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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has added a link to a translation service developed by Microsoft Inc., entitled Bing Translator, as a convenience to visitors to the DEC website who speak languages other than English.

Additional information can be found at DEC's Language Assistance Page.

Adirondack/Lake Champlain Fishing and Hunting Hotline

Welcome to the NYS DEC Region 5 Fishing and Hunting Hotline. This is the April 17 edition. Region 5 covers northeastern New York State including much of the Adirondack Region and all of Lake Champlain. Region 5 administers DEC programs in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Saratoga, Warren, and Washington Counties. Information on this page is specific to DEC Region 5.

NOTE: There are numerous web sites that provide fishing and hunting activity information. Go to any internet search engine and use the terms "fishing forum" or "fishing information" with the name of the waterbody you plan to fish, or "hunting forum" or "hunting information" with the name of the area you plan to hunt.

General Information

Sporting Licenses

A number of changes are now in effect for sporting licenses including:

  • Reduced price for fishing and hunting licenses
  • Reduced number of licenses available for purchase while maintaining all current hunting and fishing privileges and opportunities
  • Fishing licenses valid for one year from the date of purchase
  • Trapping privileges are included in a hunting license for no additional fee for certified trappers
  • Reduced fees for non-resident hunting and fishing licenses to attract more out-of-state participants

Check specific license information for Freshwater Fishing, Hunting, Trapping, Lifetime and Free/Reduced Fee Licenses.

The New York Freshwater Fishing 2013-14 Official Regulation Guide and the New York Hunting & Trapping 2013-14 Official Regulation Guide are available on the DEC web site.

Crossbows

As of April 1, 2014, a new crossbow law is in effect. The DEC is currently working to develop regulations that will implement this new law and more details will be provided as they become available. Although crossbows will be lawful during some parts of the 2014-2015 hunting seasons, crossbows will not be legal during the Spring 2014 Turkey Season.

Access to Former Finch Lands

DEC has developed a interim access web page (recently updated) with information about the area and descriptions and maps of the interim public access facilities. Updated information will be provided here and on the interim access web page as roads are opened and trails, landing sites and other infrastructure are developed.

Public access opportunities are also available on the Former Finch Lands that are now part of the Upper Hudson Woodlands Conservation Easement. Additional public access on the conservation easement lands will available in the future.

Acquisition of Former Finch Lands

In August 2012, Governor Cuomo and DEC Commissioner Martens announced the planned acquisition of 69,000 acres of the former Finch Paper lands and other Nature Conservancy lands throughout the Adirondacks. This planned acquisition will be the largest single addition to the Adirondack Forest Preserve in more than a century. To view a video of the Governor's press conference, click on the link in the right column and then click on the video icon under Related Media.

March 2014: Governor Cuomo announces New York State has purchased an additional 8,451 acres of former Finch lands in Fulton, Warren, Essex and Hamilton counties. The 14 new parcels contain miles of rivers and streams, ponds, wildlife habitat and trails, and offer exceptional opportunities for hiking, wildlife viewing, cross country skiing and mountain biking. Already, the state has completed two acquisition phases totaling 30,037 acres.

April 2013: Governor Cuomo announces the closing on five tracts of land totaling 9,300 acres. Some of these tracts lie just outside the Adirondack Park. When combined with the 18,318-acre Essex Chain of Lakes Tracts purchased in 2012, the State has added 27,618 acres of new forest preserve and state forest lands. The remaining 41,382 acres will be purchased in phases over the next three years.

TIPP - Turn in Poachers and Polluters

Report environmental crimes to the Department of Environmental Conservation 24 hour dispatch at 1-800-TIPP DEC (1-800-847-7332).

DEC has launched an online form for citizens to report environmental violations. The new web page assists those who can provide thorough and relevant information about an alleged violation. The form prompts the complainant to describe what occurred, when it happened and where the violation was witnessed. Complainants may remain anonymous or confidential. Detailed initial complaints assist DEC Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) in a timely and complete investigation of complaints and potential arrests against those who are violating environmental laws.

