Orleans County,  NYS Canal Corporation Announce Award-Winning Fall Fishing Program Returns for a Fourth Season

The New York State Canal Corporation today announced the kick-off of the 2023 Fall Fishing Program – an award-winning, annual program that enhances fishing opportunities while boosting tourism and bolstering the local economy. For a fourth consecutive year, regulated flows of water from the Erie Canal into Lake Ontario tributaries in Western New York will be released to improve spawning conditions, extend angling opportunities, and enhance the world-class fishing destinations in Monroe, Orleans, and Niagara counties.

"Since its inception, the Fall Fishing Program has not only improved the experience of anglers across the state, but it has also successfully extended Western New York’s fishing season, allowing New Yorkers to enjoy the sport through mid-December,” said New York Power Authority President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll. “By strategically channeling water from the Erie Canal into the tributaries of Lake Ontario, the Canal Corporation is providing support to anglers and local economies alike. Beyond improving fishing conditions for anglers of all experiences, this initiative also provides a significant boost to small businesses sustained by the fishing industry." 

Now through December 15, the New York State Canal Corporation will supply four tributaries with elevated flows to improve conditions for fish, thereby enticing more salmon, steelhead and brown trout to enter and remain in these streams. Sandy Creek and Oak Orchard Creek, the premier streams of Orleans and Monroe Counties, will receive the additional water first, followed by the Eighteenmile Creek of Niagara County and Johnson Creek of Niagara and Orleans County.  

New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, "The New York State Canal Corporation is proud to support another season of fall fishing in Western New York. This extension of the fishing season benefits everyone from dedicated anglers to hardworking small business owners, especially Western New York's canalside businesses and the surrounding communities. From a pilot program in 2020 and 2021, to receiving permanent program status through a State Environmental Quality Review in 2022 and achieving award status in 2023, the enormous success of the Fall Fishing Program shows the value of increasing the flow of water into these tributaries giving New York State and anglers from around the world yet another season of fishing that is second to none.”

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Lake Ontario’s tributaries have long provided anglers with world-class salmon, steelhead, and trout fishing. Increased flow from the Erie Canal through the Fall Fishing Program provides anglers with a prolonged season while also helping to improve spawning conditions and ensuring current and future generations of anglers enjoy the excellent fishing opportunities these waters have to offer.”

Ahead of this year’s Fall Fishing season, the New York State Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA) presented the Canal Corporation and Orleans County with an award for “Excellence in Tourism Marketing” in recognition of the tourism boost spurred by the Fall Fishing Program’s “More Water = More Fish” campaign.

New York State Tourism Industry Association CEO Bob Provost said, “The New York State Tourism Industry Association is proud to recognize both the New York State Canal Corporation and Orleans County for the transformational work being done through the Fall Fishing initiative to drive tourism in Western New York. It is projects such as these that have contributed to the incredible revitalization of the New York State tourism industry post-Covid, and our association is grateful for the innovation and successful execution of this celebrated program. It is an integral part of our effort to communicate to both domestic and international travelers that New York State is where they will find both world class cities and the best of America's great outdoors.”

Orleans County Director of Tourism Dawn Borchert said, “It is so gratifying to see Orleans County recognized by NYSTIA for our work with the Canal Corporation, and I am very excited to see what the upcoming season of Fall Fishing has in store for the anglers and small businesses of Orleans County. If the last three years serve as any indication, it is sure to be another season of success for everyone involved.”

As part of a continued enhancement of the Fall Fishing program, the Canal Corporation updated its website to provide anglers with information about when and where the increased water releases will take place. The Fall Fishing webpage includes a schedule of water releases, links to public fishing locations, “live” water level data from the U.S. Geological Survey plus additional resources and background for casual and serious anglers alike. Weather and any emerging Canal maintenance conditions can influence water releases, so visit the webpage often for any updated conditions.

For more information and to view the updated Fall Fishing webpage, please visit: https://www.canals.ny.gov/Fall_fishing/index.html.