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Special Regulations for Great Lakes Tributaries

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Great Lakes Waters Exempted from Seasonal Tributary Regulations

The following regulations apply to all Great Lakes waters except those listed in the table below:

Water

County

Applicable Regulations

Niagara River

Erie & Niagara

Upper Niagara River or Lower Niagara River regulations apply

Round Pond, Buck Pond, Long Pond, Cranberry Pond, and Irondequoit Bay

Monroe

Lake Ontario regulations apply

Sodus Bay

Wayne

Lake Ontario regulations apply

South Sandy Pond

Oswego

Lake Ontario regulations apply

Tributaries to the St. Lawrence River

All tributaries in Clinton and Franklin

Statewide regulations apply

Special Regulations for Lake Erie Tributaries

Lake Erie Tributaries with Seasonal Closures

Fishing is prohibited from Jan. 1 through March 31 on Spooner Creek and its tributaries, and North Branch Clear Creek and tributaries from Taylor Hollow Road upstream to the outflow of Clear Lake.

Lake Erie Year Round Catch and Release Regulations for Chautauqua and Eighteen Mile Creeks

  • Catch and release only for trout and salmon in creek sections described below
  • Only artificial flies or artificial lures can be used in catch and release sections
  • Seasonal regulations regarding hooks, leaders, and weights apply (see section Special Regulations for Great Lakes Tributaries)

Water

County

Section

Chautauqua Creek

Chautauqua

From bridge on South Gale Street upstream 1.3 miles to the upper Village of Westfield water intake dam

Eighteen Mile Creek

Erie

Main branch of creek (excluding South Branch) contained within Eighteen Mile Creek County Park

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Portions of Lake Erie Tributaries Subject to Seasonal (September 1 to March 31) Regulations

The following tributary sections are subject to seasonal fishing regulations described below during the period September 1 to March 31:

Water

County

Section

Cattaraugus Creek

Erie and Cattaraugus

From the Aldrich Street Extension Bridge in Gowanda upstream to Springville Dam

Buffalo River and its tributaries

Erie

From the I-90 (NYS Thruway) bridge upstream to first barrier impassable by fish

All others

Erie, Chautauqua

From bridge closest to the mouth upstream to the first barrier impassable by fish

Lake Erie Tributary Seasonal Fishing Regulations

Fishing Hours

  • Fishing only permitted one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset (fishing at night is prohibited).

Hook, Leader and Weight Regulations

  • The distance between a hook’s shaft and point cannot exceed one-half inch.
  • Hooks attached to any lure must be free-swinging, except on an artificial fly (see definition section New York State Angler Achievement Awards).
  • Use of hooks with added weight is prohibited, except for artificial flies with no more than one-eighth ounce of added feathers, hair, thread, tinsel, or similar material (see definition section New York State Angler Achievement Awards).
  • The distance between the hook, artificial fly or lure and any weight attached to the line or leader, whether fixed or sliding, shall not exceed four feet.

Special Regulations for Lake Ontario Tributaries Except the Lower Niagara River and Salmon River

Lower Niagara River regulations can be found on section Special Regulations for Great Lakes Tributaries. Salmon River regulations can be found on section General Regulations.

Lake Ontario Tributaries with Seasonal Closures

Fishing is prohibited from March 16 through the first Saturday in May on Little Sandy Creek (Oswego County) from the State Route 3 bridge downstream 850 feet to the intersection of the channelized area and upstream 1.0 miles for the bridge to the Public Fishing Rights section.

Sections of Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River Tributaries Subject to Seasonal (Sept. 1 to Mar. 31) Regulations

The following tributary sections are subject to seasonal fishing regulations described below during the period September 1 to March 31:

Water

County

Portion of Tributary Subject to Special Regulations

Eighteenmile Creek

Niagara

From the Route 18 bridge upstream to Burt Dam

Oak Orchard Creek

Orleans

From the power lines that are 1.9 miles upstream (south) of Route 18 bridge upstream to Waterport Dam

Sterling Creek

Cayuga

From Old State Road to impassable barrier upstream of Route 104A

Sterling Valley Creek

Cayuga

From McIntyre Road to impassable barrier upstream of Route 104A

Oswego River

Oswego

From the Utica Street bridge upstream to the Varick Dam

Catfish Creek

Oswego

From the mouth upstream to dam at County Route 1

Black River

Jefferson

From the upstream tip of the lowermost island to Mill Street dam in Watertown

All other tributaries

All

From the bridge closest to the mouth upstream to first barrier impassable by fish

Lake Ontario Tributary Seasonal Fishing Regulations

Fishing Hours

Fishing from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise is prohibited except in the Black River (Jefferson County) from Lake Ontario upstream to the Route 180 bridge in Dexter, where fishing is permitted at all times.

Hook, Leader and Weight Regulations

Hooks

  • Only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except as outlined below for floating lures
  • Hooks attached to any lure must be free-swinging, except on an artificial fly (see definition section New York State Angler Achievement Awards). An artificial fly may not have more than one hook point.
  • The gap between a hook’s shaft and point cannot exceed one-half inch.
  • Use of hooks with added weight is prohibited, except for artificial flies with no more than one-eighth ounce of added feathers, hair, thread, tinsel, or similar material (see definition section New York State Angler Achievement Awards).

