DEC ice fishing locations, conditions, an intro to ice fishing, free fishing days on February 17-18, 2018.

Popular Ice Fishing Locations

Conditions were as of January 28, 2018- Learn more about Conditions

Fishing hotline – 855-fish (3474) or 679-erie (3743).

Buffalo Harbor

Plenty of anglers fishing inner harbor today on good ice of 5-6 inches. There is no dock access at any time. Anglers can access ice from boat launches.

Chautauqua Lake

The south basin has had ice covering for close to two weeks, but ice thickness unknown at this time. The north basin just froze over on Tuesday and will need more time.

Honeoye Lake

Ice anglers have been fishing the south end off the state boat launch for the past few days. Ice is reportedly 4 inches clear with some additional white. The bite has been fair for sunfish, yellow perch and largemouth bass.

Silver Lake

Ice fishing has been limited to south end so far, where ice is about 4 inches thick.

New Albion, Case and Harwood Lakes

These Cattaraugus County lakes have between 4-6 inches of ice, with varying amounts of snow on top. Fishing is generally fair for a mix of panfish, however anglers also have chance to catch large trout. Each lake was generously stocked with surplus breeder trout in fall.

Loon Lake

Loon Lake has 6 inches of ice.

Popular Ice Fishing Waters in Erie County
Water Township Species Regulations Comments
Beaver Island State Park Marina Grand Island Yellow Perch, Smelt, Sunfish, Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass Special Fishing Regulations for Upper Niagara River Owned and operated by OPRHP. Sheltered marina is located within Beaver Island State Park, on south end of Grand Island.
Big Six Mile Creek State Marina Grand Island Yellow Perch, Sunfish, Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass Special Fishing Regulations for Upper Niagara River Owned and operated by OPRHP. Protected inlet off the Upper Niagara River, located off Whitehaven Road.

Ice Fishing Regulations Reminder
On April 1, 2015, new ice fishing regulations went into effect. Important changes include:

  • A total of seven ice fishing devices/lines (includes tip-ups) is allowed for ice fishing (statewide)
  • A total of 15 ice fishing devices/lines is allowed for Lake Champlain.
  • Names and addresses are no longer required on ice fishing devices.

Introduction to Ice Fishing
Chapter 9 of the I FISH NY Beginners’ Guide to Freshwater Water Fishing is an Introduction to Ice Fishing. This chapter is a great read for people new to the sport of ice fishing. The chapter covers the following topics:

  • Ice fishing gear
  • When to fish
  • Where to fish
  • What to fish for
  • What to wear
  • Ice safety

Read Introduction to Ice Fishing (PDF)(3.7 MB).

Free Ice Fishing Weekend (February 17-18, 2018)
New York’s next free fishing period will be President’s Day weekend (February 17-18, 2018). If you have never tried the sport of ice fishing, this is the perfect opportunity to give it a shot. As with all New York’s free fishing days, residents and visitors age 16 and older will be able to fish in New York State without a license.

More about Free Fishing Days