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Considerations for Freshwater Sportfish Regulation Changes For 2017-2018

The Department is currently considering the following items for the next round of freshwater regulation changes. Proposals will actually be finalized and made available for public comment during the late summer of 2016. At this time the Department is soliciting feedback on what may be proposed later this year.

How to Submit Input

To submit input regarding any of the possible changes being considered, send an email with the following subject line: "Possible Freshwater Fishing Regulation Changes [ID number of the regulation you are commenting on]." For your convenience, each "Email a comment." link will fill in the To: and subject lines with the correct information. To ensure we receive and can properly review your suggestions, you must leave the subject line as it appears on the e-mail, and be sure to indicate the ID # (s) of the regulation(s) you are remarking on.

Please send a separate email for each possible regulation you would like to make suggestions on!

Input will be collected through March 31, 2016

Note: Due to the high volume of e-mails received, the Department will be unable to reply to individual submissions. All input will be reviewed and considered towards developing a proposed rule making consisting of sportfishing regulation changes that, if accepted, would become effective April 1, 2017.

Great Lakes (includes tributaries to the Great Lakes)

Eliminate Spearing in Cayuga and Oswego County streams (2017_GL 01)

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Description: Eliminate regulations permitting the taking of bullheads and suckers with a spear in all tributaries to Lake Ontario in Cayuga and Oswego Counties. Waters where spearing is currently allowed are: Grindstone Creek (downstream of the dam at Fernwood), Little Salmon River (downstream from the bridge at Arthur), Salmon River (downstream of NY Route 3), Red Creek or Sunset Bay Creek, Otter Branch Creek, Sage Creek, Snake Creek, Sterling Creek (downstream of Route 104A), and Sterling Valley Creek (downstream of Route 104A), Eightmile Creek and Ninemile Creek.

Rationale: Lake Ontario tributaries in Cayuga and Oswego Counties where spearing is currently permitted support significant runs of steelhead trout and walleye during the same time period when spearing is allowed. Permitting spearing in these tributaries provides opportunities for illegal harvest of steelhead and walleye. Given the high recreational value of steelhead and walleye fisheries, it is not acceptable to subject them to potential illegal harvest with spears.

Combine (simplify) two separate Lake Erie Black Bass Seasons which occur between Dec-1 and the Friday before the 3rd Sat. in June (2017_GL_04)

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Description: Lake Erie currently has three distinct black bass fishing seasons, two of which are similar (1 & 2):

  1. December 1 through the Friday before the 1st Saturday in May: catch-and-release only, artificial lures only

  2. 1st Saturday in May through the Friday before the 3rd Saturday in June: 1 black bass daily limit, 20-inches minimum length, and no bait restrictions

  3. Statewide regulation - 3rd Saturday in June through November 30: 5 black bass daily limit, 12-inch minimum length

Reduce the three black bass seasons to two:

  • December 1 through the Friday before the 3rd Saturday in June: 1 black bass daily limit, 20 inches minimum length, and no bait restrictions;

  • Statewide regulation - 3rd Saturday in June through November 30: 5 black bass daily limit, 12-inch minimum length.

Rationale: This reduction from three black bass seasons to two will simplify regulations while also expanding opportunities to use live bait and harvest one large bass per day. The two seasons from Dec-1 to the Friday before the 3rd Saturday in June provide similar angling opportunities and should be combined to achieve simpler, more understandable regulations. Fishing opportunities and angler harvest should not be measurably influenced by adopting the 1 black bass daily limit, 20-inches minimum length, and no bait restrictions through this entire period. A segment of the black bass angling community prefers to use live bait during springtime, and the 20-in minimum size limit was strongly supported by much of the bass angling community during the last regulatory change for Lake Erie black bass in 2007. During winter and early spring (< May) Lake Erie black bass fishing is generally not possible due to ice and foul weather.