See the TIPP web page or the press release for more information.

Field Notes

Field Notes is a weekly newsletter by the Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources (DFWMR) that provides information on programs and activities associated with the management of fish, wildlife and marine resources, and offer information on available fish and wildlife recreational opportunities. You can view archived newsletters or subscribed to have the newsletter e-mailed directly to you by visiting the Field Notes web page.

Contribution Programs

DEC encourages all outdoor enthusiasts to consider purchasing a Habitat/Access Stamp and/or a Trail Supporter Patch. These stamps and patches help support the DEC's efforts to conserve habitat and increase public access for fish and wildlife-related recreation and maintain non-motorized trails. Buying a $5 stamp or patch or donating directly to the Conservation Fund is a way to help conserve New York's fabulous wildlife heritage and enhance outdoor recreation in New York State.

Additionally, anyone - not just hunters and anglers - can help feed the hungry by contributing to the Venison Donation Program at all license issuing outlets. Individuals should inform the license sales agent that they want to make a donation of $1 or more to support the program.

Participate in Citizen Science to Benefit Wildlife Management

Each year, thousands of hunters, trappers, and anglers help DEC monitor wildlife populations by recording their wildlife observations while afield. To learn about how you can participate in the Cooperator Ruffed Grouse Hunting Log, Bowhunter Sighting Log, Winter Wild Turkey Flock Survey and other citizen science programs.

Out of State Hunting

It's that time of year for planning your out of state hunts. While you're busy applying for out of state hunting licenses and lottos, be sure you are not forgetting one of the most important elements: your original Hunter Education Certificate. Not all states accept New York State hunting licenses to purchase a license or apply for a lotto. You may need to produce and carry your original Hunter Education Certificate while in the field. States such as Colorado, Montana, and North Dakota require original Hunter Education Certificates. Other states may require a Hunter Education Certificate or a recent hunting license. Check out the International Hunter Education Association website for more information regarding other states requirements for hunting including license requirements and blaze orange mandates. If you have lost your Sportsman Education Hunting Certificate call: 1-888-HUNT-ED2. If you want to hunt out of state, and have never taken your Sportsman Education Hunting Class, the time is now. Remember to take your class well in advance of your trip. Sign up early, as many classes fill quickly. Find a sportsman education class scheduled (External Link) in your county.

Notes of Interest

Upcoming Events

The Youth Wild Turkey Hunt weekend will be held April 26-27, 2014.

Spring Turkey Hunting Season opens May 1.

Northern Forest Institute Spring Fly Fishing Workshop This 3 day workshop will be held May 30 thru June 1 at the Adirondack Ecological Center in Newcomb, NY. The cost to attend each workshops $199 per person and includes meals, lodging, instruction, equipment and guided fishing. A special rate of $375 is available to those who take both workshops. The workshops are open to anyone age 12 and up, although minors must have an adult in attendance. Participants over the age of 16 must have a New York state fishing license.This is a great opportunity to learn a wonderfully satisfying skill and practice it in a breathtakingly beautiful Adirondack setting. For more information or to reserve a spot, contact the Adirondack Interpretive Center in Newcomb at 518.582.2000 or email at aic@esf.edu

Trout Unlimited in New York's Women's Beginner Fly Fishing Seminars

Three 2-day fly fishing seminars scheduled this year. Each is designed specifically to teach women the basics of fly fishing; everything from fly-tying, to stream entomology, to equipment set up, and casting. Also the ladies will spend time fly-fishing on some beautiful trout streams both days. The seminars are scheduled as follows:

  • May 31st and June 1st on the Salmon River in Altmar (20 students). If interested, please contact Lindsay Agness at lindsay.agness@rochester.rr.com
  • June 21st and 22nd on the Saranac River in Plattsburgh area (12 students). If interested, please contact Jan Opal at jopal@charter.net
  • September 6th and 7th at the Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery in Central NY (12 students). If interested, please contact Vicky Lane at victorialn63@gmail.com

