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​New York State Canal Corporation Announces Fall Fishing Initiative in Western NY is Now an Annual Program to Support the Fishing Environment, Angling Community and Local Businesses

Oct 11, 2022

Several Lake Ontario Tributaries to Receive Increased Water from Erie Canal, Improving Spawning Conditions & Enhancing Fishing Opportunities

The Water Release Schedule is Now Live on Updated Website


The New York State Canal Corporation announced that after a successful two-year trial run, its Fall Fishing initiative is now a permanent annual program that will release regulated flows of water from the Erie Canal into Lake Ontario tributaries in Western New York each fall. This program improves spawning conditions, extends angling opportunities, and enhances world-class fishing destinations in Monroe, Orleans, and Niagara counties. As part of the New York Power Authority and Canal Corporation's Reimagine the Canals initiative, the Fall Fishing program will also help to increase tourism and bolster local businesses.

"For two years, the Canal Corporation has successfully extended the fall fishing season in Western New York and provided an unparalleled experience for anglers of all skill levels,"said New York Power Authority Interim President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll. “This strategic use of water from the Erie Canal ensures improved conditions for all anglers – bolstering upstate New York's attraction for an even wider breadth of visitors from across the state and beyond and giving a significant boost to the local economies and small businesses who depend on fishing to support their operations."

The recent completion of a State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) review signals an end to the program's pilot status and transition to an annual implementation schedule each fall.

Now through mid-December, the New York State Canal Corporation is increasing regulated water releases from the Erie Canal into Monroe, Orleans, and Niagara County's premier streams – Oak Orchard Creek, Sandy Creek, Eighteenmile Creek, and Johnson Creek (starts mid-October). These elevated flows will entice more brown trout, steelhead, and Atlantic and Pacific salmon to run up these streams, by improving conditions for the fish.

New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, "The New York State Canal Corporation is proud to usher in another fall fishing season in a monumental and strategic way that benefits the environment, anglers, tourists, as well as Western New York's canalside businesses and surrounding communities. Increasing the flow of water into Lake Ontario tributaries will grant anglers tremendous opportunities for world-class fishing experiences, and a substantially longer season."

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Lake Ontario tributaries offer world-renowned salmon, steelhead, and trout fishing. The increased flows help to improve the run of spawning fish and ensure current and future generations of anglers enjoy these opportunities. DEC is excited to once again partner with the Canal Corporation and appreciative of Governor Hochul's ongoing support for enhancing New Yorkers' recreational experiences, while also fostering the success of this fishery over the long-term."

This summer, DEC launched the new 'Tackle Box' feature to enhance fishing-related tourism and help new and experienced anglers enjoy the great fishing offered throughout New York. The Tackle Box feature is available on DEC's HuntFishNY smartphone app (available for iOS and Android), which provides one-stop shopping for information fishing waters throughout the State. State-operated fishing access sites, regulations, stocking information, and other useful features like photos to help identify fish are available at an angler's fingertips when using the Tackle Box. More information on the HuntFishNY Mobile app can be found on DEC's website.

As part of a continued enhancement of Western New York's fishing opportunities, the Canal Corporation updated its website to provide anglers with information about when and where the increased water releases will take place. The landing page includes a schedule of water releases, links to public fishing locations, “live" water level data from the U.S. Geological Survey plus additional resources and background for casual and serious anglers alike.

For the last two years, the Fall Fishing program has been featured on the NBC Sports television show “On the Water: Angling Adventures." For more information and to view the episode, please visit here