NEW YORK (WWTI) — New fishing regulations will soon take effect for freshwater anglers in New York. On March 17, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos confirmed that the state has adopted new freshwater fishing regulations.

According to Commissioner Seggos, the new regulations reflect input received from the angling community following a public comment period. During the period, anglers expressed the need for simplified regulations.

“Amendments to freshwater fishing regulations provide greater consistency and significantly reduce special regulations while still maintaining protective measures to sustain the health of the state’s fisheries,” Commissioner Seggos said. 

One of the main changes includes new statewide regulations for rainbow, brown trout, and splakes in lakes or ponds. The season for these species will now be open year-round, with a five-fish daily limit. Fish can be any size but no more than two can be longer than 12 inches.

The regulations will allow ice fishing on all waters in New York unless specifically prohibited with the exception of Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Warren, and Washington counties where previous rules remain.

The DEC has also reduced the daily sunfish harvest limit from 50 to 25 fish to protect populations from overharvesting and increased the minimum size limit for crappie from nine to 10 inches.

The following new specific dates will replace floating dates for statewide season openers:

  • May 1: Walleye, Northern Pike, Pickerel and Tiger Muskellunge
  • June 1: Muskellunge
  • June 15: Largemouth and Smallmouth bass

Additionally, on Oneida Lake, there is now a five-fish daily walleye limit and a 12-inch minimum size limit for walleye on Skaneateles Lake. Statewide Atlantic Salmon regulations will now allow for a year-round open season.

The new regulations extend the fishing of Atlantic Salmon all year as well. Special regulations for Atlantic Salmon in 43 waterbodies were eliminated excluding Chinook or Coho salmon regulations, according to the DEC.

The DEC also placed experimental regulations on 11 waters to determine if larger sunfish can be produced under a 15-fish-per-day harvest limit and an eight-inch minimum size limit.

The new guide will be posted to the DEC website to download or print at home later this month. Hard copies of the guide are currently being produced and guides are anticipated to be available at License Issuing Agents by the second week of April. Hard copies can also be requested by emailing FWFish@dec.ny.gov.

A summary of the changes from the DEC are below: