Tributary Angler Survey Update
In the Lake Erie tributaries, the steelhead runs have pretty much shut down for the Spring with the exception of Cattaraugus Creek. April catch rates were exceptional (> 1.0 fish/hr), and the cool, wet weather should keep the steelhead in the creeks well into May. Smallmouth bass have moved into the lower reaches of the larger tributaries including Chautauqua, Canadaway, Cattaraugus, and Eighteen Mile Creeks. Catfish have also moved into lower Cattaraugus Creek. Tributary bass and catfish provide exciting fishing opportunities for those that are not able to get out and fish on the open lake.
Open Lake Angler Survey Update
Total angler effort in April 2022 was 38,000 angler hours, nearly twice the effort seen in April 2021. Sixty-eight percent of April anglers focused on yellow perch spending over 25,000 hours on the water, nearly matching the total effort from April through October last year. April anglers were rewarded with an average of 32 perch harvested per boat and a catch rate of 2.4 fish per hour, which are both well above average (13.8 perch harvested per boat; 1.5 perch caught per hour) for the survey. About 1.7% of April yellow perch anglers achieved a 50 fish limit with an average length of 11.3 inches. Anglers were also out targeting pre-spawn smallmouth bass, catching bass at a rate of 1.11 fish per hour, which is above the survey average (1.05 bass caught per hour).