licence is good for 1-yr from the date of it’s purchase (not until the end of Sept., as in the past).

Tons of run-off from rain and melting ice and show have dropped tributary water temperatures and has resulted in many of the larger tributaries flooding.
Tons of run-off from rain and melting ice and show have dropped tributary water temperatures and has resulted in many of the larger tributaries flooding.

Many of the larger tributaries like Eighteen Mile Creek and the Oak Orchard were “blown-out” and with the additional rain yesterday and today, they will probably remain high and murky for at least 5-days.

Darryl smiles as he holds up a plum female steelhead that is ready to spawn.
Darryl smiles as he holds up a plum female steelhead that is ready to spawn.

Darryl did manage to land this plump female steehead that was ready to release her eggs and start spawning.  The high water will definitely bring in lots of fresh steelhead.  The key will be to fish the tributaries right after the high-water subsides to intercept the fish before they swim through the “all-year” open fishing season stretches.

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