Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Freshwater Fishing Regulations

Important Note: DEC's online freshwater fishing regulations are provided on a separate website provided by J.F. Griffin Publishing, the official freshwater fishing regulations guide vendor.

The New York State Fishing Regulations are available as both online (leaving DEC website) and as a printable PDF (fishing regulations guide).

How to find freshwater fishing regulations

Note: all links in this section leave DEC's website to official Fishing Regulations Guide vendor website.

  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

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 2017-18 Fishing Regulations Guide

Cover of the 2017/18 fishing guide with a man fishing Lake Champlain

The 2017/18 Fishing Regulations Guide contains the fishing regulations that will become effective on April 1, 2017. In order to reduce printing costs, the guide was printed in a magazine format with advertising.

Printable PDF

New York Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide: 2017/18 (PDF) (12.2 MB)

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

Highlights of Changes for 2017/18 Fishing Regulations

Summary of Changes in the freshwater fishing regulations that will go into effect April 1, 2017.

Fish Health Collectors

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