Trout Season Begins April 1

By Alicia Dziak

It’s time to enjoy the age-old sport of fishing! Warmer temps and melting snow make way for the opening of trout season in Western New York on April 1.

New to fishing and not sure where to start?

First step is getting a license. New York State residents’ costs are as follows: $25 for one year, $12 for one week, or $5 for one day. Minimum age is 16. See callout box for more information.

Next step:make sure you have the right equipment to get started.


“You’ll want an ultra-light spinning rod and reel,” said Dave Brown of Springville, a licensed New York State fishing guide. This type of rod is available at most sporting goods stores and stores with sporting goods departments.

He also recommends waders or hip boots for anyone fishing in streams. “Chances are, you’ll want to cross over the water at some point,” Brown noted. “And you’ll want waders for that.”

Besides those items, the only other things you need are hooks, sinkers and worms or minnows for bait.

Then comes the fun part: choosing from the region’s numerous fishing locations to find the spot that’s just right for making memories and catching fish.

Anglers have their pick, from roaring creeks to tranquil lakes. Many streams, ponds and lakes are stocked with trout raised at DEC fish hatcheries, such as the Randolph Fish Hatchery. Popular locations include the Cattaraugus Creek (which notably has been listed in the top 10 Steelhead Fishing sites by many fishing magazines), Ischua Creek, Clear Creek, Mansfield Creek and Allegany State Park’s Quaker and Red House Lakes.

Brown explained that each stream has certain regulations that are usually posted on signs in parking areas and can also be found on the DEC web site. Some areas may be catch-and-release only, while others might have specific limits.

While trout season goes through Sept. 30, Brown said that at stream locations below the dam (e.g. Springville’s Scoby Dam), steelhead trout can be fished year-round.

And just what do you do with that trout you worked so hard to catch? Have it for dinner, of course!

“There are a ton of different ways to cook trout,” Brown said. ‘I like to wrap it in foil with some butter and seasoning and throw it on the grill.”

It’s time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you prefer to spend the time with friends or go it alone, fishing is the perfect opportunity to take part in a rewarding sport while breathing in some fresh springtime air.

For the complete spring stocking list, regulations, and more information, visit