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Fall Fishing Program. More Water. More Fish.

Important News for WNY Property Owners on Lake Ontario Tributaries!

Public Info Session Recording

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Image of fishing

The New York State Canal Corporation releases water from the Erie Canal into Lake Ontario Tributaries in Western New York for an extended period each fall to create a longer season and even better angling conditions.

A calendar of releases is posted below. Rleases may change due to weather and other conditions.

Check back for any updates.

  • Between mid-Sep and mid-Dec
    • Image of fishingIncreased flow releases on Eighteenmile Creek (Niagara County), Oak Orchard Creek (Orleans County), and Sandy Creek (Monroe and Orleans counties).
    • This entices more brown trout and steelhead to enter and remain in these waterways, improving fish spawning conditions and expanding angling opportunities.
    • Additional flow releases also scheduled to further boost increased flows.
  • For 10 days in Nov and another 10 days in Dec
    • Increased flow releases on Johnson Creek to expand angling opportunities.

Current Conditions

USGS gage data (click on Waterway name to access USGS site):

Waterway County Flow (CFS) Last Reading
Eighteen Mile Creek Niagara
Oak Orchard River Orleans
Sandy Creek Monroe & Orleans
Johnson Creek Niagara & Orleans

Calendar 2021 – Updates for 2022 Expected Late Summer

Releases subject to change due to natural and water management conditions.

Waterway County Increased Flow Releases Additional Flow Releases
Eighteen Mile Creek Niagara Sep 16 - Dec 13 Sep 16 - 30
Oak Orchard River Orleans Sep 16 - Dec 13 Oct 1 - 14
Sandy Creek Monroe & Orleans Sep 16 - Dec 13 Oct 15 - 29
Johnson Creek Niagara & Orleans Nov 4 - 15 & Dec 6 - 13 Not scheduled for 2021
Oct 10 - Indigenous Peoples Day, Columbus Day
Nov 11 - Veterans' Day
Nov 24 - Thanksgiving
Dec 25 - Christmas
Free Fishing Days - No License Required
Seb 19,20 – Free Fishing Weekend
Sep 24 – National Hunting and Fishing Day
Nov 11 – Veterans Day

Public Fishing Locations

Eighteenmile Creek(Niagara County)

Oak Orchard Creek (Orleans County)

Sandy Creek(Orleans & Monroe counties)

Johnson Creek(Niagara and Orleans County)

Learn About the Fall Fishing Program

Fall Fishing Guidelines

Image of fishingThe Erie Canal in Western New York is an entirely man-made channel while in other regions the Canal generally follows a natural river course. Lake Ontario Tributaries serve as an outlet for the Canal’s water management gates which can be opened or closed to maintain Canal water levels, provide supplemental tributary flows, and to drain the Canal following navigation season.

Historically, at the end of the navigation season the Canal is emptied over the course of a week, raising water levels on these tributaries. The Canal Corporation schedules water releases, when available and appropriate, in the fall during navigation season and during the Canal draining process providing a longer season for anglers and improved wildlife habitat.

The Canal and tributary waters are monitored for quantity and quality to help ensure the program maintains the health of the fishery.

As part of New York State’s Reimagine the Canals initiative, NYPA and the Canal Corporation are expanding fishing opportunities to promote outdoor recreation and local businesses.


Fall Fishing Photo Gallery

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Fishing Program - Helpful Resources

Notices & Alerts
Notice to Mariners

Office of Canals
(518) 449-6000
Mon-Fri - 8am-4pm

For Emergencies
or 911

Fishing Program info Card

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