Grass(e) River at Massena seasonal fishing closure, St Lawrence County (2017_GL_07)

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Description: During the closed season for walleye (March 15 through the 1st Saturday in May), close the Grass(e) River to all fishing from the downstream side of the ALCOA Road Bridge upstream to the upstream side of the Main Street Bridge in the Village of Massena.

Rationale: This section of the Grass(e) River has a significant walleye spawning activity in the rapids, and has been subject to illegal walleye harvest during the season closure. Eliminating all angling in this river section during this period will improve law enforcement and better protect spawning walleye.

St. Lawrence River, Northern Pike daily limit reduction (2017_GL_08)

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Description: Reduce the daily limit for Northern Pike from 5 to 3 on the St. Lawrence River and its' tributaries upstream to the first barrier.

Rationale: Abundance of spawning adult and young-of year northern pike in the Thousand Islands region of the St. Lawrence River continues to be suppressed. Overall, natural reproduction at natural and managed spawning marshes remains poor, likely due to habitat degradation resulting from long-term management of Lake Ontario/St. Lawrence River water levels.

St. Lawrence River Tributaries in Franklin and Clinton counties (2017_GL_09)

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Description: This change addresses the need to clarify the language regarding the tributaries of the St. Lawrence River in Franklin and Clinton Counties, the phrase "where statewide regulations apply" should be removed. The proposed change simply clarifies the intent of the regulation, reducing potential conflict between this and other regulations.

Rationale: The removal of the phrase "where statewide regulations apply" concerning tributaries to the St. Lawrence River in Franklin and Clinton County removes any conflict between this regulation and other regulations that are applied to these tributaries. The removal of this phrase makes the regulations on those tributaries either statewide or the appropriate special regulation by default.

Finger Lakes

Modification to 5 trout daily limit on Skaneateles Lake (2017_R7_02)

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Description: Retain existing 5 trout combined daily limit for Lake Trout, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout and Landlocked Salmon in Skaneateles Lake but reduce daily harvest limit for Rainbow and Brown Trout from 5 to 3 fish per day.

Rationale: The contribution of Rainbow Trout in the NYSDEC sponsored Skaneateles Lake Angler Diary program has declined in recent years and the reduced harvest limit on this species is proposed to help reverse this trend. Additionally, greater protection for Rainbow Trout is also warranted because natural reproduction in the tributary streams in some years contributes significantly to the lake-wide population. The reduced Brown Trout limit is expected to have no impact on anglers since none are stocked and they are only occasionally captured by lake anglers.

Modification of Size Limit for Rainbow Trout in tributaries to Skaneateles, Otisco and Owasco Lakes (2017_R7_03)

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Description: Increase the minimum size limit for Rainbow Trout in tributaries to Skaneateles and Owasco lakes.

Rationale: Rainbow Trout in both lakes are now regulated with a 15" size limit and this proposal would provide the same protection for rainbows in the tributaries of these two lakes. Adopting the 15" minimum size limit would also make the regulations consistent with all the other Finger Lakes tributaries which support Rainbow Trout fisheries.

Modification to 5 trout daily limit on Cayuga and Owasco Lakes (2017_R7_04)

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Description: Retain existing 5 trout combined daily limit for trout in Cayuga and Owasco Lakes but change maximum number of Lake Trout kept from 3 to 5 fish per day. Also change daily harvest limit for Rainbow and Brown Trout from 5 to 3 fish per day.

Rationale: The more liberal daily limit on Lake Trout is intended to increase the harvest of Lake Trout and allow for improved survival of other trout and salmon in Cayuga and Owasco Lakes. The reduced daily limit on Rainbow and Brown Trout is intended to alleviate some harvest pressure as the Department strives to increase their numbers in both lakes. Additionally, protection for Rainbow Trout is also warranted because natural reproduction in the tributary streams in some years contributes significantly to the lake-wide population. In contrast Lake Trout populations in both lakes are comprised primarily of stocked fish (wild fish account for less than 10% of the adult population in the both lakes). The opportunity for increased angler harvest of lake trout teamed with recently implemented cuts in the number of stocked lake trout is intended to create a better balance of all trout species available to anglers in both lakes.

