Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Freshwater Fishing Regulations

The New York State Fishing Regulations are available as both web pages (regulations only) and as a printable PDF (fishing regulations guide). In addition, the fishing regulations guide is available to be viewed off site with an interactive viewer.

How to find freshwater fishing regulations

  1. Review the Statewide Angling Regulations.
  2. Review Special Regulations by County.
  3. Review any appropriate special waters regulations:
    1. Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations
    2. Tidal Hudson River Regulations
    3. Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations
    4. Lake Champlain Regulations
    5. Border Waters Regulations
    6. New York City Reservoir Regulations
  4. If the water you intend to fish is not among the waters named above or in the Special Regulations by County, then Statewide Angling Regulations apply.
  5. Review:
    1. General Regulations
    2. Baitfish Regulations
    3. Fishing Definitions
  6. Consult the Fishing License page to determine if you need a fishing license.

Other Considerations While Fishing

Review Fish Health Advisories (leaving DEC website) to be better informed about the fish you may keep and eat.

Review Fish Health Regulations to better understand the regulations designed to protect healthy fish populations.

Review Fishing Responsibly in New York State for tips on reducing your impact on the environment and reporting fishing violations.

Questions Regarding Regulations

Is the Alabama Rig legal in NY?

View or Print the 2016-17 Fishing Regulations Guide (current guide)

(In effect through March 31, 2017)

The 2016/17 Fishing Regulations Guide contains the fishing regulations that became effective on April 1, 2016. In order to reduce printing costs, the guide was printed in a magazine format with advertising. There are two types of electronic versions of the guide you can access. You can choose to view the guide through an interactive viewer (leaves DEC website) or directly download the PDF.

Interactive viewer

Printable PDFs

New York Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide: 2016/17 (PDF) (8.7 MB) - Complete guide

Warning! This is a large document and may be slow to download.

Fish Heath Collectors

Review the Fish Heath Collectors List page for a list of people certified to collect fish for disease testing.