The Salmon of New York
New York State’s Salmon ( Niagara County) are some of the largest and most eagerly sought gamefish found in northeastern freshwater’s. Images of silvery leaping fish and singing reels quickly yielding line often come to mind when anglers recall, or anticipate, encounters with these fish.
A diverse group of fish, Salmon are found in a variety of settings ranging from the vastness of Lake Ontario to it’s many tributaries, including the Upper and Lower Niagara River. Lake Ontario Salmon Fishing with 1st Choice Charters can you give you access to all of these great Salmon fishing opportunities.
New York State’s Salmon can be separated into two groups: the native Atlantic Salmon and the introduced Pacific Salmon. While the two groups are difficult to tell apart, a look at the anal (bottom rear) fin can help. Atlantic Salmon have 12 or less fin rays in their anal fin, whereas the Pacific Salmon have 13 or more. The shape of the anal fin also distinguishes Atlantic Salmon from Pacific Salmon. In New York State, there is only one species of Atlantic Salmon (Atlantic), but four species of Pacific Salmon (Chinook, Coho, Pink and Kokanee).
The Atlantic Salmon is one of the most highly regarded sport fish in North America and Europe. Known to many as “the leaper,” Atlantics are noted for their spectacular fighting ability, which usually includes several jumps completely out of the water after being hooked by a lucky angler. In New York State, Atlantic Salmon spend their entire lives in freshwater and are usually called landlocked salmon.
Also called Chinook Salmon, King Salmon are the largest of the Pacific salmon. While specimens exceeding 100 pounds been taken on the Pacific coast, New York State’s record fish is a 47 pounder caught in Lake Ontario. Chinook Salmon have a limited distribution in New York State and are only found in lakes Erie and Ontario. Non-natives of New York State, Chinooks were first stocked into the Great Lakes in 1873. Although they were sporadically stocked throughout the years, it was not until about 20 years ago that they became abundant.
At that time, New York State aggressively stocked Chinooks into lakes Erie and Ontario to provide a sport fishery. Using the then tremendous population of alewives as a food source, Chinooks thrived and produced a spectacular sport fishery. Since there is not enough suitable spawning and nursery area to naturally produce enough fish, most of the salmon caught in New York State’s Great Lakes are hatchery-reared and stocked as fingerlings. The results have been spectacular for the last 40 years. Join me for this world class fishing!
Western New York Brown Trout
The brown trout has long been a popular game fish all over the world. Brought over from Europe in the 1880s, brown trout can be found in waters all across New York State. Brown trout are primarily found in streams, but also live in ponds and lakes. As the name implies, brown trout are brown in color with black and often red spots on the sides. However, in large bodies of water, fish tend to be silvery with scattered black spots, allowing them to be termed a “handsome fish”.
Brown trout are generally faster growing and longer lived than brook trout. In the Lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario, fish more than ten pounds are fairly common, while in streams they seldom grow larger than two pounds. Many anglers enjoy fishing for brown trout because they are relatively wary and a challenge to catch. Brown trout can withstand heavy fishing pressure better than other New York trout.
In streams, Brown Trout are durable and can withstand heavy fishing pressure better than many other New York trout species. The main reason for this is that brown trout are more active at night and can be hard to catch in the daytime. In streams, the biggest brown trout are caught after dark, or early morning especially during the summer months. In Lake Ontario, brown trout can be caught at any time of the day and usually reside deep at point where the thermocline meets the bottom in summer.
The New York State Brown Trout record stands at 33 pounds 2 ounces, caught in 1997 in Lake Ontario. Come join me! If you want to experience some great Lake Ontario Trout Fishing, I know many spots in the Niagara River and Lake Ontario that consistently hold large numbers of Brown Trout in the Fall and early Spring. I also know some great techniques for catching summer Brown Trout along the shores of Lake Ontario.