Adirondack Forest Preserve and Conservation Easement Roads

Gates on many access roads have been closed for mud season. The roads will be open to motorized access once they have dried, firmed up and any needed maintenance has been completed. The access roads that are closed include: (4/17)

Clinton County

  • Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands
    • Barnes Pond Road in the Town of Saranac (Closed to motorized access until the Northern Big Game Hunting Season)
  • Terry Mountain State Forest
    • Red Road in the Town of

Essex County

  • High Peaks Wilderness
    • Elk Lake Road in the Town of North Hudson is closed at the Clear Pond Gate
  • Saranac Lake Wild Forest
    • Moose Pond Road access to Moose Pond Waterway Access Site in the Town of St. Armand (currently closed due to flooding)

Franklin County

  • Debar Mountain Wild Forest
    • Debar Game Farm Road in the Town of Franklin
  • High Peaks Wilderness
    • Corey's Road in Town of Harrietstown is closed by the Town at the Raquette River Trailhead Gate
  • Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands
    • D&H Road in the Town of Franklin
    • Mullins Road in the Town of Franklin
    • Old Liberty Road in the Town of Franklin
  • Santa Clara Tract Conservation Easement Lands
    • Public access to the Santa Clara Tract Easement Lands and Madawaska Flow from Route 458 in the Town of Santa Clara is not available at this time. DEC continues to work to reopen public access to this area.
  • Saranac Lake Wild Forest
    • Little Clear Pond in the Town of Santa Clara
    • Floodwood Road in the Town of Santa Clara
    • Lake Clear in the Town of Harrietstown
    • Girl Scout Camp in the Town of Harrietstown

Hamilton County

  • Moose River Plains Wild Forest
    • All of the Moose River Plains road system is closed
    • Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road (aka Moose River Plains Road) in the Towns of Indian Lake & Inlet
    • Cedar River Road in the Town of Indian Lake is closed at the snowplow turnaround (where the pavement ends) 4 miles from the Cedar River Flow
  • Perkins Clearing Conservation Easement Lands
    • All of the Perkins Clearing Road system is closed
    • Perkins Clearing Road (aka Jessup River Road) in the Town of Lake Pleasant and the Village of Speculator
  • Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Lands
    • All of the Speculator Tree Farm Road system is closed
    • Cave Hill Road in the Town of
    • Robbs Creek Road in the Town of Wells
    • Fly Creek Road in the Town of Wells
    • Old State Route 30 in the Town of Wells
    • East Road in the Village of Speculator
  • William C. Whitney Wilderness
    • Lake Lila Road in the Town of Long Lake

Warren County

  • Lake George Wild Forest
    • Gay Pond Road in the Town of Warrensburg
    • Lily Pond Road in the Town of Horicon
    • Long Pond Road in the Town of Horicon
    • Jabe Pond Road in the Town of Hague

Washington County

  • Lake George Wild Forest
    • Dacy Clearing Road in the Town of Fort Ann
    • Shelving Rock Road in the Town of Fort Ann is closed by the town
    • Black Mountain Gate off Pike Brook Road in the Town of Dresden

DEC Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)

DEC Wildlife Management Areas provide habitat for wildlife and recreational opportunities for people. Habitat is provided for birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Waterfowl, fish, game species and non-game species all benefit from the forests, open fields, streams, ponds, and wetlands located in these areas. People who want to hunt, fish, hike or watch wildlife are welcome to enjoy these areas. Region 5 DEC Wildlife Management Area web pages provide maps, directions and general information about access and use. (2012)

Motorized Equipment in Wilderness, Primitive and Canoe Areas

DEC has adopted a regulation prohibiting the use of motorized equipment in lands classified as wilderness, primitive or canoe. Public use of small personal electronic or mechanical devices such as cameras, radios or GPS receivers are not affected this new regulation. See Section 196.8 in the DEC Regulations. (2010)

