Canal water again being used to supplement flows in local streams to boost fishing

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 September 2021 at 10:17 am

This map from the State Canal Corp. shows where the state will be using canal water to supplement local tributaries and boost fishing opportunities for the fall salmon runs.

ALBION – Last year the State Canal Corp. tried a pilot program, releasing water from the canal into local tributaries for the fall fishing runs.

The program was deemed a success and it will continue this year. The Canal Corp. on Thursday started releasing water into tributaries and will keep doing that until Dec. 13.

That will extend the fall fishing season, and should ensure adequate water flow in streams for salmon, trout and steelhead to swim upstream.

The schedule for releasing water includes:

  • Increased flows from Sept. 16 through Dec. 13 for Oak Orchard River in Orleans County, Sandy Creek in Orleans and Monroe counties, and Eighteen Mile Creek in Niagara.
  • The flows will be increased from Nov. 4 through Dec. 13 for Johnson Creek in Orleans and Niagara counties, and Salmon Creek in Orleans and Monroe counties.

Fishing has a $28 million annual impact in Orleans County. The local officials say the extended season will be a boost for local restaurants, lodging establishments and other businesses.

The project is part of the “Reimagine the Canals” initiative to better utilize the canal and support many recreational opportunities along the canal system.