Lake Erie, NY Fishing Update

Posted on April 24th, 2009

Post-spawn migratory rainbow trout eagerly strike flies, lures and drift-baits.
Post-spawn migratory rainbow trout eagerly strike flies, lures and drift-baits.


Lake Erie

and Tributaries


Migratory Rainbow Trout


Cattaraugus Creek has finally reached a fishable level after more than a month of high water. It is currently flowing at 572 cubic feet per second and still dropping. Now be an excellent time to fish the Cattaraugus with fish both moving up and drop-backs heading out. Anglers have seen decent catches on Cattaraugus and Chautauqua Creeks this week. Productive baits include egg sacs, single eggs, woolly buggers, egg sucking leeches and minnow imitations. All other Erie tributaries are low and clear. These creeks are still holding some fish, but many are dropping back toward the lake. Small baits and light lines are a must when fishing clear conditions.


Smallmouth Bass


The first of the spring run smallmouth bass are moving into the Erie tributaries, especially Cattaraugus Creek. The tributary bass action really heats up in May! If you are targeting bass, keep in mind that only artificial baits/lures are permitted until May 2nd.


Anglers are catching bullhead in Dunkirk Harbor off the main city pier and behind the Clarion. Look for smallmouth bass and yellow perch action to pick up in harbors such as Barcelona, Dunkirk, Sturgeon and Small Boat Harbors.


Upper Niagara River


The last of the ice floes have dissipated in the upper river, making way for boater access. Bass and panfish action will be best in areas with slightly warmer water temperatures, like the various harbors and inlets along Grand Island, Buffalo and the Tonawandas. These warmer water pockets draw in bait fish which in turn draw feeding panfish and bass. If you are targeting bass, keep in mind that only artificial baits/lures are permitted at this time.


Chautauqua Lake


The crappie bite has been slow to decent, with a better early morning or night bite. Minnows, small tube jigs or a combination have been productive between 6-8 feet of water. Better catches have been seen by anglers targeting yellow perch from both boat and shore. Fathead minnows are producing nice catches of 8-9 inch perch with some jumbos mixed in. The bullhead bite has been good in shallow areas on worms and chicken livers.


Inland Trout Streams


Streams are on the clear side, but in good fishing shape. Water temperatures are on the rise and trout will be more active. Anglers are having success with little spinners, salted minnows, worms and flies. Fly anglers report good surface activity on Hendrickson mayflies and blue wing olives. Nymphs such as stoneflies, scuds, pheasant tails and caddis flies will also catch fish.


Trout Stocking 2009


April 1st traditionally marks the start of trout season in New York, even though some waters are open to trout fishing year round. Numerous area streams and lakes are stocked each spring (March through May) with thousands of yearling brown, rainbow and brook trout. In addition to the traditional stocking of yearling trout, many waters also receive generous numbers of two-year old brown trout that average 14 inches in length. The following waters have been stocked as of April 17th:


Cattaraugus County: Great Valley Creek (Ellicottville), Connoisarauley Creek (Ashford), Beaver Meadow Creek (Ellicottville), Forks Creek (Great Valley), Wrights Creek (Humphrey), Ischua Creek (Franklinville), Franklinville Retention Pond (Franklinville), Mansfield Creek (Mansfield), South Branch Cattaraugus Creek (East Otto), Little Conewango Creek (Conewango), Paisley Park Pond (Randolph), Guernsey Run (South Valley), North Branch Sawmill Run (South Valley), Bone Run (South Valley), Bay State Brook (Red House), Quaker Run (Cold Spring), Red House Brook (Red House), Science Lake (Red House), Rice Brook (Carrollton), County Ponds (Randolph), Five Mile Creek (Allegany), New Albion Lake (New Albion), Case Lake (Franklinville), Harwood Lake (Farmersville), Elton Creek (Freedom), Lake Flavia (Dayton), Quaker Lake (Elko), Maples Club Pond (Otto), Haskell Creek (Hinsdale).


Chautauqua County: Goose Creek (N. Harmony/Harmony), Little Brokenstraw Creek (Harmony), Clay Pond (Poland), Chautauqua Creek (Chautauqua), Twentymile Creek (Ripley), Bear Lake Outlet (Stockton), Canadaway Creek (Arkwright), Cassadaga Creek (Stockton), West Branch Conewango Creek (Villenova), Farrington Hollow Brook (Cherry Creek), Mill Creek (Gerry).


Erie County: East Branch Cazenovia Creek (Emery Park), Eighteen Mile Creek (Boston Town Park), Little Buffalo Creek (Lancaster/Marilla), Cattaraugus Creek (Yorkshire), Sprague Brook Park Ponds (Concord), Ellicott Creek (Amherst).


Wiscoy Creek Angler Diary Program


The DEC Region 9 Fisheries Office will be running an angler diary program for Wiscoy Creek in Allegany and Wyoming Counties during 2009 and is currently looking for anglers to keep diaries. If you fish Wiscoy Creek (even once) and would like to keep a diary for DEC, please call the DEC fisheries office at (716) 372-0645 or email fwfish9@gw.dec.state.ny.us . The program will run March 1 through October 31. This program duplicates one run in 2006 and will be used in conjunction with a late-summer electrofishing survey to evaluate the fishery’s overall quality. In 2006, over 115 anglers signed up for the program.


If you need more fishing information or would like to contribute to the fishing report, please call or e-mail Mike Todd (716-851-7010; mttodd@gw.dec.state.ny.us ) or Jim Markham (716-366-0228; jlmarkha@gw.dec.state.ny.us ). Good Luck Fishing!


The fishing hotline can also be heard at (716) 679-ERIE or (716) 855-FISH.

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