Cayuga County

Seneca River, Cayuga County 18 Inch Walleye (2017_R7_05)

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Description: Expand existing 18 inch, 3 fish per day regulation for walleye to include the entire length of the Seneca River in Cayuga County.

Rationale: Starting in June 2015, a walleye stocking program was initiated in the Cayuga County portion of the Seneca River from the outlet of Cayuga Lake down to Cross Lake. A five year experimental walleye stocking plan is intended to establish a self-sustaining population. The increased size limit is intended to protect walleye until they have had at least one opportunity to spawn before reaching harvestable length and the reduced daily limit is intended to limit the harvest of fish until a self-sustaining population is well established.

Dutch Hollow Brook Angling Prohibition Repeal (2017_R7_06)

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Description: Eliminate existing Cayuga County Special Regulation which prohibits all angling and dipnetting in Dutch Hollow Brook from March 16 until the opening of the walleye season.

Rationale: This regulation was implemented in 2002 when walleye stocking/management efforts had resulted in considerable numbers of spawning walleye in lower Dutch Hollow Brook. However, in recent years the Department has chosen to terminate all walleye management activities at Owasco Lake due to the unintended impacts walleye were believed to have had on the lake's rainbow and brown trout fisheries. The regulation is no longer warranted given current management objectives for the lake and its elimination will once again allow smelt dipping to occur at this once popular smelting location.

Chautauqua County

Remove special regulation for Walleye in Chautauqua Lake (2017_R9_01)

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Description: Remove the special regulation for Walleye, 18 inch minimum size limit and 3 fish/day, from Chautauqua Lake. Walleye regulations on Chautauqua Lake will be covered by statewide regulations.

Rationale: The Walleye population in Chautauqua Lake has increased to the point that the special regulation is no longer necessary. Survey results have indicated a moderate to high abundance of Walleye since 2006.

Columbia County

Modification of size limit and creel limit for walleye on Lake Taghkanic (2017_R4_02)

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Description: Establish an 18 inch minimum size limit and creel limit of 3 per day for walleye on Lake Taghkanic.

Rationale: A five year experimental walleye stocking plan will be initiated in 2016 for Lake Taghkanic with the intent of establishing a self-sustaining population. The increased size limit is intended to protect walleye until they have had at least one opportunity to spawn before reaching harvestable length and the reduced daily limit is intended to limit the harvest of fish until a self-sustaining population is well established.

Cortland County

Sucker snatching in Otselic and Tioughnioga Rivers in Cortland County (2017_R7_01)

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Description: Allow taking of suckers by snatching, but not blind snatching, from January 1 through March 15 in specified portions of the Otselic and Tioughnioga Rivers in Cortland County. Snatching shall be permitted in the Otselic River from the State Route 23 Bridge in Lower Cincinnatus to the County Route 169 Bridge in Landers Corners and in the Tioughnioga River from the County Route 121 Bridge in Blodgett Mills to the State Route 221 Bridge in Marathon.

Rationale: Legal snatching in these waters and many other waters was eliminated during the early 1990's due to an apparent lack of angler interest in continuing this traditional harvest technique. However a number of area anglers recently petitioned the Department to reinstate this activity in the defined river sections in Cortland County. The Department believes that sucker populations in these two waters are lightly utilized, at most, and that the additional expected harvest which results from this activity will have little to no impact on them.

Delaware County

East Sidney Reservoir Walleye Size and Creel Limit (2017_R4_01)

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Description: Establish an 18 inch minimum size limit and creel limit of 3 per day for walleye for East Sidney Reservoir.

