Early fishing indicates promising season
TRI-COUNTY AREA—The spring fishing season is now underway and early signs point to a better start than expected.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation warned in late March that winter’s frequent and heavy snowfalls might result in tough fishing conditions early in the season. However, before the fishing season the DEC routinely does a survey of the fish population at various popular fishing sites. Brad Hammers, senior fish biologist for DEC Region 8, said they did not shock fish at Catharine Creek this year because of the weather. However, Hammers said the DEC did survey nearby Cold Brook in Hammondsport, another popular fishing spot. He explained they found 36 Rainbow Trout, the most at Cold Brook since 2000. Last year the DEC found 31 trout. Hammers said the largest was a 6.7 pound female trout that was ripe and ready to spawn.
Hammers said overall, stream improvement work has increased the number of fish. He added stream blockages in Beaver Dams the last five years worked to keep fish numbers down. However, Hammers explained that has been remedied by the DEC and Steuben County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Penn Yan angler Daryll Pruden said fishing at the Keuka Outlet, just south of Penn Yan, was crappy last Saturday, April 9. However he explained it was because the water gates were open, causing the water to be flowing fast. He said he heard fishing was better closer to Dresden.
Since the April 1 opening, Elmira resident Chris Jack said fishing in the Catharine Creek has been almost perfect. Early last week he said he caught three fish in one outing, but only taking one home.
By Friday, April 8, Jack said there were a lot of small feeders in the stream. He added the fish still seemed fresh. Jack said when he comes back to the Catharine Creek in a few weeks he expects to see an increase.
Besides the water being colder than he would have liked, Jack added he would like if the state set up certain areas where fisherman can not wade through the water. He explained there are fish beds at different points along the creek. Jack said if a fisherman walks through one, he may accidentally kill the eggs.
Horseheads angler Frank Clark said fishing at Catharine Creek is better than it has been in the last six years. He specifically pointed out the weather is better this year. However, Clark added the water is still cold and that the water level was low on the opening day.
A little farther upstream of Clark, Bob Velie of Vestal commented the water level looked a little high. While this was his first day at Catharine Creek this season, Velie said it is a better place to fish than at the Cayuga Lake outlet. Don Ball, who was also going fishing for the first time this season April 8, said conditions would be better if the water wasn’t moving as fast.