Lake Ontario Trout & Salmon Association (LOTSA)

LOTSA is a Not-For-Profit group of mainly weekend recreational fishermen who are dedicated to the enhancement and promotion of the Lake Ontario Sport-Fishery. LOTSA places a heavy emphasis on Education including recruiting new Anglers to the Lake Ontario Fishery and providing continual Education opportunities for the experienced Anglers.

LOTSA meetings are held on the 2nd Thursday of certain months (see events below) at 7:00 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension, 4487 Lake Ave. (Route 78, two miles north of Lockport), Lockport, NY and usually feature an informational seminar on a particular topic relating to the Lake Ontario fishery. Each meeting also features a sharing of information on the current fishing conditions.  Get Directions >>

2018 LOTSA Events

May 10th Seminar featuring Captain Rich Hajecki of  Yankee Troller

On Thursday May 10 at 7pm the Lake Ontario Trout & Salmon Association (LOTSA) will be sponsoring a Seminar by Charter Captain Rich Hajecki  (Yankee Troller) . The seminar will be held at the Wilson Boathouse Marina at the Port of Wilson N.Y. Rich will be talking and answering questions from the back of his boat The Yankee Troller.  As an added bonus for those who arrive early you will be treated  to a great grilled hotdog and drink prepared by LOTSA’s one and only Capt. Marty beginning at 6:00 pm.

Rich is well known for consistently finishing high on the leader boards of numerous Derbies and Tournaments over the past few years. Last season Rich and his team finished first in the Spring King of the Lake Tournament. In 2016 they won The Wilson Invitational and placed second five times in other tournaments. In all they have racked up ten tournament wins, seven titles and thirty five top five placings. His tournament team has won professional tournaments against the best salmon fishing teams that Lake Ontario has to offer. They set the Lake Ontario Tournament record in 2013 for winning the most money in a single season! Rich is also well known throughout the Lake Ontario fishing community for freely sharing information on what he did and how he did it to catch fish after each of his trips.

LOTSA is a group of mainly weekend recreational fishermen who are dedicated to the enhancement of the Lake Ontario Sport-Fishery including the pen rearing project at Olcott. Each meeting also features a sharing of information the current fishing conditions. So come join us and become more successful at fishing Lake Ontario!

Just a reminder this special meeting and seminar will be held at the Wilson Boathouse Marina from the back of The Yankee Troller and not at the 4 H building in Lockport. The Seminar is open to the public and free to attend. .

The dates of our meetings are listed below. They begin at 7pm at the 4H Cornell Cooperative Extension, 4487 Lake Avenue (Rt 78 two miles north of Lockport), Lockport, NY 14094

Thursday April 12th – Tournament Spring Kings Techniques with Captain Vince Pierleoni of Team Thrillseeker
Thursday May 10th – “At the Dock” talking Kings with Captain Rich Hajecki (meeting at the Wilson Boathouse)
Thursday June 14th – Everything Matters when it comes to Kings with Captain Joe Yaeger
Thursday July 12th – Summer Lake Erie Walleye Tactics with Captain Jim Skoczylas
Thursday September 13th – Season Wrap Up Roundtable with multiple LOTSA Captains
Thursday December 13th – Annual Christmas Party

15th Annual LOTSA King Salmon Tournament & Free Picnic:
Saturday July 21nd at Olcott. 9th Annual Curt Meddaugh Memorial Tournament Friday July 20.

LOTSA “Tournaments within a Tournament, free for LOTSA Members” 

Spring LOC Derby $1000 Cash Largest Salmon 5/11 – 5/20
Summer LOC Derby $500 Cash Largest Salmon 6/30 – 7/29
Fish Odyssey $700 Cash Largest Salmon 8/18 – 8/26
Fall LOC Derby $500 Cash Largest Salmon 8/17 – 9/03

Latest Club News & Happenings

2018 LOTSA Pen Rearing Update

Great News!  Today we received notice that our fish will be delivered April 9th around 1:00 pm.   So make plans to come out and help put our fish in the pens.  We will meet at the Town Of Newfane Marina at 12:30 to get ready for the delivery.

Don’t forget that the pens will be assembled on Saturday April 7th at 9:30 at the Town of Newfane Marina.  Dress for the conditions and bring side cutters to trim zip ties.

