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Lake Erie Tributaries Experience Poor Fall Fishing

November is typically one of the most popular months for steelhead fishing on the Lake Erie tributaries, but the wet fall weather pattern that began in September continued, resulting in some challenging fishing conditions and below average angler effort.

Cattaraugus Creek experienced very poor November fishing conditions due to the frequent runoff events. Anglers mostly focused on creeks like Eighteen Mile and Chautauqua which tend to come down quicker. Although anglers had to pick their days, fishing quality improved on every stream during November (0.52 fish/hr vs. October = 0.24 fish/hr) and was about average compared to previous surveys. Catch rates for steelhead in the New York Lake Erie tributaries continue to be among the highest in the country. As is typical, fishing quality varied between streams, ranging from 0.36 fish/hr. in Cattaraugus Creek to 0.92 fish/hr. in Silver and Walnut Creeks. Many anglers commented on the size of the steelhead during the November runs, reporting fish in the 26–30 inch and 8–10 pound range, which are larger than normal. A few coho and Chinook salmon were also reported in November, most likely transients from Lake Huron.

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