Trout & Salmon Fishing Regulations for Salmon River

Salmon river regulations can be tough but that does not stop the passionate anglers from salmon fishing in this nature’s retreat. The regulated areas include:

  1. County Route 52 Bridge (Altmar) to Upstream River Mouth
  2. First Lake Ontario Upstream Bridge to first Impassible fish Barrier
  3. Oswego County – Varick Dam to Utica Street Bridge

Period of Regulations: September 1 to March 31

Hours of Regulations: No night salmon fishing allowed.Only half hour interval permitted on either side i.e. half hour after sunset and half hour before sunrise.

Regulations for Hooks

  • Using more than one hook at Salmon River is not permitted for salmon fishing. Exception being that multiple hooks can be attached to floating lures.
  • Hooks having multiple points are prohibited. But Double or Triple hooks may be joined with floating lures.
  • Salmon fishing hooks must be free swinging (Artificial fly hooks are exempted)
  • For hooks, distance between point and shank should not exceed half inch.
  • Weights cannot be added to the hooks (Exception: artificial flies can add up to 1/8th ounce)
  • In case of floating lures, hooks must be joined with lure using only a swivel or ring.
  • The distance between attached hook point and lure body must not exceed 1.5 inches.
  • From August 15 – October 31, only single hook points with lures are allowed.


  • 15 Feet – Permitted length of fishing leader including the tippet.
  • For salmon fishing and trout fishing – The distance between the artificial lure/fly, fishing hook, and weight attached to the leader/line, either sliding or fixed, must be under four feet in length.
  • At all times, for all tributaries of Lake Ontario situated in Oswego County, no weight should be added to leader, line, artificial fly, swivel or even lure.

Floating Lures

  • Definition – When at rest, a floating lure will simply keep floating in water whether or not any weight is attached to the lure, line or leader.
  • Only rings or swivels must be used to attach hooks with lure’s body for trout fishing and salmon fishing.
  • Multiple hooks are prohibited for salmon fishing in all Great Lakes Tributaries falling in Oswego and Cayuga Counties excluding the Oswego River

Restricted Fishing Locations

  • Beaverdam Brook – From Salmon River Hatchery Boundary to the mouth upstream
  • Fishing within Salmon river Hatchery grounds is prohibited.
  • Within 100 yards of any DEC fish collection device.

Non-Lead Weight

  • On May 7, 2004, New York State prohibited sale of lead split shot and sinkers having a weight of less than one-half ounce.
  • Only the sale is prohibited. The use is not prohibited in the New York State.
  • Although, there is no restriction on weighted line, artificial lures, jig heads or weighted flies.

Fly Fishing Only Sections – Seasons and Locations

  • Lower Fly Fishing Section – From Marked boundary at Beaverdam Brook to upstream County Route 52 Bridge (Altmar) fly Fishing Only is permitted – From September 15 to May 15.
  • Upper Fly Fishing Only Section – From New York State Fish Hatchery boundary to the Lighthouse Hill Reservoir Tailrace boundary – From April 1 to November 30.

There are many other additional restrictions for Upper and Lower Fly Fishing Only sections of the Salmon River. These are follows:

  • Only  traditional fly fishing rod, line and reel are allowed to fish in these areas.
  • From May 1 to August 31 –  A single artificial fly (non-weighted) with single hook point having a gap of one-half inch is permitted only.
  • From September 1 to April 30 –  A single artificial fly (weighted or non-weighted) with added weight restriction of below 1/8 oz. , with singular hook point having one-half-inch maximum gap allowed only.
  • It is allowed to use weighted artificial flies.
  • Maximum leader length allowed for fishing – 15 feet (Including tippet).
  • Maximum Permissible distance between additional weight and Fly – 4 ft.
  • No supplementary weight to enhance the propelling action of the cast, other than the shooting line/fly line, is allowed.
  • No fishing is allowed during the closed season.
  • From May 1 to August 31 – Only Floating Fly Lines Permitted
  • From September 1 to April 30 –  Only Sinking, Floating and Sink-tip fly lines are allowed.
  • From May 1 to August 31 – Metal and sinking leaders are not allowed.