Lake Ontario 2024 Fishing Outlook

Lake Ontario 2024 fishing outlook looks very promising! The abundance of one, two, and three year old fish during the 2023 season lends itself to healthy populations of the three age classes for 2024 king salmon season. Other species also showed promise with an abundance of age classes as well.

King Salmon

The three age classes of king salmon swimming around in the Oswego,NY area of Lake Ontario were very plentiful. As we’ve stated many times before, you can’t have three year old fish without two year old fish, and you can’t have two year old fish without one year olds. Add to it the increase in stocking numbers in the last three years, and you can see why we have more fish in the system. Increase stockings take three years to come to fruition and it’s been over three years now!

Brown Trout

In 2023, Lake conditions made it very challenging for Brown Trout fishing. Lots of south winds and little rain run off produced gin clear water. Ace Charters still managed to produce decent catches for our clients employing stealth techniques. The browns were scattered and could be found in many different depths of water during the month of June. The good news, however, was that a lot of browns weren’t caught by typical means allowing many to survive. A few of my charter Captain buddies saw huge concentrations of browns in deeper water at the end of July into August when the water conditions were right.This imperical evidence along with a good survival rate of stocked yearlings should lend itself to several age classes made up of good numbers.

Steelhead

Reports from the hatchery at Altimar indicated an above average return of steelhead to the facility. Some say the most they have ever seen at one time. During the 2023 season, the nomadic nature of these fish while in the Lake kept them safe from fishermen most days. They were few and far between in fishermen’s creels. This, however, is good news in that there will be more steelhead around in 2024 to chase after. Hopefully, they hang around the Oswego area more often in 2024.

Baitfish Populations

The Lake Ontario 2024 fishing outlook is promising due largely to the stable and increasing alewive populations present in the Lake Ontario. For further information on baitfish population surveys and results, check out this link from USGS. Bottom line is that baitfish numbers are at or near all time highs and the future looks even better. Add to it a mild winter, and things are definitely looking up!

Lake Ontario 2024 fishing outlook

Stocking Numbers

As previously mentioned, stocking numbers have increased the past couple of years. In 2023, NY State stocked over 985,000 king salmon a 10% increase over 2022. They also released over 250,000 coho salmon as well. This is all due to a more stable alewive populations in the Lake. In 2024, NY plans to increase King salmon stocking numbers by 137,000 kings bringing the total to 1,120,000 kings. On the Canadian side of the Lake, they plan on stocking 118,000 more kings bringing their 2024 total contribution to 585,000 kings. More locally here in Oswego, the net pen project headed up by Tom Allen from Atommik , received 126,330 king salmon in 2023. It is projected that an additional net pen will be added this year to accommodate 138,000 fingerling king salmon in 2024.

If you have any questions , feel free to contact us at 413-346-7675 or via our contact form with any of the questions you may have . We will be happy to answer them. If you would like to book a trip please call 413-346-7675 or feel free to use our contact form as well!