Brown Trout caught by On the Water Media host Chris Megan

Fishing the Oak Featured in “On the Water” Magazine

This past October (2020), “On the Water” Media Group host, Chris Megan with his film crew from East Falmouth, MA were accompanied by NYS Canal Corporation’s Bill Sweitzer visiting Orleans County. They were exploring world class fishing opportunities along the Erie Canal and tributaries, such as the Oak Orchard River, as part of the Reimagine the Canals program.  The episode, “Giant Brown Trout and Carp along the Historic Erie Canal“, aired April 2021 on a Direct TV station and can be viewed in its entirety below or on Youtube.

It shares a bit of history about the Erie Canal and its impact on the fishing industry in our tributaries. Watch the interview with Ron Bierstine of Oak Orchard Tackle & Lodge and fishing for Brown Trout at the Oak at 12 minutes in. Thank you, all that made this happen!

Fall fishing on the Oak

New Fall Fishing Program

Fall fishing is well underway—and the New York Canal Corporation and Department of Environmental Conservation are working to create a longer season and even better angling experience in Western New York.

For the first time in recent memory, New York is raising canal gates and releasing water from the Erie Canal into Lake Ontario tributaries. These world-class fishing locations are going to be even better — expect more brown trout, steelhead and Atlantic and Pacific salmon to run up these streams.

The water releases began in late September and will continue until mid-December.

  • Until October 18, flows in the Sandy Creek will be increased to mimic a heavy rainfall event.
  • From October 19 to 30, similar high flows will occur on the Oak Orchard Creek
  • The annual draining of the western portion of the Erie Canal will take place over a longer period of time and send more water down all Lake Ontario tributaries (Eighteenmile, Johnson, Oak Orchard, Sandy and Salmon Creeks). These creeks will experience increased flows November 6 to 15 and December 4 through 14.

For more details on the program, download the brochure by clicking here or on the image below. To obtain a printed brochure, contact