Storage of Personal Belongings on State Land

State Land Use Regulation prohibits the placing structures or personal property on state land without authorization from DEC. Boats, camps, etc. should be removed from state lands or they will be removed by Environmental Conservation Officers or Forest Rangers. Exceptions include to the prohibition include: (2010)

  • a geocache that is labeled with the owner's name and address and installed in a manner that does not disturb the natural conditions of the site or injure a tree;
  • a camping structure or equipment that is placed and used legally pursuant to Part 190 regulation;
  • a legally placed trap or appurtenance that is placed and used during trapping season;
  • a tree stand or hunting blind that does not injure a tree, is properly marked or tagged with the owner's name and address or valid hunting or fishing license number, and is placed and used during big game season, migratory game bird season, or turkey season; or
  • a wildlife viewing blind or stand that is placed for a duration not to exceed thirty (30) days in one location per calendar year, does not injure a tree, and is properly marked or tagged with the owner's name and address or valid hunting or fishing license number.

Fishing

Fishing Regulations

The New York State Freshwater Fishing Guide provides details on regulation and more. Prior to heading out, anglers should be sure to check the Freshwater Fishing Regulations for the water they plan on fishing. Numerous exceptions to the statewide regulations exist in each DEC region. See Special Regulations by County section for the individual waters that have exceptions to these general regulations.

The number of allowable lines for angling in freshwater in New York State including Lake Champlain has been increased to three.

Fishing Seasons

  • Trout and Landlocked Salmon are open. (4/17)
  • Black Bass season is open for catch and release fishing only, except in Franklin and Hamilton Counties where it is closed. (4/17)
  • Pike, Pickerel,Tiger Muskellunge and Walleye seasons are closed, they will open May 3. (4/17)
  • Muskellunge season is closed, it will open May 17. (4/17)
  • Perch, Sunfish, Eel, Bullhead, Catfish and other panfish are open year round.

Prior to heading out, anglers should be sure to check the Freshwater Fishing Regulations for the water they plan on fishing. Numerous exceptions to the statewide regulations exist in each DEC region. See Special Regulations by County section for the individual waters that have exceptions to these general regulations.

For detailed fishing information contact the local bait shops. Hunting guides, fishing guides and the reclaimed ponds list can be obtained by calling the office during regular business hours at (518) 623-1240 for the Warrensburg Office or (518)897-1333 for the Ray Brook office.

Fish Stocking

The waters listed below have been stocked, or will be stocked before the upcoming weekend, with the fish species listed. (4/17)

Clinton County

  • Crystal Creek - Brown Trout
  • North Branch Great Chazy River - Brown Trout

Essex County

  • Ausable River - Rainbow Trout & Brown Trout
  • Boquet River - Brook Trout & Brown Trout
  • East Branch Ausable River - Rainbow Trout
  • Hudson River - Rainbow Trout
  • LaChute River - Rainbow Trout
  • Lake Placid - Rainbow Trout
  • Phelps Brook - Brook Trout
  • Putnam Creek - Brook Trout
  • Saranac River - Rainbow Trout
  • Trout Brook - Brook Trout
  • West Branch Ausable River - Brook Trout

Franklin County

  • Saranac River - Rainbow Trout
  • Sumner Brook - Brook Trout
  • Two Bridge Brook - Brook Trout


Fulton County

  • Ayers Creek - Brown Trout
  • Caroga Creek - Brown Trout
  • Cayadutta Creek - Brown Trout
  • Crum Creek - Brown Trout
  • East Canada Creek - Brown Trout
  • Hale Creek - Brown Trout
  • Hans Creek - Brown Trout
  • Middle Sprite Creek - Brown Trout
  • Timmerman Creek - Brown Trout
  • Wolford's Pond - Brown Trout
  • Zimmerman Creek - Brown Trout

Hamilton County

  • Cedar River - Brown Trout
  • Indian Lake - Brown Trout

Saratoga County

  • Aplaus Kill - Rainbow Trout
  • Bog Meadow Brook - Brown Trout
  • Dwaas Kill - Brook Trout
  • Geyser Brook - Brown Trout
  • Glowegee Creek - Brown Trout
  • Kayaderosseras Creek - Brown Trout
  • La Rue Creek - Brown Trout