Rationale: A five year experimental walleye stocking plan was initiated in 2015 for East Sidney Reservoir with the intent of establishing a self-sustaining population. The increased size limit is intended to protect walleye until they have had at least one opportunity to spawn before reaching harvestable length and the reduced daily limit is intended to limit the harvest of fish until a self-sustaining population is well established. .

Essex County

Bigsby Pond - modify special regulation concerning tip-ups (2017_R5_01)

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Description: Continue to restrict the number and type of devices allowed for during ice fishing. Ice fishing shall be limited to the use of hand lines only (including rod and reels), and limited to a maximum of 3 hand lines. Other ice fishing lines, such as tip-ups, will continue to be prohibited.

Rationale: The existing "tip-ups prohibited" part of this regulation was meant to reduce fishing effort to give additional protection to the self-sustaining lake trout population in this relatively small, 46 acre water. This additional protection is still needed and the proposed change will continue to limit fishing pressure while accommodating recently modified statewide definitions of allowable gear as contained in regulation and law.

Copperas Pond - modify "tip-ups prohibited" regulation (2017_R5_02)

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Description: Continue to restrict the number and type of devices allowed for during ice fishing. Ice fishing shall be limited to the use of hand lines only (including rod and reels), and limited to a maximum of 3 hand lines. Other ice fishing lines, such as tip-ups, will continue to be prohibited.

Rationale: The "tip-ups prohibited" part of the current regulation was meant to reduce fishing effort to give additional protection to the self-sustaining lake trout population in this relatively small, 21 acre water. This additional protection is still needed and the proposed change will continue to limit fishing pressure while accommodating recently modified statewide definitions of allowable gear as contained in regulation and law.

Open Crane Pond to ice fishing (2017_R5_15)

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Description: Open Crane Pond to ice fishing.

Rationale: Crane Pond (Essex County) offers a wilderness experience to ice fish for lake trout, and it was previously open to ice fishing. It provided an opportunity to hike, snowshoe or ski into a wilderness pond to ice fish for lake trout. The previously established special regulation that allowed ice fishing all winter was subsequently deleted as it was thought no one took advantage of the opportunity. However, the Department has recently been contacted by several anglers who did previously ice fish the pond, and they have requested the special regulation be reinstated. While winter often limits the options for outdoor recreation, this opportunity would provide ice fishermen with a unique outdoor experience. The number of anglers who would take advantage of the opportunity is small, thus undue fishing pressure is not anticipated. The use and possession of baitfish will continue to be prohibited.

Putnam Pond Walleye Size and Creel Limit (2017_R5_17)

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Description: Establish an 18 inch minimum size limit and creel limit of 3 per day for walleye for Putnam Pond in Essex County.

Rationale: A five year experimental walleye stocking plan will be initiated in 2016 for Putnam Pond with the intent of establishing a self-sustaining population. The increased size limit is intended to protect walleye until they have had at least one opportunity to spawn before reaching harvestable length and the reduced daily limit is intended to limit the harvest of fish until a self-sustaining population is well established.

Franklin County

Kiwassa Lake & St. Regis Falls Impoundment Walleye Size and Creel Limit (2017_R5_09)

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Description: Establish an 18 inch minimum size limit and creel limit of 3 per day for walleye for Kiwassa Lake and St. Regis Falls Impoundment

Rationale: A five year experimental walleye stocking plan was initiated in 2014 for Kiwassa Lake and St. Regis Falls Impoundment with the intent of establishing a self-sustaining population. The increased size limit is intended to protect walleye until they have had at least one opportunity to spawn before reaching harvestable length and the reduced daily limit is intended to limit the harvest of fish until a self-sustaining population is well established.

Upper Saranac Lake - modify special regulation concerning tip-ups (2017_R5_12)

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Description: Ice fishing shall be limited to the use of hand lines only (including rod and reels), and limited to a maximum of 3 hand lines. Other ice fishing lines, such as tip-ups, will continue to be prohibited.

