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Disclaimer

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 October 24 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

I Love New York Hunting Web Page

As part of a statewide effort to promote outdoor recreation and make hunting information easily accessible to sportsmen and sportswomen, Empire State Development (ESD) Corp. and the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the creation of the I Love New York Hunting webpage, a new outdoor recreation feature is available at the I Love New York website and tourism offerings.

NY Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife App

click to learn more about downloading DEC's app

Attention New York anglers, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts: there's a new FREE smartphone app just for you!

DEC, in partnership with ParksByNature Network®, is proud to announce the launch of the New York Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife App for iPhone and Android.

This FREE, cutting-edge mobile app gives both novice and seasoned outdoorsmen and women essential information in the palm of their hands. Powered by Pocket Ranger® technology, this official app for DEC will provide up-to-date information on fishing, hunting and wildlife watching and serve as an interactive outdoor app using today's leading mobile devices. Using the app's advanced GPS features, users will be able identify and locate New York's many hunting, fishing and wildlife watching sites. They will also gain immediate access to species profiles, rules and regulations, and important permits and licensing details.

New York's Adventure License Series

Sample DMV driver's license with lifetime icons

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has teamed with DEC and NYS Parks to offer a new, convenient service for purchasers of DEC-issued Lifetime Sporting Licenses and Parks-issued Lifetime Empire Passport and Boater Safety Certificates. Your NYS DMV-issued photo document can now show evidence that you possess a new NYS Adventure License.

As part of New York's Adventure License, you also have the opportunity to get new license plates for your vehicle showing how much you enjoy hunting and/or fishing. These special plates are free with your recent purchase of a new Lifetime Sporting License and will identify you as a devoted fan of a sport shared by millions.

three sample hunting, fishing ad parks license plates

Get a new deal on lifetime hunting, fishing and parks licenses, receive a free themed license plate and simplify your outdoor experience with the first NY drivers license to feature sporting and recreation permits. Go to New York License Center and Learn more.

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.

Attention Boaters

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.

Help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species!

New regulations are in effect for all DEC boat launch facilities. Before you launch your boat or leave the boat launch site, you are required to:

  • Clean all visible plant and animal material from your boat, trailer and associated equipment
  • Drain your boat's bilge, live well, bait well and other water holding compartments

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.

Get Notified with DEC's E-mail News

Sign up to receive e-mail news from DEC to stay informed and up-to-date on fishing in New York State!

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.

Notes of Interest

Four Roads in the Adirondacks Opened to Public Motor Vehicle Access

Four seasonal access roads in the Adirondacks are now open to public motor vehicle access in time for the Northern Zone Regular Big Game Hunting Season. The new roads and facilities provide improved access and outdoor recreational opportunities to more than 25,000 acres of forest preserve and conservation easement lands. The roads include: (10/24)

  • The 3.3 mile Mountain Pond Road on the 18,000-acre Kushaqua Tract Conservation Easement Lands in Franklin County passes through thousands of acres of recently timbered lands;
  • Two miles of the O'Neill Flow Road and the 0.6-mile Barker Pond Road access thousands of acres of on the Township 19 Public Use Area in Hamilton County in the Upper Hudson Woodland Conservation Easement Lands and the adjacent lands of the Blue Mountain Wild Forest. A parking area is located at the end of Barker Pond Road with two nearby designated primitive tent sites, one on the western shore of Barker Pond.
  • One mile of the Camp Six Road in Essex County and an additional 1.5 miles of the Chain Lakes South road in Hamilton County, both in the Essex Chain Lakes Complex, each provide access to a parking area, a number of newly designated and developed primitive tent sites and thousands of acres of lands. Four designated tent sites can be found along the Camp Six Road while three designated campsites are located along the extended Chain Lakes South Road. Two additional tent sites are located north of the parking area, including one on the eastern shore of Pine Lake, but can only be accessed by foot.

Dock Removal at Boat Launches

Docks have been removed or soon will be removed from DEC boat launches in the region, including those on Lake Champlain. (10/24)

New Recreational Opportunities in the Essex Chain Lakes Complex

Hunting, fishing and camping recreational opportunities are available in the Essex Chain Lakes Complex.

See the Essex Chain Lakes Complex web page for more information on camping, the camping permit system and other outdoor recreational opportunities in this area. The page includes information about the area and descriptions and maps of the interim public access facilities. Updated information will be provided here 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 Lands. Additional public access on the conservation easement lands will available in the future.

