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Fresh Water Fish Species

Brook Trout - New York's offical state fish. The only native trout in the state. Found in hundreds of lakes and ponds in the Adirondacks, and throughout clear,cool streams statewide. The Brook trout (Brookies,Speckles) provide fine angling as well as the best of eating. Brook trout 3 to 4 pounds can be found in ponds, and 12 to 14 inch fish can be found in the streams. Brook trout prefer water temperatures between 56 and 62 degrees.

Lake Trout - Normally considered a fish found in deep lakes. Lake trout are regularly taken in shallow water during the spring and fall. Downrigging techniques provide the light tackle angler the opportunity to catch one even in midsummer.

Rainbow Trout - Rainbow trout, or steelhead as the lake variety is known are found in many of New York's lakes and streams. Steelhead from 8 to 23 pounds are taken from the tributaries of the Great Lakes and the Finger Lakes during the spring and fall spawning runs. Rainbows are year round fish. Try shore fishing and surface trolling in the sprin and fall, deep water trolling during the summer and ice fishing in the winter. Prefered temperature range 54 to 64 degrees.

Brown Trout - In streams, they are elusive, allowing them to grow from 15 to 20 inches or better. Brown trout are one of the favorites of New York fisherman. The Great Lakes, The Finger Lakes and the Catskill Reservoirs harbor Browns from 5 to 15 pounds. Try spinners, flies and natural baits in streams. For lakes, try using spoons and plugs. Brown's can be found in water that is 55 to 65 degrees.

Landlocked Salmon - Known for their hook throwing leaps. Landlocked Salmon provide exciting year round sport. Reaching weights of 5 to 15 pounds. These beauties can be found in Cayuga Lake, Schroon Lake, Lake Champlain, and Lake George. New fisheries are developing in other locations. Try surface trolling in spring and fall. Deep trolling during the summer. Try flies in the fall when the Salmon travel up into spawning streams.

Steelhead - The best time for Steelhead fishing is during the spring and fall spawning runs. The better Steelhead streams can produce fish up to 20 pounds. Try South Sandy Creek, Salmon River, Maxwell Brook, and Eighteenmile Creek for exciting fishing action. For the die hard fisherman, steelhead season extends through the winter.

Atlantic Salmon - Once ranging throughout the Great Lakes, now dams and other disruptions of the tributaries, cut off spawning habitat. Stocking presently takes place, to see if a self-sustaining population ca be re-established. Atlantic Salmon are occasionally found in Lake Ontario's waters.

Northern Pike - Some of the East's finest Northern Pike fishing can be found in the marshes and bays along the shoreline of the St.Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Northerns strike viciously, it is their trademark. Use spoons,, plugs or live bait and get set for some exciting fishing action. Fishing is best at the beginning of the summer and then again in the fall. Mid summer fish can be found in deeper water. Water temperature between 50 and 70 degrees.

Muskellunge "Musky" - The St. Lawrence and Niagara Rivers trophy fish. Musky's average 10 to 30 pounds and sometimes one as larger as 50 pounds is caught. It takes a knowledgable angler to catch one of these beauties. Expect to spend 30 to 40 hours trying to hook one up.

Pickerel - Pickerel are easy to catch while they cruise the shallow weedy areas looking for food, they are also scrappy fighters. Averaging 10 to 15 inches, they can reach a weight of 5 pounds. Try ice fishing for pickerel, the action can be fast. Lamoka, Cayuga, Waneta and Greenwood Lakes have excellent populations of Pickerel. Most ponds in Long Island have excellent populations also. Pickerel will be found in 50 to 7 degree water.

Walleye - A favorite gamefish as well as a favorite in the frying pan, the Walleye makes its home in 89 lakes and 10 major river systems statewide. But is generally fished for in the Niagara River and Lake Erie. Try Seneca Shoals, VanBuren Point, Sturgeon Point and Hamburg Beach for some good Walleye fishing. Look for 60 to 70 degree water locations.

Largemouth Bass - Largemouth Bass can be in almost every major lake, endless numbers of ponds and even in a number of streams and rivers. Most bass waters are lightly fished and some old time lunkers are lurking around. Some 7 to 10 pounders are landed every year, but usually average 2 to 6 pounds. try shallow areas near weeds and cover. All variety of lures work for bass.

Smallmouth Bass - Smallies can be found in every region of the state. These fighters inhabit more than one million acres of lakes, ponds and streams. 1 to 2 pound smallies are common, and 6 to 8 pounder fish are caught every year. Try drifting worms or crawfish under a bobber. Also try plugs, jigs and spinners for some good action. Fish shallow in the spring and fall, move to deeper water in the summer. Prefered water temperature 65 to 75 degrees.

Crappie - New York lakes and streams provide excellent crappie fishing. The mouths of tributaries leading into The St. Lawrence River offer outstanding spring fishing for Crappies between 1 and 2 pounds. Try Black Lake, Honeoye Lake, Lake Champlain, Otisco Lake, Saratoga Lake amd Cross Lake offer some good crappie fishing. Don't forget to try your luck through the ice.

Perch - Hundreds of waters throughout the state contain these good tasting , easily caught panfish. Normally 8 to 10 inches long. Jumbo Perch can be found in Cayuga Lake, Eastern Lake Ontario, Oneida Lake, Seneca Lake, LAke Erie and The St.Lawrence River. Perch can be found in shallow weedy bays and off the shoals. Ice fishing for perch us a major winter sport. Expect to catch a ton when the action is hot.

Bullhead - Springtime is the time for catching Bullheads. Across the state fisherman come out for this abundant, easy to catch, not to mention tasty fish. A worm fished on the bottom with a slip sinker is the ticket to good bullhead fishing. Try the St.Lawrence River, Lake Ontario and Lake Champlain for the states best bullhead fishing.

Panfish - Bluegill, redbreast, pumpkinseed, white bass, perch, rock bass and catfish are known collectively as panfish. These fish are a good start for beginning anglers. They are easy to catch on a wide variety of baits. Worms, small lures, flies, minnows and other natural bait usually bring home a full stringer. Prefered water temperature 60 to 70 degrees.

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