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NYS Canal Corp. announces fall fishing initiative in WNY is now an annual program to support fishing environment, angling community & local businesses


Fri, Oct 7th 2022 05:00 pm

Several Lake Ontario tributaries to receive increased water from Erie Canal, improving spawning conditions & enhancing fishing opportunities

√ Water release schedule is now live on updated website

The New York State Canal Corp. 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.

A press release noted, “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 Corp.’s ‘Reimagine the Canals’ initiative, the fall fishing program will also help to increase tourism and bolster local businesses.”

New York Power Authority Interim President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll said, "For two years, the Canal Corp. has successfully extended the fall fishing season in Western New York and provided an unparalleled experience for anglers of all skill levels. 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."

NYS added, “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 Corp. is increasing regulated water releases from the Erie Canal into Monroe, Orleans and Niagara counties’ 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.”

Director Brian U. Stratton said, "The New York State Canal Corp. 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 Corp. and appreciative of Gov. 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 feature is available on DEC's HuntFishNY smartphone app (available for iOS and Android), which provides one-stop shopping for information fishing waters throughout New York. 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 Corp. 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 past two years, the fall fishing program has been featured on the NBC Sports television show “On the Water: Angling Adventures.” For more information or to view the episode, visit here.

New York’s canal system includes four historic canals: the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga – Seneca. Spanning 524 miles, the waterway links the Hudson River with the Great Lakes, the Finger Lakes and Lake Champlain. The canals connect hundreds of unique and historic communities across upstate New York.

The New York State Canal Corp. is a subsidiary of the New York Power Authority.

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