Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations
These regulations apply to New York waters of Lake Erie, the Upper and Lower Niagara River, Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, and designated areas of the tributaries to these waters. Areas of the tributaries which are subject to these regulations are generally defined as the bridge closest to the mouth upstream to the first barrier impassable to fish. Tributaries with different boundaries and exemptions are listed separately under Great Lakes Tributaries Regulations. Note that there are also seasonal tackle restrictions and restrictions on night fishing in the tributaries. Statewide angling regulations apply for species not listed.
Special Regulations for Great Lakes & Tributaries
The following regulations apply to all Great Lakes waters, including Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Upper and Lower Niagara River, St. Lawrence River and tributaries:
- Snatching and attempting to snatch is prohibited. See definition of snatching on page 12.
- All foul-hooked fish must be immediately released without unnecessary injury.
- Use or possession of gaff hooks is prohibited except when ice fishing.
- Any action to frighten fish and move them from concealment, including herding, driving, kicking or stoning is prohibited.
Review the following pages for exceptions to the statewide angling regulations:
- Lake Erie Fishing Regulations
- Upper Niagara River Fishing Regulations
- Lower Niagara River Fishing Regulations
- Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River Fishing Regulations
Review Great Lakes Tributaries Regulations for special fishing regulations on Great Lakes tribuaries.
More about Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations:
- Great Lakes Tributaries Regulations - Fishing regulations for Great Lakes and Great Lakes tributaries
- Lake Erie Fishing Regulations - Special Fishing Regulations for Lake Erie
- Lower Niagara River Fishing Regulations - Special Fishing Regulations for Lower Niagara River
- Upper Niagara River Special Fishing Regulations - Special Regulations for Fishing Upper Niagara River
- Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River Fishing Regulations - Special Fishing Regulations for Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River