Inland trout streams
Opening day rain and high water levels dampened but did not deter diehard trout trekkers across Central and Western New York's inland stream sites.
Hot spots warmed up later in the week, as stream levels settled and clarity improved since opening day on Sunday. Here are the locations, counts and trout species the Randolph Hatchery will have in place for weekend anglers:
Allegany County: Two-year-old brown trout-California Hw Brook (Bolivar) 420; Hunt Creek (Alma), 210; and Root Creek (Bolivar), 630.
Cattaraugus County: Brown trout -- Elton Creek (Freedom), 1,440; Rice Brook (Carrollton), 250; Five Mile Creek (Allegany), 2, 440; Little Conewango Creek (Conewango), 1,200; Cattaraugus County Pond A, 100, Pond B, 100; and Haskell Creek (Hinsdale) 590. Two-year-old brown trout -- Elton Creek (Freedom), 180; Quaker Lake (Elko), 370; Quaker Run (Cold Spring), 90; New Albion Lake (New Albion), 180; Little Conewango Creek (Conewango), 180.
Lake Ontario / Lower Niagara River
Mixed is the status of fish biting and species caught in the lower river right now. Water clarity -- too much for good shore or boat approaches -- may improve by the weekend, with stained water that might improve steelie and lake trout action.
Clarity has put stalls -- if not stops -- to fishing on the Niagara Bar. Lakers and browns are around, but drifters with minnows and with assorted artificial baits have had to work for the few fish they can catch in open water.
Last week, a report on bar fishing for lake trout referred to a "three-fish limit." Trout fishermen can take a combined limit of three salmonids (trout and salmon), but the new regulations, which began on Oct. 1, 2006, allows Lake Ontario lake trout anglers to keep only two lakers, one inside and one outside the slot limit of 25-30 inches. Trout fishing is becoming as complex and varying as duck hunting.
Ice surfaces have disappeared on all inland lakes in the Southern Tier and western Finger Lakes. In general, shore anglers have a better shot at bluegills and crappie in channels, bays creeks and marina inlets. Perch prospects look better for open-water sites.
Chautauqua Lake: Channels and marina slips produce better, but a few boaters have begun hitting into crappie schools along warm-water bays around the lake. Ashville and Lakewood Bays saw first action. Maple Springs and Magnolia Bay in the North Basin has also seen some crappie activity.
Yellow perch numbers remain high but finding filleting-sized fish can be frustrating. Best starting point is Mayville Bay.
Silver/Honeoye: Ice at Silver Lake left later than nearby public-access lakes and most of the panfish action exists in channels and along black-bottom shallows at the south end. Honeoye Lake's bluegills are on hold, but fair numbers of crappie are hitting along weed edges at the south embayment. Minnows are a must.
Seneca Lake: Perch have been a steady bite through the winter and early-spring seasons. Boaters do best at 40-foot depths on the west shore from Glass Factory Bay south to Kashong Point; along the east shoreline. Twenty-foot depths have been most productive from the canal mouth south to Reeders Creek. Oak leaf grubs rule.