Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for March 4, 2020 – from Destination Niagara USA

Bob Rustowicz of Cheektowaga with a steelhead caught from a Lake Ontario tributary before the weather blew in last week.

The big news this week is not the fishing but what’s happening around the area.

At the top of the list is the fact that the ice boom is coming out already. Removal started on Monday this week, the second earliest ever for this to take place. Spring can’t be far away.

Also, this week is the WNY Sport and Travel Expo at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg, from March 5th through the 8th. It opens at noon Thursday and Friday, at 10 a.m. on the weekend. Check out for details.

A third thing this week is the announcement that there are going to be some new regulations in place for the Niagara River and Lake Ontario, as well as the tributaries as of April 1 this year. For the Niagara River and Lake Ontario, there will be an extra month added on to the lake trout season, giving anglers the month of December to pursue these fish. In Lake Ontario proper, the steelhead limit will be reduced from 3 to 2 fish as part of your overall 3-fish creel for salmon and trout. In the tributaries, the brown trout creel limit will drop from 3 to 1 fish. The steelhead limit will remain at 1, but the minimum size will increase from 21 inches to 25 inches. Check out the DEC website at for more information.

All of this extra information will probably tell you that fishing is a bit slow right now after the storms we experienced at the end of last week that included wind and snow. That was followed up with rain this week and a bit more wind so fishing is tough in the river and in the streams that flow to Lake Ontario.

Fishing was good in the river prior to the last storm according to Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Youngstown, but the water color changed and forced charter cancellations. Steelhead, lake trout and brown trout were all being caught when the conditions allowed for it. Some walleyes are still hanging around, too, but the season will be closing on March 15 (along with northern pike, pickerel and tiger musky).

Chris Connelly of North Tonawanda won the Niagara River Anglers Assn.’s steelhead contest with this 9.14-pound fish from the lower river. He was fishing with Capt. Frank Campbell of Lewiston, catching it in the last 15 minutes of the contest.

As of yesterday, visibility was about 1 foot according to Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls, an avid shore fisherman. If we don’t see any more wind or heavy rain, we could have fishing pick back up by the weekend. Keep your fingers crossed.

In the tributaries, the streams are all high and muddy right now. It could trigger some fresh fish to run, so when levels come down and the water clears, it could be a good time to hook up with a steelie or a brown.

Remember it’s “spring ahead” this weekend …

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls with a steelhead he caught in the lower Niagara River on a spinner.
Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director
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Destination Niagara USA; 10 Rainbow Blvd.; Niagara Falls, NY 14303