Acquisition of Former Finch Lands

Governor Cuomo announces New York State purchase of 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.

Sable Highlands Conservation Easement (Clinton & Franklin Counties)

DEC has developed several maps of Public Use Areas on the Sable Highlands Conservation Easement that show access roads, parking areas, campsites and recently harvested timber lands. See the Sable Highlands Conservation Easement web page for more information and links to the maps.

Crossbows

Hunters are now allowed to hunt with crossbows. DEC established regulations on August 27, 2014 to implement provisions of the new law. See Crossbow Hunting web page for information on crossbow safety training and a summary of regulations on crossbow use.

Adirondack Forest Preserve and Conservation Easement Roads

Seasonal access roads are typically dirt or gravel roads that may be rough and muddy and have rocks sticking up in locations. Shoulders are soft, ditched or even non existent. Drivers should always drive slowly and use caution when operating on these roads. Pickup trucks, SUVs and other high axle vehicles are recommended - four wheel drive vehicles will serve even better.

Lily Pond Road in the Lake George Wild Forest is open to public motor vehicle use. The road is in rough shape, but should remain open until snow makes it impassable. (10/24)

Gay Pond Road in the Hudson River Special Management Area of the Lake George Wild Forest is open to public motor vehicle use as far as Gay Pond. It too is in rough shape, but should remain open until snow makes it impassable. (10/24)

Dacy Clearing Road in the Lake George Wild Forest on the east side of the lake is open for public motor vehicle use and will remain so until snow makes it impassable for motor vehicles and it is used as a snowmobile trail. (10/24)

The Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Land roads are in good shape and camping spots are filling up fast. Logging operations will be reduced during the fall hunting seasons. (10/24)

The Cornell/Deer Pond Road to the Deer Pond Parking area that provides access to the Essex Chain Lakes is open. (9/22)

Barnes Pond Road in the Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands is open for public motor vehicle access. The road will remain open until the end of the northern zone regular big game season unless snow or road conditions require the road to be closed earlier. There are six campsites along the road. See map.(9/22)

Some roads remain closed at this time due to legal issues or the extent of damage to the road. These include:

Franklin County

  • 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.

Warren County

  • Lake George Wild Forest
    • Buttermilk Road Extension

Washington County

  • Lake George Wild Forest
    • 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.

Recent DEC and Governor Cuomo Press Releases of Interest

Hunting and Trapping

Hunting Regulations

The New York Hunting & Trapping 2014-15 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 mentoring program allows 14-15 year old youths to hunt big game with a firearm; 12-15 year old youths to hunt big game with a bow; and 12-15 year old youths to hunt small game. All require the youth to be accompanied and supervised by an experienced adult hunter. The junior trapper mentoring program 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). 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.

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

Northern Zone
  • Regular: October 25 thru December 7
  • Late Bowhunting: December 8 thru December 14 (WMUs 5A, 5G, 5J, 6A, & 6C only)
  • Late Muzzleloading: December 8 thru December 14 (WMUs 5A, 5G, 5J, 6A & 6C only)
Southern Zone (WMUs 5R, 5S, 5T & 6R)
  • Early Bowhunting: October 1 thru November 14
  • Crossbow: November 1 thru November 14
  • Regular: November 1 thru December 7
  • Late Bowhunting: December 8 thru December 16
  • Muzzleloading: December 8 thru December 16

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

Black Bear

Northern Zone
  • Regular: October 25 thru December 7
Southern Zone(WMUs 5R, 5S, 5T & 6R)
  • Early Bowhunting: October 1 thru November 14
  • Crossbow: November 1 thru November 14
  • Regular: November 15 thru December 7
  • Late Bowhunting: December 8 thru December 16
  • Late Muzzleloading: December 8 thru December 16

