Destination Niagara USA Fishing Forecast

  • Report for March 23, 2017
  • Fish Bite is On at Burt Dam
  • Early Spring Weather Brings Rain and Snow Melt
Matty Wagner of Tonawanda caught this two-tone steelhead at Burt Dam on an egg sac. According to a fish pathologist, this was probably the result of some type of spinal injury.

After digging out from the March snow storm last week, things are finally settling in to more spring-like conditions. Not everything is perfect though. The weather forecasters are calling for some rain this weekend, especially Saturday and Sunday. That should get all of the streams flowing nicely once they settle down from higher water levels. A gradual increase in temperature has been good for melting off the snow at a slow and steady pace.

Lake Ontario and Tributaries

Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek have been the place to go as steelhead and browns continue to be the primary target.  We’ve had reports of some fresh steel coming into the creek in the last couple of days so this will be a good time to take advantage of some migrating trout. There is a mix of both pre-spawn and post-spawn steelhead.

For post-spawn trout, look for meat like worms and minnows. Pre-spawn is more of an egg sac or grub bite. Jigs will work, too. You just have to figure out what the fish want. Twelve mile and Keg Creek should both be good options, too.

In the harbors of Wilson and Olcott, some perch and northern pike have been biting. Remember that pike are out of season.  The piers still have some ice on them, but that should be gone after the weekend.  With some ice chunks in the harbor, look for some shoreline trolling to take place starting next week.  

The Wilson Conservation Club bullhead contest is set for April 7-9. Mark your calendar.

On April 8, the LOTSA pen rearing project will start at the Town of Newfane Marina starting at 9 a.m.  They will ready the pens and get them in the water to prepare to receive the fish.

Speaking of fish, if you are wondering when they will be trout stocking Hyde Park Lake, Gill Creek and Oppenheim Park Pond in Niagara Falls, mark April 5 on your calendar.  Oppenheim Park Pond, along Niagara Falls Blvd. in Wheatfield, will receive 100 browns and 200 rainbows around 10 a.m. Hyde Park Lake in Niagara Falls will receive 200 two-year-old browns and 1,650 yearlings at 11 a.m.  In addition, Gill Creek will be the recipient of 540 browns from Buffalo Avenue upstream to the dam at the lake.

Lower Niagara River

Lower Niagara River action has been decent from both boat and shore. No major winds or rains caused the water to muddy up so it’s been pretty consistent for both boat and shore fishermen.

Best drifts have been Devil’s Hole and Artpark, but you should be able to find trout throughout the river system – steelhead and lake trout with the occasional brown thrown in. Egg sacs have been working best on the steelhead; minnows for the lake trout.

Pautzke fire brine has been working on the minnows to color them up a bit, but the clear has been working on the eggs before you tie the sacs up.  Boat drifters are using 3-way rigs to bounce the bottom.  From shore, casters are still using spoons, spinners and egg sacs, but the hot bait the past week has been jigs.  Tip a jig with a Gulp minnow or offer up a jig with a lot of flash, color and hair. Both steelhead and lake trout have been hitting.

April 1 will probably see the NYPA Fish Platform open up again, as well as the reservoir.  The NRAA John Long, Sr. Memorial Raffle and Feast is April 1 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Niagara Active Hose on Lockport Rd. in Niagara Falls.

The Antique Tackle Show is Saturday, March 25 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Elks Lodge on North Canal Rd., Lockport. 

The Niagara River Anglers Association will be holding its 12th Annual John Long, Sr. Raffle and Feast is set for April 2 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Niagara Active Hose on Lockport Road in Niagara Falls. Call 628-1460 for information.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA, 14303
716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809
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Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!