The middle of August each year brings the start of the steelhead run in Chautauqua Creek. Steelhead are a species of rainbow trout that live in Lake Erie during the summer then enter its tributary creeks in the Fall, as temperatures and water levels permit, to spawn and hold over until Spring when they return to the lake. Unlike salmon, steelhead can repeat their spawing runs several times during their 4-5 year lifetime.
They are a valued sporting fish, known for their strong runs and wild aerobatics, and it’s common to see license plates of anglers from all over the Northeast in the various parking areas near the creek. Don’t let this dissuade you from trying your hand at this prized fish – unlike the Pennsylvania streams where you’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with your fellow fisherman, on Chautauqua Creek you’ll find plenty of open stream. You can learn more about public fishing access and parking options here (.pdf). We hope to see you on the creek.
Be sure to visit our Steelhead Fishing Photo Album!