Lake Ontario, Chinook Salmon

Lake Ontario plays host to thousands of wide eyed salmon anglers every year. The New York Fishing streams that feed into Ontario boast of large Chinook salmon that can grow as large as 30 pounds. Many anglers come for the abundance of fishing and some simply are in pursuit of a trophy.

Lake Conditions and the Chinook Salmon

Atlantic salmon as well as lake trout were once a huge business in New York state thanks to the conditions at Lake Ontario. But overfishing and excessive numbers of sea lamprey greatly harmed the salmon and trout populations. In the 1960′s the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in New York started a restocking program in order to bring back the fishery to healthy levels. Then in the 1970′s Chinook and Coho salmon were introduced into South Sandy and North Sandy creeks. By the year 2003 a management program was introduced for Chinook salmon as well as many other types of fish.

Chinook Salmon Spawning and Fishing

Chinook salmon can be found offshore until they being their annual run during September. This run will last until the latter part of November. The height of the migration happens in October. The highest concentration of Chinook can be found in the South and North Sandy creeks as well as the Black River. The Chinook will move along the tributaries until they come upon a barrier that is too tough to pass, making great spots for landing these big salmon.

Effective Angling Techniques for Chinook Salmon

In the fall the salmon are easier to catch since they usually bunch up in big numbers. Some anglers find luck catching the Chinook at the mouths of the tributary but most of the Chinook are caught back in the streams. Various techniques such as spin casting, jigging and trolling can be quite effective at catching Chinook during this time.

It is important to be ready when a big Chinook strikes.

They are quite strong so anglers need to have line that is 16 pound test or stronger. It is also a good idea to have a good supply of line, at least 200 yards, in case the Chinook takes off on a long run. Big spoons are great for catching Chinook in the Fall. For anglers that prefer the jigs, local shops can provide insight about what type of jig is currently working for Chinook Salmon.