On Saturday April 7th, LOTSA will be assembling the net pens for our 67,100 chinook salmon and 3,500 steelhead.  We will be meeting at the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott NY at 9:30am.  Please dress warm and bring side cutters to clip zip ties.  Come out and help a great cause, make and meet new friends.  There will be donuts and coffee provided.

2018 LOTSA Pen Rearing Project

The LOTSA pen rearing project is located in the Town of Newfane Marina on Eighteen Mile creek.  We receive from the NY DEC  67,100 Chinook salmon and 3,500 steelhead every spring.  The idea is to receive them prior to smoltification so that the baby fish will imprint to the local water and ideally return to spawn in those waters three to four years later.  Studies have also shown that pen reared fish have a 2 to 1 survival rate over direct stocked salmon, and we have seen evidence of this in fall runs.  The fish usually arrive in mid April depending on the DEC’s schedule.  This is a great time to come down and watch the operation.  Once received, they are fed on a continuous basis via automatic feeders that the club purchased in 2017.  The town marina employees load the feeders every morning which provides 12 hours of slow continuous feed for the fish.  We try to hold the fish for approximately three weeks to allow for imprinting and maximum possible growth, however water temperature, dissolved oxygen levels and actual fish growth play a major role in when the fish are released.  The fish are weighed when they are received, once per week while they are being held and just before they are released so that we can monitor and record their growth.  We try to release the fish in the evening just before sunset, the thought process is they will have a better chance of dispersing and have less predation from birds and other prey fish in the dark conditions.  Once the fish are released the pens have to be removed from the water, pressure washed, inspected and hung to dry for use the next year.

In 2017 the Fairhaven Pen Project conducted a study with the cooperation of NYDEC trying a new food for one of their Chinook pens.  The end result was 17% higher growth rate over the pen that was fed the regular state supplied food.  This year the NYDEC has authorized the use of a new Bio-Oregon food for all pen sites.  We are excited to feed this new food to our fish and see these results for our selves.

WE NEED YOUR HELP!  We need as much help as possible to prepare the nets/pens for the fish.  This year, we will be meeting April 7th at 9:30am to prepare the pens and get them in the water.  We will also need help the day that the fish arrive, this date will is yet to be determined.  The day that the pens are pulled from the water is also a day that we will need a lot of help, this date is yet to be determined as well.

Announcements will be made on this site as well as our FaceBook page.  We would welcome and appreciate as much help as possible.

We would like to take the opportunity to thank the Town of Newfane Marina Staff and Wes Walker from the Slippery Sinker in Olcott for all of the help and time that they put in to this project to make it work.

2019 LOTSA Salmon School

Attention Great Lakes Salmon Fishermen! On Saturday, January 19, 2019 the Lake Ontario Trout & Salmon Association (LOTSA) is proud to (once again) host its well-known in-depth Salmon School. This highly acclaimed school, now in its 12th year, has become the premier Salmon School anywhere in the Great Lakes. What started out as a local event 11 years ago now sees many diehard salmon anglers from across the Great Lakes and Canada attending. The School, coupled with all of the trout and salmon exhibitors at the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo (January 18 – 20), makes this a “must attend” three-day winter event for many.

The School consists of six hours of detailed instruction taught by three expert captains and this year they are:

Capt. Pete Alex (Vision Quest Sportfishing out of the port of Wilson and other Canadian ports); Capt. Andy Bliss (Cold Steel Sportfishing & Chasin’ Tail Adventures out of Oswego and the Salmon River); and Capt. Matt Yablonsky (Wet Net Charters out Youngstown, Wilson and Olcott.).

Salmon School Details
The registration price of $85 includes free admission to the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo for all 3 days, your 2019 LOTSA Membership, a hot buffet lunch (or alternative for dietary needs) on Saturday with beverages available throughout the class and a “goodie” bag consisting of the “go to” baits of the instructors. Also included for the first time this year is a Friday night one hour “Meet & Greet” with the instructors that includes free drinks and snacks.  The class (and Expo) is held at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls in a “state of the art” conference room with a large screen, stage, good seating with tables and a good sound system that all make for a comfortable venue throughout the day for everyone attending. Given the quality of what you will be taught, coupled with the lunch, “goodie bag” and free admissions, it is a terrific value and a great way to start your 2019 season. Doors open at 7 a.m. for check in and the class runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m..