Rationale: The "tip-ups prohibited" part of this regulation was meant to limit fishing effort to give additional protection to the lake trout population of Upper Saranac Lake. This additional protection is still needed and the proposed change will continue to limit fishing pressure while accommodating recently modified statewide definitions of allowable gear as contained in regulation and law.

Whey Pond - eliminate special regulation (2017_R5_13)

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Description: The special regulation for trout in Whey Pond will be eliminated. The regulation, intended to protect the Windfall heritage strain of brook trout, is no longer needed because competing fish species are extremely abundant and the pond is no longer stocked with brook trout.

Rationale: Brown bullhead are now extremely abundant and brook trout survival in this water is extremely poor. The current prohibition against the use of baitfish is intended to be retained.

Little Wolf Pond - Walleye Size and Creel Limit (2017_R5_16)

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Description: Establish an 18 inch minimum size limit and creel limit of 3 per day for walleye for Little Wolf Pond in Franklin County.

Rationale: A five year experimental walleye stocking plan will be initiated in 2016 for Little Wolf Pond with the intent of establishing a self-sustaining population. The increased size limit is intended to protect walleye until they have had at least one opportunity to spawn before reaching harvestable length and the reduced daily limit is intended to limit the harvest of fish until a self-sustaining population is well established

Greene County

Modification of size limit for trout on Colgate Lake (2017_R4_03)

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Description: Change the minimum size limit for trout from a 12 inch minimum size limit (msl), 3 fish/day regulation, to a 9 inch msl 3 fish/day for Colgate Lake in Greene County.

Rationale: Recent netting surveys have shown few fish reaching the 12 inch minimum size due to temperature stress. This is a highly utilized resource that receives a spring stocking of rainbow trout by the DEC and a fall stocking of rainbow trout by the Greene County Sportsman Federation. Modifying the minimum size limit will allow more harvest in this put and take fishery.

Hamilton County

Fawn Lake special regulation (2017_R5_05)

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Description: Ice fishing shall be limited to the use of hand lines only (including rod and reels), and limited to a maximum of 3 hand lines. Other ice fishing lines, such as tip-ups, will continue to be prohibited.

Rationale: The tip-ups prohibited part of this regulation was meant to reduce fishing effort to give additional protection to the lake trout population. This additional protection is still needed and the proposed change will continue to limit fishing pressure while accommodating recently modified statewide definitions of allowable gear as contained in regulation and law.

Eliminate a Portion of the Special Regulation for the Hudson River Hamilton County-Black Bass, All Year, Any Size 5 per Day (2017_R5_06)

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Description: The black bass portion of this special regulation (i.e. black bass, all year, any size, 5 per day, ice fishing permitted) would be eliminated.

Rationale: The black bass portion of this special regulation for the Hudson River has proven ineffective in improving the size and growth rate of the black bass in the Hudson River and unnecessarily complicates the regulations for black bass in Hamilton County. The black bass season is proposed to be consistent with the existing black bass open season for other Hamilton County waters, that being from the 3rd Saturday in June through November 30th.

Sacandaga Lake and Lake Pleasant, Walleye Size and Creel Limit (2017_R5_08)

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Description: Establish an 18 inch minimum size limit and creel limit of 3 per day for walleye for Sacandaga Lake and Lake Pleasant and their tributaries.

Rationale: A five year experimental walleye stocking plan was initiated in 2014 for Sacandaga Lake and Lake Pleasant with the intent of establishing a self-sustaining population. The increased size limit is intended to protect walleye until they have had at least one opportunity to spawn before reaching harvestable length and the reduced daily limit is intended to limit the harvest of fish until a self-sustaining population is well established.

Piseco Lake; Eliminate LL Salmon portion of special regulation (2017_R5_11)

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Description: The Landlocked Salmon portion of the special regulation [LL Salmon, All year season, 18 inch msl, 2 fish per day, ice fishing permitted] is no longer needed and will be eliminated. The portion pertaining to Lake Trout [All year, 21", 2 per day, ice fishing permitted] should be retained.

