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  • NEW YORK

    FISHING reshwaterF

    www.dec.ny.gov

    2015–16 OFF IC IA L REGUL AT IONS GUIDE VOLUME 7, ISSUE NO. 1, A PR IL 2015

    Muskie forFishing

    Most regulations are in effect April 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016

    http://www.dec.ny.gov

  • MESSAGE FROM THE GOVERNOR

    New York: A State of Angling Opportunity When it comes to freshwater fishing, no state in the nation can compare to New York. Our Great Lakes consistently deliver outstanding fishing for salmon and steelhead and it doesn’t stop there. In fact, New York is home to four of the Bassmaster’s top 50 bass lakes, drawing anglers from around the globe to come and experience great smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing. The crystal clear lakes and streams of the Adirondack and Catskill parks make New York home to the very best fly fishing east of the Rockies. Add abundant walleye, panfish, trout and trophy muskellunge and northern pike to the mix, and New York is clearly a state of angling opportunity.

    Fishing is a wonderful way to reconnect with the outdoors. Here in New York, we are working hard to make the sport more accessible and affordable to all. Over the past five years, we have invested more than $6 million, renovating existing boat launches and developing new ones across the state. This is in addition to the 50 new projects begun in 2014 that will make it easier for all outdoors enthusiasts to access the woods and waters of New York.

    Our 12 DEC fish hatcheries produce 900,000 pounds of fish each year to increase fish populations and expand and improve angling opportunities. Last year alone, we budgeted $4 million to repair and upgrade these facilities, as well as purchase 16 new stocking trucks.

    Fishing and hunting are now more affordable in New York, too. We have simplified license types and reduced costs for both residents and non-residents alike. We also made fishing licenses valid for a full year from their purchase date, allowing anglers to fully enjoy all four seasons of fishing regardless of when they purchased their license.

    To promote fishing, we have quadrupled the number of allowable statewide free fishing days from two to eight, established special Adventure Licenses and Adventure License Plates, and launched the New York Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife App for smartphone users. Coming this year, new anglers can look forward to an introductory fishing guide from DEC.

    There’s nothing like fishing a Catskill Mountain stream for trout, the Finger Lakes for bass, or Lake Ontario for salmon. Surrounded by natural beauty, and an incred- ible range of fishing opportunities, New York has something to offer anglers of all skill levels. Your reward is the excitement of the catch and sharing these wonderful experiences with friends and family. Wherever you fish in New York, I’m sure you’ll want to return to our Empire State—the state of fishing opportunity.

    Wishing you all an enjoyable and successful 2015 season. See you on the water!

    Andrew M. Cuomo Governor, State of New York

  • CONTENTS STOP THE SPREAD OF INVASIVE SPECIES 2

    HIGHLIGHTS OF CHANGES 4

    LICENSE INFORMATION 6

    NYS ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION POLICE Q&A 8

    FEATURE: MUSKELLUNGE IN NEW YORK STATE 10

    STATEWIDE ANGLING REGULATIONS 14

    SPECIAL REGULATIONS: REGION 1 16

    SPECIAL REGULATIONS: REGION 2 18

    SPECIAL REGULATIONS: REGION 3 19

    SPECIAL REGULATIONS: REGION 4 21

    NEW YORK CITY RESERVOIR REGULATIONS 23

    TIDAL HUDSON RIVER REGULATIONS 24

    BORDER WATERS REGULATIONS 25

    FEATURE: MUSKIE 101 26

    SPECIAL REGULATIONS: REGION 5 30

    LAKE CHAMPLAIN REGULATIONS 35

    SPECIAL REGULATIONS: REGION 6 36

    SPECIAL REGULATIONS: REGION 7 40

    SPECIAL REGULATIONS: REGION 8 43

    FINGER LAKES AND TRIBUTARY REGULATIONS 45

    SPECIAL REGULATIONS: REGION 9 46

    GREAT LAKES AND TRIBUTARY REGULATIONS 48

    GENERAL REGULATIONS 52

    BAITFISH REGULATIONS 57

    DEFINITIONS 60

    FRESHWATER FISH IDENTIFICATION 62

    NEW YORK STATE ANGLER ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS 64

    WEIGH YOUR FISH WITH A RULER 65

    PUBLIC FISHING RIGHTS 69

    CATCH & RELEASE GUIDELINES 70

    HEALTH ADVISORIES 71

    ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION OFFICERS 76

    DEC FISH HATCHERIES 78

    FUNDING FISHERIES MANAGEMENT 80

    Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Joe Martens, Commissioner Kathy Moser, Assistant Commissioner for Natural Resources Patricia Riexinger, Director, Division of Fish, Wildlife & Marine Resources Phil Hulbert, Chief, Bureau of Fisheries How to contact us: NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Bureau of Fisheries 625 Broadway Albany, NY 12233-4753 fwfish@dec.ny.gov Website: www.dec.ny.gov

