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Lower Niagara River

Ice Boom floes have moved through the lower river and waters are at a mild to mid-stain level.
Smelt dippers have yet to see results, but all the signs are there. "We should have good dipping by the weekend; typically, the smelt are in by the third week in April," said Capt. John DeLorenzi.

"With the water clearing and warmer weather coming, it [smelt dipping] should be good by the weekend," he added.
Boaters have not been working the river and Niagara Bar during the Ice Boom outflow, but smelt schools had been heavy around the bar a week earlier.

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Great Lakes feeders

Oak Orchard Creek has stained, but good steelie runs up stream and a few good perch near the mouth had kept anglers busy before the rain and snow moved through.
Smaller Lake Ontario streams such as Keg and Johnsons show better water clarity for trout fishing. Boaters have done well on browns and cohos by trolling the shore on either side of Oak Orchard.
Cattaraugus Creek could be stained for another week, says Rick Miller at Millers Bait & Tackle, but he sees better odds for waders on smaller feeders such as Silver Creek, Canadaway, Chautauqua, Cayuga and others.
Jake Knier, 14, of Lancaster, and dad, Chuck drove the 90 miles to Naples on April 1 to fish the Annual Naples Rainbow Trout Derby.
After being shut out in thunder and occasional rainfalls, they headed home, had supper and then headed to nearby Cayuga Creek for a try at trout before sunset.
Dad writes, "Jake hooked into a 25-inch, 6-pound rainbow," which he netted and landed some 15 minutes later.
These continued cold-front conditions have upped the rainbow run in feeder streams along both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, and catches such as Jake's could continue.

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Inland lakes

* Chautauqua: Crappies began moving into Ashville Bay this past week. Shore and pier anglers are finally able to reach "calicos" from shore. Perch abound in the Mayville area. Bluegills show lakewide, but boaters have to move around to get into filleting-sized fish.
* Honeoye: Crappie school best at the southwest corner of the lake. The bluegill bite has been spotty, said Dan Sharp at Honeoye Bait & Tackle.
* Seneca: Lake trout trekkers have yet to find good spring patterns, but the perch pack is back. Boaters anchor and cast over 25- to 40-foot depths along the western shore between Clarks and Kashong points, with oak leaf grubs the best bait, says Rozalyn Japp at Roy's Marina on Glass Factory Bay.

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Trout stocking

Here is a listing of locations and counts of brown trout the Randolph Hatchery will have in place for weekend anglers:
Cattaraugus County: Ischua Creek (Franklinville), 3,260 1-year-olds and 350 2-year-olds; Olean Creek (Town of Olean), 170.
Chautauqua County: year-old brown trout -- Lake Erie at Sheridan, 8,420 and at Westfield, 8,420.
Wyoming County: Brown trout -- Cattaraugus Creek (Java), 1,100 year-old and 370 2-year-olds.

e-mail: willodrs@gmail.com

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