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FISHING LINE

Niagara River/Lake Ontario

Boom ice hadn't reached lower river drifts as of Wednesday morning and a few boaters were on the water out of Lewiston Landing by midmorning.

Stained water, not ice floes, had hampered the steelie strikes this week, with sack drifters hitting a few good trout holding tight to bottom in Devils Hole.

A few drifts produced a fish or two down current, but most boaters have headed out to the Niagara Bar to check on movements of both trout and salmon.

The most fruitful fishery has been brown trout starting to show along shoreline. Ice Boom ice may change things by the weekend, but with a small mass of ice floes expected, the early bite along the Lake Ontario shoreline might start in a week or two.

Panfish prospects

Many inland lakes have either lingering ice surfaces or unchecked openings for runs of crappie, bluegill, perch and other panfish.

As of Wednesday morning, Chautauqua Lake ice surfaces covered the North Basin and about half the South Basin. Best bite before the ice melted was bluegill at Burtis Bay. Some channels had opened, but high water made access uncertain.

Silver Lake was completely ice-covered at midmorning Wednesday. No public-access channels had opened to fishing yet.

Honeoye Lake ice melted off Saturday morning, but boaters had yet to report any fish movement by midweek. The entire lake was open from Richmond Park access to the state launch at southeast corner of lake.

Both Seneca and Keuka lakes opened to perch fishing and boaters have been getting out of Roy's Marina on Route 14 south of Geneva on the west shoreline. Seneca perch have been active in selected spots; Keuka reports had yet to come in as of Wednesday morning.

Trout stockings

Many inland streams saw flood-stage water levels, but sites scheduled for brown trout stockings from the Randolph Hatchery are at manageable levels and all sites listed below will be ready for weekend anglers, according to hatchery manager John Mellon.

Yearlings and 2-year-old trout have been stocked in the these county waters:

Allegany County: California Highway Brook (Bolivar), 420; Hunt Creek (Alma), 210; and Root Creek (Bolivar), 620. All yearlings.

Cattaraugus County: (Yearlings) Five Mile Creek (Allegany) 2,410; Rice Brook, 250; Little Conewango Creek (Conewango), 1,205; Elton Creek (Freedom), 1,410; and Haskell Creek (Hinsdale). (2-Year-Olds) Quaker Lake (Elko), 380; New Albion Lake (New Albion), 190; Little Conewango Creek (Conewango), 190; and Elton Creek (Freedom), 190.

Chautauqua County: (Yearlings) Clear Creek (Ellington), 1,580; (2-Year-Olds) Clear Creek (Ellington), 280.

Trout clinic

Instructor George Dovolos will hold a rescheduled "Trout Clinic," beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Trailside Lodge at the Castile Entrance to Letchworth State Park. Bring your own equipment for this free three-hour program. For details, call (585) 493-3615.
e-mail: wille@pce.net