"New York continues to provide some of the nation's best freshwater fishing, and these regulation changes will continue to sustain our robust fisheries, helping to ensure excellent fishing opportunities throughout New York for today and many years to come," Commissioner Grannis said.
The changes to the freshwater regulations are the result of a two-year process during which DEC solicited public feedback during the development of the proposals, and also provided a comment period for public input on the draft rules.
"All of us at DEC are grateful for the feedback from anglers and other stakeholders during the rulemaking process and their input is reflected in this final package," Grannis added.
Some of the changes apply to multiple waters in New York, while others are waterbody-specific. Modifications to enhance angling opportunities for a particular species or group of species and regulations that provide for the protection of vulnerable game fish species are among the changes. Several actions will eliminate "special regulations" (i.e. those different than the Statewide Angler Regulations) that are no longer needed based on the targeted species' population trends. Highlights of the changes include:
1. A special allowance (mostly in DEC Regions 5 and 7) for five extra brook trout less than eight inches has been eliminated. With the exception of certain water-specific regulations, the daily limit is now five trout of any size.
2. A 10-fish daily limit has been established for river herring (alewife and blueback herring) on the Delaware River and the West Branch Delaware River bordering Pennsylvania.
3. The regulation for walleye on Burden Lake and Dunham Reservoir in Rensselaer County and Muskellunge Lake in Jefferson County requiring an 18-inch minimum size, three fish daily limit has been eliminated. Statewide regulations now apply.
4. Fishing is seasonally prohibited on a section of the Oswegatchie River below the dam in Ogdensburg in St. Lawrence County to protect spawning walleye.
5. Fishing for or possessing river herring (alewife and blueback herring) on the Mohawk River in Saratoga County between Lock 2 and Guard Gate 2 (Waterford Flight) is now prohibited.
6. A 1.8-mile catch and release/artificial lures only section has been established for trout on the Chittenango Creek between Cazenovia and Chittenango in Madison County.
7. The baitfish use restriction in Weeds Mine Pond in Columbia County has been eliminated.
Selected Long Island Highlights of Changes
8. The catch and release regulation for all species at Hempstead Lake in Nassau County has been eliminated. County-wide regulations now apply.
9. The 15-inch minimum size limit for black bass in Fort Pond and Lake Ronkonkoma in Suffolk County has been reduced to 12 inches.
10. A year-round catch and release season has been established for black bass in Randall Pond in Suffolk County.
Selected Adirondack Highlights of Changes
11. Special regulations for chain pickerel in various Region 5 waters have been eliminated. Statewide regulations now apply.
12. Special regulations for northern pike on Adirondack Lake in Hamilton County have been eliminated. Statewide regulations now apply.
13. Special regulations for yellow perch and sunfish in Clinton, Essex, Franklin and Hamilton Counties, including Schroon Lake have been eliminated. Statewide regulations now apply.
14. The open season for trout on Glen Lake (Warren County) has been extended to allow ice fishing.
15. The minimum size limit for lake trout has been reduced from 21 inches to 18 inches in Lake Bonaparte, Lewis County.
The full text of the new 2010-2012 regulations can be viewed at http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/34113.html on the DEC website. The "Assessment of Public Comment" is available on the Department of State website at http://www.dos.state.ny.us/info/register/2010.html by selecting "April 14, 2010." DEC reminds anglers to always check the regulations for the specific water where fishing is planned to make sure the regulations did not change.
Commissioner Grannis also encouraged all outdoor enthusiasts to consider purchasing a Habitat/Access Stamp, an optional stamp that helps support the DEC's efforts to conserve habitat and increase public access for fish and wildlife-related recreation. This year's stamp features a drawing of a pair of playful red fox. Buying a $5 stamp is a way to help conserve New York's fabulous wildlife heritage. More information about purchasing a Habitat Stamp is available at http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/329.html
Maureen Wren (518) 402-8000