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Region 6 Fisheries Information

Our fisheries unit manages fishery resources in an 8,000 square mile Region in north-central New York. The region extends from the Mohawk Valley in the south to the St. Lawrence River in the north and from the Adirondack Mountains west to Lake Ontario. Region Six contains extensive fishery resources ranging from Adirondack wilderness brook trout to trophy Great Lakes salmon and walleye. There are highly productive warmwater fisheries in the Indian River Lakes system, urban trout streams in the Mohawk Valley and world class muskellunge fishing in the St. Lawrence River.

Region 6 fisheries staff loading a boatIn all, we have some 2,700 lakes and ponds with a total area of 110,000 acres, and 8,000 permanent streams and rivers totaling 11,700 miles. Three thousand miles of these support trout populations. We manage 110 miles (76,000 acres) of the St. Lawrence River, and over 800 square miles of eastern Lake Ontario.

We provide more than 300 miles of Public Fishing Rights on 112 streams. Boat access is provided at 84 sites. In 1996 anglers took advantage of these opportunities to the tune of 2.8 million trips. They contributed $68 million in direct local expenditures to the regional economy. There were over 920,000 angler trips to the St. Lawrence River, making it the second most fished water in the state (after Lake Ontario).

Fishery managers apply scientific principles and knowledge to the challenge of providing optimum value to society from aquatic systems (particularly fish populations). Among other things, the regional fishery manager, two technicians and five biologists that make up the regional fishery unit: conduct fish population and habitat surveys, collect fish samples for various purposes, develop and implement fishery and habitat management plans, review environmental permits, acquire and develop public access, and exchange information with the public, universities and other agencies. And we love it!

The regional fisheries unit is involved in cooperative projects with Cornell University, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, US Department of Agriculture, the US Geological Survey, and US Army, as well as sister state agencies.

Some of our major challenges at present include:

  • managing impacts of cormorant's on Lake Ontario fish stocks,
  • mitigating acid precipitation impacts on Adirondack waters,
  • rehabilitating lake sturgeon and round whitefish,
  • improving St. Lawrence River northern pike and muskellunge fisheries,
  • managing development impacts,
  • ensuring fisheries concerns are addressed in State Land Unit Management Planning,
  • updating trout stream management policies and
  • providing public access to fishery resources.

For additional information call at either of these telephone numbers - (315) 785-2263 (Watertown) or (315) 793-2554 (Utica).