The Blue Heron Bed and Breakfast Inn - Findley Lake, Chautauqua County, New York

Fishing Findley Lake New York

On very good authority, the 5 weeks between the end of June and the end of July are an exceptional period for small mouth bass fishing on Findley Lake. Because no horsepower restrictions exist, fishing boats of all size and horsepower are welcome, which makes Findley Lake the perfect fishing destination. If your significant other doesn't relish hours on the water, the downtown shops offer a warm welcome all weekend long!


New York State's abundant waterways offer a flourishing habitat for a wide variety of freshwater fish species and Chautauqua County is home to some of the best fishing in the state. Findley Lake, one of Chautauqua County's favorite fishing destinations, offers anglers an excellent opportunity to catch catfish, crappies, large-mouth bass, small mouth bass, muskie, northern pike, perch, sunfish & walleye.

fishingEach year DEC releases over one million pounds of fish into more than 1,200 public streams, rivers, lakes and ponds across the state. These fish are stocked to enhance recreational fishing and to restore native species to waters they formerly occupied. The DEC runs 12 fish hatcheries, each specializing in raising one or more species of fish, including brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, lake trout, steelhead, chinook salmon, coho salmon, landlocked salmon, walleye, muskellunge and tiger muskellunge. Between January 1, 2003 - December 31, 2003, in cooperation with County Federal Sportsmen, Findley Lake was stocked with 1,000 Tiger muskellunge averaging 9.5 inches in size. Between January 1, 2003 - December 31, 2003, in cooperation with County Federal Sportsmen, Findley Lake was stocked with 1,000 Tiger muskellunge averaging 9.5 inches in size.

Smallies from Findlay Lake Smallies from Findlay Lake
The Blue Heron Inn guests Ken & Nancy Ramsier of Girard, PA with a few nice smallies from Findley Lake


General Angling Regulations


Open Season

Minimum Length



Trout (brook, brown and rainbow trout and hybrids of these species; and splake) April 1 thru October 15

Any size


Lake Trout April 1 thru October 15



Landlocked Salmon April 1 thru October 15



Kokanee April 1 thru October 15

Any size


Largemouth and small mouth bass 3rd Sat in June thru Nov 30



Muskellunge 3rd Sat in June thru Nov 30



Northern Pike 1st Sat in May thru March 15



Pickerel 1st Sat in May thru March 15



Tiger muskellunge 1st Sat in May thru March 15



Walleye 1st Sat in May thru March 15



Crappie All year



Whitefish All year

Any size


American Shad All year

Any size


Yellow perch All year

Any size


Sunfish (bluegill, pumpkinseed and redbreast sunfish) All year

Any size


All other species (except endangered and threatened species) All year

Any size / any number

Special Regulations — Findley Lake

Walleye - Open 1st Sat in May—March 15



Method - Ice Fishing Legal * Where regulations appear in the Method column, they pertain to all fishing in the listed water *

*License Fees

The following is a list of current fees for fishing licenses in New York State. See Sporting License Fees for further information on all New York State sporting license fees. In addition, see Licenses and Permits for general information on New York State Sporting Licenses.

License Type - Resident Fee
Senior (65+/Military Disability) $ 5.00
Annual 19.00
7 day 12.00
License Type - Non-Resident Fee

Annual $40.00
7 day 25.00
1 day 15.00
Beginning August 18, 2003, you may purchase 2003-2004 sporting licenses and permits via DECALS at:
all license issuing outlets (most municipal clerks' offices and many sporting goods stores),
by phone* at 1-86-NY-DECALS (1-866-933-2257) or by mail to: WorldCom, P.O. Box 36985, Phoenix AZ 85067-6985. A Mail order application form (50 kb pdf) is available.

* In order to apply by phone you need to have proof of hunting qualification in the computerized system (currently includes NY Lifetime License holders, 2002-03 hunting license holders and graduates of hunter education courses in New York since 1980.)

*When you buy your license you will need:

NYS residents must provide one of the following proofs of residency:
Your driver's license or a NYS non-driver's identification issued by the Department of Motor vehicles
an IT-201 or W-2 income tax form for the previous year
a current voter registration card
a current NYS vehicle registration
a current lease
military LES (Leave and Earnings Statement) or military orders
a current student ID card
a current pay stub or letter from a current employer on letterhead containing your legal address

* Who Needs a License?

Everyone must have a valid fishing license in their possession while fishing, except:
Persons under 16 years of age.
When fishing waters of the Marine District or in the Hudson River south of the Troy Barrier Dam.
When fishing on licensed fishing preserves.
Citizen-resident owners, lessees and citizen members of their immediate families occupying and cultivating farm lands, when fishing on their own lands.

Persons holding farm fish pond licenses and members of their immediate families, when fishing on waters covered by their licenses. Resident parties at United States Veterans Administration hospitals, Department of Mental Hygiene institutions, and Department of Health rehabilitation hospitals, and inmates at Division of Youth rehabilitation centers. A free permit is available from: NYSDEC License Sales, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-4790.

* License Privileges and Requirements

A fishing license or combined hunting and fishing license entitles the holder to: take fish by angling, spearing, hooking, longbow, and tip ups; take frogs by spearing, catching with the hands or by use of a club or hook; and take bait fish for personal use, all as provided by the laws and regulations of the Department of Environmental Conservation: The holder of a license shall have such license on the holder's person while exercising any privilege of that license. The holder of a license shall exhibit it on demand to any police officer, peace office, or the owner, lessee, or other person in control of the lands or waters on which the license holder is present. No license authorizes the holder to trespass upon private lands or waters or interfere with property belonging to another person.

* Free Fishing Days

Each year, the last full weekend in June is designated as Free Fishing Days in New York State. During those two days, anyone can fish New York State waters, and no fishing license is required. This event started in 1991 to allow all people the opportunity to sample the incredible fishing New York State has to offer. Since no license is required, it is the perfect time to take a friend or relative fishing. In 2004, New York State's Free Fishing Days are Saturday and Sunday, June 26 & 27. In addition to the June Free Fishing Days weekend, there are a number of "Free Fishing Events" held in various locations across the state. Free Fishing Events are DEC sponsored events (such as family fishing clinics) where participants can learn about fish identification, fishing equipment and techniques, fisheries management, angling ethics and aquatic ecology. Each of DEC's nine regions can sponsor up to four free fishing events per year. Most free fishing events occur during the period from April through October. So, first time anglers, as well as those who have drifted away from the sport, should take advantage of this opportunity to see how much fun fishing can be. For more information about Free Fishing Days, contact your DEC Regional Fisheries Office (see DEC Regional Offices and Phone Numbers).

* Free Fishing Licenses

The following individuals are eligible for a free fishing license and may obtain a license at any license issuing outlet:
Citizen residents who are blind.
Active members of the U.S. Armed Forces who provide proof that they are New York State residents and are in the state for a maximum of 30 days.
Resident patients at U.S. Veterans Administration hospitals or facilities can obtain a free fishing license through their hospital or facility.

Native Americans who are members of the Shinnecock and Poospatuck tribes or the Six Nations residing on reservations in New York State may obtain a free fishing license by contacting their reservation or the DEC License Sales Office at (518) 402-8843.

* For more information
Call 518/457-8862 - or





Bruce & Tobi Ahlquist, Owners/Innkeepers
P.O. Box 588, 10412 Main Street
Findley Lake, NY 14736
Phone: 716-769-7852 ~ Fax: 716-769-7866



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