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Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River & Tributaries Regulations

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LAKE ONTARIO, ST. LAWRENCE RIVER, AND THEIR TRIBUTARIES* SEASONS AND LIMITS**

Species

Open Season

Minimum Length

Daily Limit

Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout (including Steelhead), Coho Salmon, Chinook Salmon

All year

15” except for Rainbow Trout or Steelhead: 21” in the lake and 25” in tributaries

3 in combination, not to include more than 2 Rainbow Trout (or Steelhead) in the lake, and not to include more than 1 Rainbow Trout (or Steelhead) and 1 Brown Trout in the tributaries

Except 9” and 3 fish daily for Brown Trout in Irondequoit Creek upstream of the south side of Rte. 286 bridges, Lindsey Creek and Skinner Creek (Oswego and Jeferson counties), and the Black River from Dexter Dam to Mill Street Dam (Jeferson County)

Lake Trout

Dec 1–Sept 30

None (except no more than 1 shall be between 25” and 30”)

2

Atlantic Salmon

All year

25”

1

Northern Pike (Lake Ontario)

1st Sat in May– Mar 15

22”

5

Northern Pike (St. Lawrence River and tributaries downstream of Tibbets Point)

1st Sat in May– Mar 15

22”

3

Black Bass

Statewide Species Regulations apply except that fishing for black bass (including Catch and Release) is prohibited Dec 1–Fri preceding the 3rd Sat in June in Lake Ontario and tributaries in Jeferson Co. and the St. Lawrence River and tributaries.

Walleye

1st Sat in May– Mar 15

18”

3

Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge

3rd Sat in June– Dec 15

54”

1

American Eel

Closed

Possession prohibited

Yellow Perch, Sunfish

All year

None

50 of each Except Yellow Perch and Sunfish may be taken in any number in Jeferson County

  • These species seasons and limits do not apply to St. Lawrence River tributaries in Clinton and Franklin counties. See Statewide Species Regulations and Region 5 special regulations for these tributaries. ** See Region 6 special regulations for seasonal closures on the Oswegatchie and Grasse rivers.
Lake Ontario Tributary Seasonal Fishing Regulations Except the Lower Niagara River and Salmon River

Lake Ontario Waters and Tributaries Exempted from Seasonal Tributary Regulations

The following waters are exempt from Lake Ontario tributary seasonal fishing regulations:

BUCK POND

Lake Ontario Seasons and Limits apply

CRANBERRY POND

Lake Ontario Seasons and Limits apply

IRONDEQUOIT BAY

Lake Ontario Seasons and Limits apply

LONG POND

Lake Ontario Seasons and Limits apply

NIAGARA RIVER

Upper Niagara River or Lower Niagara River Regulations apply

ROUND POND

Lake Ontario Seasons and Limits apply

SALMON RIVER:

See Salmon River Regulations

SODUS BAY

Lake Ontario Seasons and Limits apply

SOUTH SANDY POND

Lake Ontario Seasons and Limits apply

Sections of Lake Ontario Tributaries

Subject to Seasonal Tributary Regulations

The following tributary sections are subject to seasonal fishing regulations described below during the period Sept 1–Mar 31:

BLACK RIVER

From the upstream tip of the lowermost island to Mill St. Dam in Watertown

CATFISH CREEK

From the mouth upstream to dam at County Rte. 1

EIGHTEENMILE CREEK (NIAGARA COUNTY)

From the Rte. 18 bridge upstream to Burt Dam

OAK ORCHARD CREEK

From the 1st power lines that are 1.9 miles upstream (south) of Rte. 18 bridge upstream to Waterport Dam

GENESEE RIVER

From the State Rte. 104 bridge upstream to the Lower Falls

OSWEGO RIVER

From the Utica St. Bridge upstream to the Varick Dam

STERLING CREEK

From Old State Rd. to 1st impassable barrier upstream of Rte. 104A

STERLING VALLEY CREEK

From McIntyre Rd. to 1st impassable barrier upstream of Rte. 104A

ALL OTHER TRIBUTARIES

From the bridge closest to the mouth upstream to 1st barrier impassable by fish

Lake Ontario Tributaries with Seasonal Closures

LITTLE SANDY CREEK (OSWEGO COUNTY)

Fishing is prohibited from Mar 16–the 1st Sat in May from the State Rte. 3 bridge downstream 850 feet to the intersection of the channelized area and upstream 1.0 mile from the bridge to the Public Fishing Rights section.

Lake Ontario Tributary Seasonal Fishing Regulations

SEASON

Seasonal fishing regulations apply Sept 1 to Mar 31.

FISHING HOURS

Fishing from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise is prohibited except in the Black River (Jefferson County) from Lake Ontario upstream to the Rte. 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 and artificial flies

Hooks attached to any lure must be free-swinging, except on an artificial fly (see Definitions).

An artificial fly 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 1/2 inch.

Use of hooks with added weight is prohibited, except artificial flies and jigs weighing no more than 1/8 oz.

Floating lures:

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 1 1/2 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.

EXAMPLES OF LEGAL SEASONAL FISHING RIGS