Edited by Rob Potter
ALBANY January 3, 2006 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Denise M. Sheehan recently announced several proposed freshwater fishing regulations for 2006-2008 to help enhance fishing opportunities statewide.
The DEC will be accepting public comments on the proposals until February 14, 2006.
In our continuing effort to provide the best fishing in the nation, DEC is proposing changes to fishing regulations affecting waters across the state, Sheehan said. These new proposals are intended to enhance available fishing opportunities while protecting New Yorks precious natural resources. I encourage interested anglers to review these proposed changes and provide comments to DEC.
The proposed regulations are the result of careful observations and studies by DEC staff and have been discussed with various angling interest groups over the past year. The DEC is now seeking additional feedback from a wider audience regarding the proposed changes.
To request copies of the proposals and submit comments by mail, contact: NYSDEC, Attn: Shaun Keeler, 625 Broadway, Albany NY 12233-4753, or by e-mail to sxkeeler@ gw.dec.state.ny.us.
Final regulations, reflecting public comments, would go into effect on October 1, 2006.
The following are some highlights of the proposed changes:
Expand black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) fishing opportunities statewide, by establishing a catch-and-immediately release, artificial lures-only season from December 1 through the Friday preceding the third Saturday in June. This will provide additional bass angling opportunities throughout the state while still protecting spawning stock. The existing third Saturday in June through November 30 season (with a 12-inch minimum length and daily limit of 5 fish) would remain the same.
There would be several exceptions in the proposal where the current season in these waters will remain: Tidal portions of Hudson River and tributaries, and all waters in Nassau, Suffolk, Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond, Hamilton, Franklin, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties;
Establish the statewide catch-and-release season for black bass while retaining the special regulations on select waters (e.g. different minimum size limits, different opening season dates, differences due to waters bordering other states);
For Lake Erie, increase the black bass minimum size limit from 15 to 20 during the first Saturday in May through the Friday preceding the third Saturday in June;
Increase the size limit from 12 to 15 on black bass in the Hudson River from the Troy Dam downstream and all tributaries in this section upstream to the first barrier impassable by fish;
Provide additional stream trout angling opportunities by adopting a catch-and-release trout season, artificial lures only, during the currently closed portion of the year on these waters:
Salmon Creek upstream of Ludlowville Falls (Cayuga and Tompkins counties);
Otselic River (Chenango, Cortland and Madison counties);
Cattaraugus Creek upstream of Springville Dam (Cattaraugus, Erie and Wyoming counties);
Elm Creek, Elton Creek and Mansfield Creek (Cattaraugus County);
Goose Creek (Chautauqua County);
East Koy Creek (Allegany and Wyoming counties);
East Branch Owego Creek and the West and East Branches of the Tioughnioga River (Cortland and Madison counties);
Owego Creek and the East and West Branches of Owego Creek (Tioga and Tompkins counties);
Establish a catch-and-release trout and salmon season, artificial lures only, in Fall Creek, Cayuga Lake tributary;
Establish catch-and-release only trout and salmon fishing on portions of Chautauqua Creek and the main branch of Eighteen Mile Creek (Erie County);
Extend the catch-and-release trout season for the following waters:
West Branch Delaware River (Delaware County) from September 30 to October 15;
Skaneateles Creek (Onondaga County) to all year;
Allow year-round trout fishing (with ice fishing permissible) on Blue Lake (Orange County), and Loch Sheldrake (Sullivan County);
Extend the trout season from September 30 to October 15 on the following stream segments:
Border water sections of the Delaware River and the West Branch Delaware River;
Delaware River tributaries downstream of Hancock (Delaware County);
East Branch Delaware River tributaries between the villages of East Branch and Hancock (Delaware County);
West Branch Delaware River from Cannonsville Dam downstream to the Rt. 17 overpass at Deposit (Delaware and Broome counties);
West Branch Delaware River from the lower limits of the catch-and-release only segment downstream to the NY/PA border (Delaware and Broome counties);
East Branch Delaware River from Pepacton Dam downstream to the Shinhopple bridge (Delaware County);
Basket Creek and tributaries, Callicoon Creek from mouth to Hortonville, Hankins Creek and tributaries from mouth to falls at Mileses, Hoolihan Brook and tributaries, N. Branch Callicoon Creek and tributaries from mouth to Gossweyler Pond above N. Branch, and Pea Brook and tributaries (all in Sullivan County);
Expand ice fishing opportunity by allowing ice fishing for lake trout and landlocked salmon in Sixberry Lake and Lake-of-the-Woods (Jefferson County) and allowing ice fishing for landlocked salmon in Lake Pleasant and Sacandaga Lake (Hamilton County);
Establish special regulations for managing trout and lake trout in inland waters:
Reduce the lake trout daily possession limit to 1 fish for Sterling Lake (Orange County);
Reduce the size limit on lake trout from 21 to 18 on Kensico Reservoir (Westchester County);
Increase the size limit on lake trout in Otsego Lake (Otsego County), from 21 to 23 and change the 2-fish creel limit in combination for brown trout, lake trout and landlocked salmon to 1 fish each;
Create a 10 minimum and 3 trout daily limit on Holding Pond, (Schoharie County);
Add a 10 minimum, 3-trout daily limit from April 1 through October 15 and a catch-and-release only season from October 16 through March 31 on Wiscoy Creek (Allegany County);
Create an all year 12 minimum, 3-trout daily limit with ice fishing permitted special regulation on Colgate Lake (Greene County);
Amend Lake Ozonia (St. Lawrence County) trout regulations to a 12 minimum, 3-fish daily limit;
Change the daily limit on trout to 5 with no more than 2 longer than 12 on the following waters:
Moose River, Middle and South Branch of Moose River Downstream of Moose River Plains Recreation Area, and West Canada Creek from mouth upstream to Cincinnati Creek (Herkimer County);
Black River, East Branch Fish Creek from Rome Reservoir Dam Downstream and Moose River in Lewis County;
Mohawk River from Barge Canal Upstream to Delta Dam, Mohawk River from Bridge in Westernville Upstream to Lansing Kill, Moose River, Nine Mile Creek, Oneida Creek, Sauquoit Creek from Pinnacle Road in Sauquoit Downstream, and Black River in Oneida County;
St. Regis River from Ft. Jackson to Franklin County line;
Spafford Brook, Cortland County;
Establish/amend special regulations for managing walleye in inland waters:
Amend walleye special fishing regulation on the Lower Niagara River to include a one fish 18 minimum length creel limit from January 1 through March 15;
Enact 18 inch minimum, 3-fish daily limit for walleye on Redfield Reservoir (Oswego County), and Franklin Falls Flow (Franklin County);
Increase the minimum length for all salmonids from 9 to 12 on Lake Erie and its tributaries and Upper Niagara River and its tributaries;
Establish a 21 minimum size regulation for rainbow trout in Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River and Lower Niagara River;
Establish a 2-fish daily lake trout limit with only 1 that may be between 25 and 30 in Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River and Lower Niagara River;
Eliminate the opportunity to add weight to a leader, in the Salmon River special fly fishing area from May 1 through August 15;
Prohibit the use of electrofishing gear and set lines as commercial fishing gears.