The Salmon School is not meant for novices to the Lake Ontario fishery. It is a “hard core” salmon class targeted toward providing the “experienced weekend warrior” with additional insights and details to improve their catch in the limited time they have on the water. As the Great Lakes continue to change and become a much more challenging fishery, knowledge is often the difference between having a couple of bites or having steady bites throughout the day.

This is a custom class built from the input from the attendees on what is most important to them to cover. It is not an “off the shelf” class for the masses. Each attendee will have the opportunity to submit their top three topics that they want to have covered in the class. The instructors will then use this input to customize the curriculum to cover these particular areas.

The School sells out every year as many of the attendees come back year after year – which is the ultimate testimony to the value of attending the school. Signups will be available beginning in early September.  Early signups are encouraged to give the instructors enough time to build the curriculum for the desired topics.

These three captains offer a huge amount of on-the-water experience trolling for trout and salmon along with a proven tournament track record of high placement in the most prestigious tournaments over many years. They are a much diversified set of instructors and will provide a class full of insights and details that no one single instructor would be able to provide. They are all skilled communicators and very well known for sharing their fishing knowledge and daily fishing trips with anglers to help them to be more successful fishing the lake. Each brings their own unique set of trolling skills, techniques and knowledge to the class. Given the depth of the knowledge base of these instructors and their proven ability to educate anglers, we expect this school to be another high quality, comprehensive, in-depth, information-packed event that our attendees have come to expect from this annual day-long instruction.

Captain Pete Alex
Captain Pete is a 53 year old salmon and trout fishing addict and reached his 30th year as a licensed charter captain in 2018. Pete has always had a passion for fishing and especially tournament fishing which helps feed his competitive side. He has accumulated fishing experience on Lakes Ontario, Erie, Michigan and Huron.

Captain Pete and his Vision Quest Fishing Teams have won over 20 events on Lake Ontario and Lake Erie and have amassed over 100 Top 10 finishes since 2006.  He ended the 2017 season by winning the Fall King of The Lake event, FishUSA overall Championship and the 1st annual Lake Ontario Championship Series. He feels that tournament fishing helps improve his overall fishing game.

Pete enjoys doing seminars, educating and helping other anglers improve their fish catching ability. He believes he is a very diverse angler and can consistently catch both salmon and trout species by applying what he has learned over the years.

He consistently fishes Lake Ontario from the end of April to third week of June then returns occasionally to fish throughout the remainder of the season. He really considers himself a part time angler on Lake Ontario and must figure things out each time he returns.  He believes that there are reasons some anglers locate and catch fish consistently, while some do not. He hopes he can provide some of that knowledge to you at this year’s Salmon School.

Pete represents these companies: FishUSA, Dreamweaver, Shark Cannonballs, Silver Horde, Fish Hawk, A-TOM-MIK Trolling Flies, Costa Sunglasses and Shimano.

Captain Andy Bliss
Capt. Andy first fished Lake Ontario in 1987 at the age of 7. He was hooked salmon fishing ever since! Since his early start he was able to work on many charters from Sodus Bay and Oswego learning many different styles and techniques from a variety of Captains. In ‘99 he started fishing full time aboard the Cold Steel out of Oswego with Capt. Tom Burke. Since then they have competed in many tournaments from the East end to the West end of the lake.

With over 20 first place finishes and numerous Top Ten finishes, they know what it takes to be the best! They have won the Lake Ontario Challenge Cup 4 times and they were runner up another 5 times! This experience has taught them how to fish in many different conditions and produce results.

Capt. Andy love fishing the open waters of Lake Ontario and typically compares it to a chess match. He enjoys teaching the techniques to become successful at catching these special fish to anyone who is willing to learn.

Capt. Andy represents these companies: Michigan Stinger, A-TOM-MIK, Pautzke Bait Co., Pro-Troll, Cannon Downriggers, Humminbird electronics, BayRats Lures, Shark Cannonballs

Captain Matt Yablonsky
Captain Matt has been a charter captain for 12 years and has have been fishing the Niagara Region for 18 years.  He has been a full time charter captain for the last 6 years.  On average he’s on the water 250 days a year.  He runs charters on Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and the Lower Niagara River. A lot of people refer to him as “the small boat guy.” He has been operating his business out of a 21-foot Lund boat since he started chartering.  It has allowed him to operate charters on both lakes and the Niagara River comfortably and safely. On Lake Erie he fishes for smallmouth bass, walleye and perch.  On Lake Ontario he trolls for all species of trout and salmon. He also fishes the Lower Niagara River from September through May for trout and salmon.

Captain Matt fishes many tournaments and derbies throughout the year including the Lake Ontario Pro-Am series, LOC Derby, Lower Niagara Sportfishing Challenge, Niagara Basseye and Reeling for a Cure.  In the LOC Derby alone he has 40 top 20 places since 2009, of which 2 are grand prize, 6 are first place and 4 are second place.  He was on the winning team for the Niagara Pro-Am in 2006 and won the Trophy division of the Niagara Pro-Am in 2012 as a captain.  He has had the grand champion team 3 times and grand champion angler 4 times in the Lower Niagara Sportfishing Challenge.  He has also had the grand champion team and grand champion angler twice in the Niagara Basseye.  Captain Matt has had multiple articles written about his derby wins and techniques of fishing the various bodies of water in the Erie-Niagara region. You can find these articles in the Great Lakes Angler, Lake Ontario Outdoors, The Fisherman magazine, Salmon-Trout-Steelheader magazine and New York Outdoor News.

Captain Matt has provided footage for various television shows. One of the shows was filmed on the Lower Niagara River for Illinois Outdoors.  Other television shows were filmed on Lake Ontario for CRCS OUTDOORS.  So far he has filmed 6 episodes for CRCS Outdoors.

Matt represents these companies: Yakima Bait Co., A-TOM-MIK Trolling flies, Silver Streak spoons, Torpedo, Tuf-Line and Shimano

If you love to fish the Great Lakes for Kings, this is a great way to “Kick Off” your 2019 Season. Where else would you want to be in the Great Lakes on a Saturday in January than learning how to increase your catch from 3 expert Captains, sitting in a comfortable venue talking salmon fishing with a room full of individuals with the same common interest that you have? Tickets are pre-sale only and have sold out every year (early December sellout for the 2018 School). So, signup early so that you are guaranteed a seat to avoid being left out in the cold.

LOTSA Membership

Register or Renew your LOTSA membership as well as view the current LOTSA Membership list.

Salmon School

The well-known, in-depth salmon school of detailed instruction taught by top captains.

LOTSA Tournament

A fun tournament with simple rules that encourages family participation & promotion of the fishery.

LOTSA Picnic

A free family picnic with great food and company held along side the LOTSA Tournament.

Curt Meddaugh Tournament

Tournament to catch and weight three largest fish; the combined weight determining the winner.

323 Tournament

Fishing tournament with 3 fish weighed in over 2 days with 3 winners!

Quick Links

Below you will find a collection of links that the members of LOTSA have found useful, educational and entertaining over the years.

If you would like to see additional links added to this section, please let us know.  We will be happy to review the suggested link with the board for inclusion.

Hot Topics

Today's HOT Topics from around Lake Ontario brought to directly by Lake Ontario United.



"Fishing is much more than fish. It is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers... "

– Herbert Hoover

Local Weather

Lockport, NY

05/23 10%
Clear. Lows overnight in the upper 40s.
05/24 10%
Sunny skies. High around 80F. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph.
05/25 0%
A few passing clouds, otherwise generally sunny. High 83F. Winds SW at 10 to 20 mph.
Partly Cloudy
05/26 20%
Partly Cloudy
Partly cloudy skies in the morning will give way to cloudy skies during the afternoon. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High around 85F. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph.
Chance of a Thunderstorm
05/27 80%
Chance of a Thunderstorm
Thunderstorms in the morning, then partly cloudy late. High 79F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 80%.
Chance of Rain
05/28 40%
Chance of Rain
A shower or two possible early with partly cloudy skies in the afternoon. Thunder possible. High 78F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.
Partly Cloudy
05/29 10%
Partly Cloudy
Partly cloudy skies. High 78F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.

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