Special Regulations for Great Lakes Tributaries
New York Fishing
Special Regulations for Lake Ontario Tributaries Except the Lower Niagara River and Salmon River
Lake Ontario tributaries with seasonal closures
Little Sandy Creek (Oswego County)
Fishing is prohibited from March 16 through the first Saturday in May from the State Route 3 bridge downstream 850 feet to the intersection of the channelized area and upstream 1.0 miles from the bridge to the Public Fishing Rights section.
Lake Ontario tributary seasonal fishing regulations
Seasonal fishing regulations apply September 1 to March 31.
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
- Only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except as outlined below for floating lures and artificial flies.
- Hooks attached to any lure must be free-swinging, except on an artificial fly (see definition on page 54).
- An artificial fly (page 54) can only have a single hook with no more than two hook points. Tandem artificial flies are not permitted.
- The gap between a hook’s shaft and point cannot exceed one-half inch.
- Use of hooks with added weight is prohibited, except artificial flies (page 54) and jigs weighing no more than one-eighth ounce.
- A floating lure is a lure that floats at rest in water with or without any weight attached to the lure, leader or line.
- Can have multiple treble hooks.
- Any hooks on a floating lure must be attached to the lure by a ring or swivel except for artificial flies.
- 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.
- Any weight added to the line, leader, swivels, artificial fly or lure shall not hang lower than the hook when the line or leader is held vertically.
|Lower Niagara River regulations can be found on page 47. Salmon River regulations can be found on page 49.|
Lake Ontario Waters and Tributaries Exempted from Seasonal Tributary Regulations
The following regulations apply except those listed in the table below:
|Niagara River|| |
Erie & Niagara
Upper Niagara River or Lower Niagara River regulations apply
|Round Pond, Buck Pond, Long Pond, Cranberry Pond, and Irondequoit Bay|| |
Lake Ontario regulations apply
|Sodus Bay|| |
Lake Ontario regulations apply
|South Sandy Pond|| |
Lake Ontario regulations apply
Sections of Lake Ontario Tributaries Subject to Seasonal (Sept. 1 to Mar. 31) Regulations
The following tributary sections are subject to seasonal fishing regulations
Portion of Tributary Subject to Special Regulations
|Eighteenmile Creek|| |
From the Route 18 bridge upstream to Burt Dam
|Oak Orchard Creek|| |
From the first power lines that are 1.9 miles upstream (south) of Route 18 bridge upstream to Waterport Dam
|Genesee River|| |
From the State Route 104 Bridge upstream to the Lower Falls.
|Sterling Creek|| |
From Old State Road to impassable barrier upstream of Route 104A
|Sterling Valley Creek|| |
From McIntyre Road to impassable barrier upstream of Route 104A
|Oswego River|| |
From the Utica Street bridge upstream to the Varick Dam
|Catfish Creek|| |
From the mouth upstream to dam at County Route 1
|Black River|| |
From the upstream tip of the lowermost island to Mill Street dam in Watertown
|All other tributaries|| |
From the bridge closest to the mouth upstream to first barrier impassable by fish
Examples of Legal Seasonal Fishing Rigs
Salmon River fly fishing catch-and-release sections
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.
Catch & release
All fish must be immediately released without unnecessary injury.
Tackle is restricted to a traditional fly rod, fly reel, fly line, and artificial fly (definition on page 54). Restrictions on fly lines, flies, attractors, leaders and supplemental weight are as follows:
- 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.
- From May 1 through August 31: Floating fly lines only.
- From September 1 through April 30: Floating, sinking, and sink tip fly lines are permitted.
- From May 1 through August 31: a single unweighted artificial fly having one hook point with a one-half inch maximum gap only permitted.
- From September 1 through 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.
- 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.
- The total length of the leader including the tippet shall not exceed 15 feet.
- From May 1 through August 31: sinking and metal leaders are prohibited.
- From May 1 through August 31: the use of supplemental weight such as split shot, sinkers, metal leaders, twist-ons, or swivels attached to the leader, tippet, fly line or fly is prohibited.
- From September 1 through 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.
Beaverdam Brook in Altmar fishing closure
Fishing in Beaverdam Brook and its tributaries, Oswego County, is prohibited from their mouths to the upstream boundary of the Salmon River Hatchery property.
Salmon River Downstream of Rt. 52 Bridge in Altmar
From the upstream most navigation buoy located between the breakwalls at the
|April 15 – August 14|| |
|August 15 – April 14|| |
|August 15 – Oct 31||Additional Regulations for Floating Lures Apply |
|Nov 1 – April 14|| |
|April 1 – August 14|| |
Fishing Great Lake Tributaries
Anglers fishing Great Lakes tributaries are reminded that some of these tributaries may contain hydro-electric generating plants with dams, spillways, and deep pools that may produce strong currents. Anglers should pay particular attention to warning notice signs and audible signals indicating fluctuating water levels, and the use of a personal flotation device (life jacket) when wading in these waters is highly recommended.