Warren County

  • Clendon Brook - Brook Trout
  • Crandall Park Pond - Rainbow Trout
  • Gurney Lane Pond - Brook Trout
  • Halfway Brook - Brook Trout
  • Hovey Pond - Brook Trout

Washington County

  • Black Creek - Brown Trout
  • Owl Kill - Brown Trout
  • Whipple Brook - Brook Trout
  • White Creek - Brown Trout

2013 Lower Sargent Pond Reclamation

Lower Sargent Pond in the Sargent Ponds Wild Forest in Hamilton County was reclaimed by DEC. The pond had a reputation as a great brook trout water that was able to withstand high fishing pressure. Largemouth bass and golden shiners had become abundant in the last few years reducing the naturally sustained brook trout population to just larger individuals. The pond was last reclaimed in 1971 by the DEC and only stocked once with Little Tupper strain brook trout. Region 5 was assisted by Bureau of Fisheries staff from Region 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8 along with Central Office staff and Fish Propagation staff. Division of Operations assisted with the loading and unloading of the State Trooper Aviation Unit helicopter. Safety while working with the helicopter was overseen by a Forest Ranger. Bureau of Wildlife was a great help in dealing with the extensive amount of beaver activity in the inlet. Division of Lands and Forests also gave us a hand moving lots of cans and water. The project was a great example of the professionalism that the DEC possesses and how a large project can be accomplished with our current work force. Lower Sargent Pond will be stocked in 2014 with Little Tupper strain brook trout.

Lake Champlain Sea Lamprey Control

Four tributaries were treated during the fall of 2013; the Saranac River and Putnam Creek in New York and the the Lamoille River and Stonebridge Brook in Vermont. See the Lake Champlain Sea Lamprey Control web pages for more information.

Lake Champlain Weather Forecast

The National Weather Service in Burlington provides a weather forecast for Lake Champlain. Use the NWS Lake Champlain Weather Forecast link near the bottom of the right column to access the forecast.

Black Bass Sale and Distribution Regulation

DEC recently adopted a new regulation that will expand the opportunity for the sale of hatchery reared black bass in New York. The newly adopted regulation explicitly provides for the sale and distribution of hatchery reared largemouth bass for human consumption. Smallmouth bass may not be sold for human consumption. (1/9)

Aquatic Invasive Species

Aquatic invasive species, such as spiny water flea, didymo (aka rock snot), alewives, water chestnut and Eurasian Milfoil, can have significant impacts on the ecosystem of waters, the fish communities, and human recreation. People - mainly boaters and anglers - are most common cause of the spread of aquatic invasive species. People can prevent their spread by following these steps:

INSPECT your fishing and boating equipment and remove all mud, plants and other organisms that might be clinging to it.

DRY your fishing and boating equipment before using it on another body of water.

CLEAN your fishing and boating equipment if it cannot be dried before its use in another body of water.

More information can be found on the web pages.

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS)

Viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) virus is a serious pathogen of fresh and saltwater fish that is causing an emerging disease in the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada. It does not pose any threat to human health. VHS can cause hemorrhaging of fish tissue, including internal organs, and can cause the death of infected fish. Once a fish is infected with VHS, there is no known cure. Not all infected fish develop the disease, but they can carry and spread the disease to other fish. VHS has been blamed for fish kills in Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair (MI), Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River and Conesus Lake (Western NY). The World Organization of Animal Health has categorized VHS as a transmissible disease with the potential for profound socio-economic consequences.

More information on VHS can be found at

Baitfish Use and Transportation Regulation

The careless use of baitfish (PDF 1.85 Mb) can damage native freshwater fish populations. Be sure to follow baitfish regulations and use restrictions to help protect the freshwater fisheries of New York State when using baitfish.