Floating Lures

  • A floating lure is a lure that floats at rest with or without additional weight attached to the lure, leader or line.
  • Can have multiple treble hooks except as follows where floating lures are restricted to one hook with a single hook point:
  • From September 1 through March 31 on all Lake Ontario tributaries in Cayuga and Oswego Counties, except the Salmon and Oswego Rivers.
  • From September 1 through November 30 from the Driving Park Bridge upstream to the lower falls on the Genessee River.
  • Any hooks on a floating lure must be attached to the lure by a ring or swivel.
  • The distance between the body of a floating lure and the points of any attached hooks shall not exceed one and one-half inches.

Leaders and Weights

  • The distance between the hook, artificial fly or lure and any weight attached to the line or leader, whether fixed or sliding, shall not exceed four feet.
  • For tributaries in Oswego and Cayuga Counties, and the Genesee River (Monroe County) from the Driving Park Bridge upstream to the lower falls: any weight added to the line, leader, swivels, artificial fly or lure shall not hang lower than the hook when line or leader is held vertically.

Special Regulations for the Salmon River

Seasonal Regulations by Section (refer to section General Regulations for Fly Fishing Catch & Release section)

Section

Effective Dates

Regulations

From the upstream most navigation buoy located between the breakwalls at the mouth of the river upstream to the County Rt. 52 bridge in Altmar

April 15 – August 14

August 15 – April 14

  • Fishing is prohibited at night from ½ hr. after sunset to ½ hr. before sunrise.
  • Only one hook with a single hook point and a gap not exceeding ½ inch is permitted except on floating lures as noted below.
  • Hooks attached to any lure, except an artificial fly, must be free swinging and unweighted. Artificial flies with no more than 1/8 oz. of added weight may be used. The method by which weight is added to a hook does not affect classification as an “artificial fly” provided the conditions of the definition of an artificial fly on section New York State Angler Achievement Awards are met.
  • The distance between the hook, artificial fly or lure and any weight attached to the line or leader, whether fixed or sliding, shall not exceed 4 ft.
  • Weight shall not be added to the line, leader, swivels, artificial fly or lure in any manner that the weight hangs lower than the attached hook when the line is suspended vertically from the rod.

August 15 – October 31

Additional Regulations for Floating Lures Apply

  • A bead chain may be attached to the floating lure with a ring.
  • The bead chain may not exceed a distance of three and one half inches between the body of the floating lure and the hook point.
  • 1 hook with a single hook point and a gap of no more than 5/8 in. may be attached to the bead chain or directly to the lure.

November 1 – April 14

Multiple single, double and treble hooks are permitted on floating lures

From Lake Ontario to Rt. 3 Bridge

April 1- August 14

Fishing at night is permitted

Special Regulations for the Salmon River (Oswego County) Fly Fishing Catch-And-Release Areas

Fishing Hours, Season Dates and Locations:

  • Angling Permitted: From one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.
  • Lower Fly Section: Open September 15 through May 15, from County Route 52 Bridge in Altmar upstream 0.25 mile to the marked boundary at Beaverdam Brook.
  • Upper Fly Section: Open April 1 through November 30 from a marked boundary upstream of the New York State Fish Hatchery property to a marked boundary 0.6 mile upstream at the Lighthouse Hill Reservoir tailrace.
  • Fishing is prohibited outside the open season.

Regulations:

  • Catch & Release: All fish must be immediately released without unnecessary injury.
  • Tackle Restrictions: Tackle is restricted to a traditional fly rod, fly reel, fly line, and artificial fly (definition on section New York State Angler Achievement Awards). (As permitted below)

Restrictions on fly lines, flies, attractors, leaders and supplemental weight:

Fly Lines:

  • Use of less than 20 feet of floating, sinking, or combination floating/sinking fly line or shooting head immediately behind the leader and in front of any running line or other backing is prohibited.
  • Between May 1 and August 31: Floating Fly Lines Only.
  • Between September 1 and April 30: Floating, Sinking, and Sinktip fly lines are permitted.

Flies:

  • Between May 1 and August 31:a single unweighted artificial fly having one hook point with a one-half inch maximum gap only permitted.
  • Between September 1 and April 30: a single unweighted or weighted artificial fly with no more than 1/8 oz. added weight, having one hook point with a one-half-inch maximum gap only permitted.

Attractors:

  • The use of added baits or attractors such as, but not limited to, fish eggs, insects, beads, spoons, spinners, plugs, or similar devices on the line above the artificial fly is prohibited.

Leaders:

  • The total length of the leader including the tippet shall not exceed 15 feet.
  • Between May 1 and August 31: sinking and metal leaders are prohibited.

Additional Weight:

13NYFW-Chinook.jpg

  • Between May 1 and
    ugust 31:
    the use of supplemental weight such as split shot,
  • sinkers, metal leaders, twistons, or swivels attached to the leader, tippet, fly line or fly is prohibited.
  • Between September 1 and April 30: the use of supplemental weight is permitted with the following restrictions.
  • The combined weight of any supplemental weight and fly may not exceed one-eighth of an ounce.
  • The maximum distance between the artificial fly and any added weight to the line, leader or tippet shall not exceed four feet.
  • Weight added to the line, leader, swivels, or artificial fly in any manner such that the weight hangs lower than the attached fly is prohibited.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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