    Main cover photo: Chautauqua Lake Muskie (Chautauqua County), Justin Brewer

    Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources’ Mission: The mission of DEC’s Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources is to serve the interests of current and future generations of New Yorkers by using our collective skills, in partnership with the public, to describe, understand, manage and perpetuate a healthy and diverse assemblage of fish, wildlife and ecosystems.

    STATE OF NEW YORK

    USING THIS GUIDE 1. Review the Statewide Angling Regulations. — page 14

    2. Review the Special Regulations section, which begins on page 15 and includes regulations for specific waters (i.e., Lake Champlain) or group of waters (i.e., Great Lakes). IF THE WATER YOU INTEND TO FISH IS NOT LISTED IN THIS SECTION, STATEWIDE ANGLING REGULATIONS APPLY.

    3. Review: • General Regulations — page 52 • Baitfish Regulations — page 57 • Definitions — page 60

    4. Consult the License Information section to determine if you need a fishing license. — page 6

    5. Review the NYS Environmental Conservation Police Q&A section, which provides answers to some of the more frequently asked questions concerning the information in this guide. — pages 8, 16, 31 and 33

    6. Review Health Advisories. — page 71

    If you have any questions or are unsure of any regulations, call or e-mail the nearest DEC regional office. Contact information can be found in the Special Regulations section of the guide. — pages 15–47

    This guide is a summary that is intended for convenience only. For a complete reference, consult New York State Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) and Volume 6 of the Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York (NYCRR). Copies can be reviewed at the nearest library with a State Supreme Court refer- ence section, on-line at www.assembly.state.ny.us/leg/ for ECL and www.dec.ny.gov/regs/2494.html for NYCRR, or by contacting a Regional DEC Division of Law Enforcement Office.

    2015–16 NEW YORK FRESHWATER FISHING GUIDE 1

    mailto:fwfish%40dec.ny.gov?subject= http://www.dec.ny.gov http://www.assembly.state.ny.us/leg/ http://www.dec.ny.gov/regs/2494.html

  • This high-quality regulation guide is offered to you by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation through its unique partnership with J.F. Griffin Publishing, LLC.

    J.F. Griffin is an award winning publishing house that specializes in producing state fish and wildlife regulation books. J.F. Griffin supports the DEC’s staff in the design, layout and editing of the guides. They also manage the marketing and sales of advertising to appropriate businesses within the book.

    The revenue generated through ad sales significantly lowers production costs and generates savings. These savings translate into additional funds for other important fisheries and habitat programs.

    If you have any feedback or are interested in adver- tising, please contact us at 413.884.1001 or online at www.JFGriffin.com

    About this Guide

    Fully searchable

    Live hyperlinks to expanded content

    Email pages

    One-click printing

    eRegulations.com/NY/fishing

    430 Main St. Suite 5 | Williamstown, MA 01267

    available online in a new Digital Edition!

    Graphic Design: Jon Gulley, Erin Murphy, Evelyn Haddad, Chris Sobolowski and Dane Fay

    2 2015–16 NEW YORK FRESHWATER FISHING GUIDE

    J.F. Griffin Publishing, LLC is proud to print the official New York Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide on post-consumer recycled paper.

    NEW YORK

    FISHING reshwaterF

    www.dec.ny.gov

    2015–16 OFF IC IA L REGUL AT IONS GUIDEVOLUME 7, ISSUE NO. 1, A PR IL 2015

    Muskie forFishing

    Most regulations are in effectApril 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016

    FOR MORE INFORMATION For more information on aquatic invasive species and preventing their spread go to: www.dec.ny.gov/animals/48221.html, or scan this QR code with a smartphone.

    Anglers and Boaters Help STOP the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species and Fish Diseases

    1 2

    3

    INSPECT your boat, trailer and other fishing and boating equipment, and remove all mud, plants and other organisms that might be clinging to it. Never release plants, fish or animals into a body of water, unless they came out of that body of water.

    DRAIN AND DRY everything that came into contact with water. Many aquatic invasive species and fish diseases are microscopic and can be transported in as little as a drop of water. Dry boats for at least 5 days and other equip- ment for at least 48 hrs before use in another waterbody. Difficult-to-dry gear may require even longer drying times. Recommended dr