Rationale: This special regulation is no longer warranted as LL Salmon stocking here has failed to produce a fishery, and the stocking policy will be cancelled.

Eliminate lake whitefish snatching in Piseco Lake (2017_R5_14)

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Description: Eliminate the snatching and blind snatching of lake whitefish in Piseco Lake.

Rationale: The techniques of snatching and blind snatching is no longer considered compatible with the principles of "fair chase," and neither of these techniques are considered appropriate for the harvesting of lake whitefish, a valuable sport and forage fish in some waters. This would eliminate a remaining allowance for the use of these techniques for harvesting lake whitefish. Lake whitefish can still be caught in the mouth via traditional angling with bait or artificial lure, and thus snatching and blind snatching are not necessary to catch or harvest lake whitefish.

Herkimer County

Woodhull Lake Lake Trout (2017_R6_01)

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Description: Decrease the minimum length for Lake Trout in Woodhull Lake, Herkimer County, from 21 inches to 18 inches.

Rationale: Angler reports and a 2011 survey show that a more liberal smaller minimum length is feasible for this body of water. Due to acidity in the 1980s and 1990s recruitment of wild Lake Trout was low. Surveys in the mid-2000s demonstrated a stable and recovering population. A Department 2011 survey shows excellent recruitment and a stable population structure. Lowering the size limit will increase the opportunity for anglers to harvest fish but any resulting additional harvest is not expected to harm the population.

Jefferson County

Butterfield Lake, Jefferson County, Catch and release Bass (2017_R6_04)

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Description: Open Butterfield Lake to pre-season 'catch and release only' black bass fishing. The Statewide Angling Regulations will apply, with the addition of catch and release fishing from December 1st through the Friday preceding the 3rd Saturday in June; artificial lures only.

Rationale: Butterfield Lake is 1,000 acres, and has a boat launch to accommodate boat access. In 2015 two public meetings were held pertaining to the viability of applying the statewide catch and release season to waters in Jefferson and/or St. Lawrence Counties. As a result of all of the public input that was gathered at the meetings and from the hundreds of public comments received, Butterfield Lake (Jefferson County) has been determined to be a candidate water for an experimental relaxation of the current regulations.

Madison County

Cazenovia Lake Walleye Size and Creel Limit (2017_R7_07)

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Description: Establish an 18 inch minimum size limit and creel limit of 3 per day for walleye for Cazenovia Lake in Madison County.

Rationale: A five year experimental walleye stocking plan was initiated in 2015 for Cazenovia Lake with the intent of establishing a self-sustaining population. The increased size limit is intended to protect walleye until they have had at least one opportunity to spawn before reaching harvestable length and the reduced daily limit is intended to limit the harvest of fish until a self-sustaining population is well established.

Orleans County

Waterport Reservoir Walleye Size and Creel Limit (2017_R8_01)

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Description: Establish an 18 inch minimum size limit and creel limit of 3 per day for walleye for Waterport Reservoir in Orleans County.

Rationale: A five year experimental walleye stocking plan was initiated in 2014 for Waterport Reservoir with the intent of establishing a self-sustaining population. The increased size limit is intended to protect walleye until they have had at least one opportunity to spawn before reaching harvestable length and the reduced daily limit is intended to limit the harvest of fish until a self-sustaining population is well established.

St. Lawrence County

Fish Creek at Pope Mills fishing closure, St. Lawrence County (2017_R6_02)

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Description: Close a section of Fish Creek to all fishing during the walleye closed season. The section would be from west side (downstream) side of State Route 58 bridge upstream to highest point of Fish Creek Falls in Pope Mills.

Rationale: Fish Creek at Pope Mills has a significant walleye run from Black Lake. There has been an increase in the illegal harvest of walleye in this section during the closed (spawning) season. A closure is needed to better protect the walleye run. Fishing will be prohibited March 16 until the opening of walleye season in May.

