Niagara River Salmon-Snagger Lawbreakers are Caught

Observant anglers spotted a shore angler snagging salmon and breaking the law. Time to blow the whistle.

  • Weighted snag hooks drop below the fish and when an angler lifts sharply, the hook points snag the fish in the body, often injuring many fish never caught. The snagging method is illegal in New York. NYSDEC Photo

    Salmon Snagging is Illegal in New York State

On Sep. 19, Environmental Conservation Officers George Scheer and Shea Mathis were on boat patrol in the Lower Niagara River when they were approached by a group of fishermen in another boat.

The anglers reported an individual in a red shirt blatantly snagging fish from shore about a mile upriver along the Gorge Trail in Niagara Falls. From their patrol vessel, the ECOs could not navigate that far upriver due to strong currents and underwater obstructions.

The ECOs piloted their vessel back to its mooring in Youngstown and drove to Niagara Falls, hoping to catch the subject before he left the scene.

In Niagara Falls, the ECOs walked the trail and spotted the subject in the red shirt making repeated and exaggerated jerking motions of his fishing rod. Three other individuals were with him.

The four were ticketed for attempting to take fish by snagging, possession of snatch hooks, and fishing without valid licenses.

Good job gentlemen!