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

Wild Turkey

Is only open in WMUs 5R, 5S, 5T and 6R where the season closes November 14

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

Small Game

  • Crow: September 1 thru March 31 (Friday thru Monday only)
  • Snipe, Rail & Gallinules: September 1 thru November 9
  • Gray, Black & Fox Squirrel: September 1 thru February 28
  • Ruffed Grouse: September 20 thru February 28, except in WMUs 5R, 5S, 5T and 6R where the season doesn't open until October 1
  • Woodcock: October 1 thru November 14
  • Cottontail Rabbit: October 1 thru March 15, except in WMUs 5R, 5S, 5T and 6R where the season closes February 28
  • Varying Hare: October 1 thru March 15, except in WMUs 5R, 5S, 5T and 6R where the season is December 8 thru February 28
  • Pheasant Hunting: October 1 thru February 28 (Youth Hunt is September 27 & 28) See press release and List of Pheasant Release Sites
  • Bobcat: October 25 thru February 15, except in WMUs 5R & 6R where the season closes November 14 and a free bobcat harvest expansion area permit is required

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

Waterfowl

Northeastern Zone
  • Ducks, Coot, Mergansers and Sea Ducks: November 1 thru December 14
  • Snow Geese: October 1 thru April 15 (Special regulation for Snow Geese)
  • Brant: October 4 thru November 2
Lake Champlain Zone
  • Ducks, Coot, Mergansers and Sea Ducks: October 25 thru December 18
  • Snow Geese: October 1 thru December 29; January 16 thru April 15 (Special regulation for Snow Geese)
  • Brant: October 8 thru November 6
Southeastern Zone
  • Ducks, Coot, Mergansers and Sea Ducks: November 8 thru December 28
  • Snow Geese: October 1 thru April 15 (Special regulation for Snow Geese)
  • Brant: October 11 thru November 9

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

Northeast Hunting Area
  • October 25 thru November 16
  • November 18 thru December 14
Lake Champlain Hunting Area
  • October 10 thru November 28
Hudson Valley Hunting Area
  • October 25 thru November 14
  • November 29 thru December 27
East Central Hunting Area
  • October 25 thru November 14
  • November 22 thru December 20

Furbearer Trapping

  • Fisher: October 25 thru December 10
  • Marten: October 25 thru December 10 (WMUs 5C, 5F, 5G, 5H, 5J, 6F & 6J only)
  • Raccoon, Red Fox, Gray Fox, Skunk, Coyote, Opossum & Weasel: October 25 thru February 15 (Body gripping traps set on land may not be set with bait or lure beginning December 11, except in WMUs 5R, 5S, 5T & 6R)
  • Bobcat: October 25 thru February 15, except in WMUs 5R & 6R where the season closes November 14 and a free bobcat harvest expansion area permit is required
  • Mink & Muskrat: October 25 thru April 15, except in WMUs 5R, 5S, 5T & 6R where the season is November 10 thru April 7
  • Beaver: November 1 thru April 7, except in WMUs 5R, 5S, 5T & 6R where the season opens November 10
  • River Otter: November 1 thru April 7,except in WMUs 5S & 5T where the season is November 10 thru February 28 and WMUs 5R & 6R where there is no season.

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.

Fishing

Fishing Regulations

The current (2013-14) freshwater fishing regulations will extend thru March 31, 2015. New freshwater fishing regulations will take effect April 1, 2015 and a new regulations guide will be available from all license sale vendors at that time. Anglers should continue to refer to the 2013-14 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide for the fishing regulations in effect through March 31, 2015.

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.

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)

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.

Fishing Seasons

  • Trout and Landlocked Salmon are closed, except in specific waters described in the special regulations. (10/24)
  • Black Bass season is open, the season closes November 30. (10/24)
  • Muskellunge season is open, the season closes November 30. (10/24)
  • Pike, Pickerel,Tiger Muskellunge and Walleye seasons are open. (10/24)
  • 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.

2014 Lake Champlain Sea Lamprey Control

Six tributaries and five deltas have been or will be treated during the fall of 2014:

  • Boquet River and Delta, Essex County, New York;
  • Ausable River and Delta; Clinton County, New York
  • Little Ausable River and Delta, Clinton County, New York;
  • Salmon River and Delta, Clinton County, New York;
  • Saranac River Delta, Clinton County, New York;
  • Great Chazy River, Clinton County, New York; and
  • Lewis Creek, Addison County, Vermont.

In addition the Morpion Creek Sea Lamprey Barrier Structure is completed. The barrier successfully operated during Spring 2014.

See the Lake Champlain Sea Lamprey Control web pages for more information.

Willsboro Fishway

This has been quite successful at the fishway. So far 43 salmon have passed upstream through the fishway. Anglers have also been a reporting a very successful season on the Boquet River. (10/24)

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.

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.

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.

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.