Indian River at Rossie fishing closure, St. Lawrence County (2017_R6_03)

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Description: Close a section of the Indian River (at Rossie) during the walleye closed season. The section, at Rossie, is from west side (downstream) side of County Rout 8 bridge upstream to highest point of Rossie Falls

Rationale: The Indian River at Rossie has a significant walleye run from Black Lake. R6 Law Enforcement recommended this closure to protect the walleye run. There has been an increase in the illegal harvest of walleye in this section during the closed (spawning) season. A closure is needed to better protect the walleye run. Fishing will be prohibited March 16 until the opening of walleye season in May.

Suffolk County

Trout regulation changed on Carman's River in Southaven County Park (2017_R1_01)

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Description: Eliminate the nine inch minimum size limit for trout in the Carmans River in Southaven County Park and eliminate the catch and release only regulation for Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout from the LIPA Power Lines upstream to Yaphank Avenue.

Rationale: The rationale for these changes is to allow anglers to harvest more stocked trout. Angler surveys and trout population surveys conducted from 2011 through 2013 found that 77% of the angler effort occurred in April, May and June. Up to 80% of the trout stocked in March and April are less than nine inches long and are not expected to grow to the nine inch minimum size during the period when most of the people are fishing. These surveys also showed that year to year survival of stocked trout was negligible. So while the intent of the nine inch minimum size was to protect the trout until they could grow to a larger size, the reality of the regulation was that it did not allow for the harvest of most of the trout stocked for the duration of the time when they were in the river and when most anglers were fishing for them.
The "Catch and Release Only" regulation on the section of the Carmans River above the LIPA Power Lines was instituted in the 1990's in an effort to protect stocked Brown and Rainbow Trout and native Brook Trout to provide more likelihood of holdover trout for anglers. Brook Trout are now catch and release only throughout the river and the DEC no longer stocks Brown and Rainbow Trout in this section, so the regulation is no longer needed. This change simplifies the regulations.

Sullivan County

Rio Reservoir Walleye Size and Creel Limit (2017_R3_02)

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Description: Establish an 18 inch minimum size limit and creel limit of 3 per day for walleye for Rio Reservoir.

Rationale: A five year experimental walleye stocking plan was initiated in 2012 for Rio Reservoir with the intent of establishing a self-sustaining population. No Walleye were stocked in 2013 because of hatchery supply issues, with stocking resuming in 2014 for five additional years. The increased size limit is intended to protect walleye until they have had at least one opportunity to spawn before reaching harvestable length and the reduced daily limit is intended to limit the harvest of fish until a self-sustaining population is well established.

Warren County

Remove prohibition on the use or possession of smelt in Lake George (2017_R5_10)

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Description: Remove the prohibition on the use or possession of smelt in Lake George and establish a special regulation to allow for the limited harvest of smelt on Lake George by angling only during the open season with a daily creel limit of 25.

Rationale: Lake George currently supports a healthy population of smelt which are prohibited for use or possession. This special regulation would eliminate this prohibition and open up this resource for diversified angling opportunities. Many smelt spawning surveys have been done in the past to quantify the number of potential spawning tributaries on Lake George. Recent reporting has found the number of spawning smelt in tributaries to be stable and abundant. Establishment of this special regulation would allow anglers to utilize this unique fishery resource to a limited extent while still ensuring the long term sustainability of the population.

Westchester County

Titicus Reservoir Walleye Size and Creel Limit (2017_R3_01)

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Description: Establish an 18 inch minimum size limit and creel limit of 3 per day for walleye for Titicus Reservoir.

Rationale: A five year experimental walleye stocking plan was initiated in 2014 for Titicus Reservoir with the intent of establishing a self-sustaining population. The increased size limit is intended to protect walleye until they have had at least one opportunity to spawn before reaching harvestable length and the reduced daily limit is intended to limit the harvest of fish until a self-sustaining population is well established.