Health Advisories on Fish

The NYSDOH has issued the advisories on eating sportfish and game. Some of fish and game contain chemicals at levels that may be harmful to human health. See the DEC web page on Fish Health Advisories for more information and links to the Department of Health information.

The Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Management Cooperative

The final Strategic Plan for Lake Champlain Fisheries is now available. The plan includes guiding principles for ecosystem management, sustainability, natural reproduction of native species, and adaptive management. The plan also addresses key management challenges such as non-native and nuisance species, use of stocking, application of genetics, protection of habitats, use of science-based management, management accountability, fish diseases, and human dimensions of fisheries management. More information, including a link to plan, can be found on the Lake Champlain Sea Lamprey Control web pages.

Hunting and Trapping

Hunting Regulations

The New York Hunting & Trapping 2013-14 Official Guide provides details on regulation and more.

Be sure to check current hunting regulations, seasons and the Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) map and descriptions before going into the field.

Be a Mentor to a New Hunter or Trapper

Adult hunters and trappers are encouraged to pass along their traditions and become a mentor for a junior hunter or trapper. The junior hunter and trapper mentoring program allows 14- and 15-year-olds to hunt big game with a firearm while accompanied and supervised by an experienced adult hunter. It also allows unlicensed youth less than 12 to accompany and assist a licensed trapper who is at least 18 years of age and has at least three years of trapping experience.

Youth Hunting Days

DEC has expanded opportunities for junior hunters (licensees ages 12-15) and trappers (under 12 years old) by designating special youth hunts for deer and for three of our most popular game birds (wild turkey, pheasants, and waterfowl) and through the Mentored Youth Hunter and Trapper Program. These opportunities allow youth hunters and trappers to spend time afield with experienced adult hunters and trappers and gain the necessary knowledge and skills to become safe and responsible members of the hunting and trapping community.

The Youth Wild Turkey Hunt weekend will be held April 26-27, 2014. Eligible hunters are youth 12 to 15 years of age, holding a hunting license and a turkey permit. All youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult, as required by law for a junior hunter. The accompanying adult must have a current hunting license and turkey permit. The adult may assist the youth hunter (including calling), but may not carry a hunting implement, or kill or attempt to kill a wild turkey during the youth hunt.

NYS Sportsman Education Program

All first-time hunters, bowhunters and trappers must pass one or more courses before they can get a license in New York State. Trained instructors certified by the Department of Environmental Conservation teach safe and responsible outdoors practices and the important role of hunters and trappers in conservation. All courses are free of charge, but space may be limited. As hunting seasons approach, many classes fill quickly. Find a sportsman education class scheduled (External Link) in your county and sign up early!

Wildlife Management Units (WMUs)

Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) are the geographical units DEC uses to set hunting and trapping seasons in New York State. Know the WMUs and the hunting or trapping seasons open in that WMU before going out into the field.

Summary of Hunting Seasons

Print or download a convenient summary of all the 2013-14 Hunting Seasons (PDF) (623 KB) to carry in your pack or vest.

Deer

All seasons are closed.

See the Big Game web page for more information on rules, regulations, safety and hunting tips for deer.

Black Bear

All seasons are closed.

See the Big Game web page for more information on rules, regulations, safety and hunting tips for bear.

Wild Turkey

The Youth Wild Turkey Hunt weekend will be held April 26-27, 2014.

Spring Turkey Hunting Season opens May 1.

See the Turkey Hunting web page for more information on rules, regulations, safety and hunting tips.

Small Game

All seasons are closed.

See Small Game web page for more information on seasons and regulations.

Waterfowl

All seasons are closed.

Waterfowl Seasons and Information provides more information on waterfowl hunting with links to other informative waterfowl hunting web pages. Check to know what Waterfowl Hunting Zone you plan to hunt and the open seasons in that waterfowl zone.

Canada Geese

All seasons are closed.

Furbearer Trapping

All seasons are closed.

See the New York Hunting & Trapping 2013-14 Official Guide for the current regulations and seasons. Also see the summaries of Trapping Seasons and Trapping Regulations.