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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 December 17 edition. Region 5 covers northeastern New York State including much of the Adirondack Region and 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 activity information. Use the terms "fishing forum" or "fishing information" with the name of waterbody in any internet search engine to locate those web sites.

General Information

Sporting Licenses

The 2013-2014 Hunting Licenses, Fishing Licenses and Trapping Licenses, Deer Management Permits (DMPs) and Turkey Permits are available for purchase and are valid through September 30, 2014.

Sporting licenses and permits can be purchased at one of DEC's 1,500 license sales outlets statewide or ordered through the mail, by telephone and via the internet.

License buyers should have the following items ready when applying: complete name and address information, customer ID number, proof of residency information (driver's license number or non-driver's ID number to qualify for a resident license), and, if purchasing by phone or Internet, credit card and card expiration date. Hunting license purchases require individuals to provide proof of hunting education certification or a copy of a previous license, or this information must already be contained in their DECALS file.

See the 2013-2014 Sporting License Press Release and Sporting Licenses for further information.

The New York Hunting & Trapping 2013-14 Official Regulation Guide is available on the DEC web site at this time.

Access to Former Finch Lands

Winter Access: Gates to the Essex Chain Lakes Tract roadways will be closed and locked through the winter and mud season beginning Monday, December 16. The Town of Newcomb will plow the Goodnow Road and some parking areas along that road for the public to use. The public can ski, snowshoe or otherwise trek (non-motorized) into the parcel from plowed areas along the Goodnow Flow Road. Members of the Gooley and Polaris Clubs will be able to use snowmobiles on the roadways to get to and from those camps.

October 2013 - Governor Cuomo announced approximately 11,600 acres of lands and waters on the Essex Chain Lakes tract in the center of the Adirondacks open to the public for outdoor recreation through an Interim Access Plan for the Essex Chain Lakes Tract and Essex Chain Lakes Easement Tract (PDF, 2.53 MB).

June 2013 - Governor Cuomo announced public access to the 7,200 acres of land, the Hudson River between Newcomb and Indian Lake, the lower reaches of the Cedar River and the lands and ponds south of the Cedar River is available for the first time in 100 years through an Interim Access Plan for the Former Finch Lands (PDF, 2.38 MB).

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

Last year Governor Cuomo and DEC Commissioner Martens announced the commitment by New York State to acquire 69,000 acres of the former Finch lands in the Adirondacks from the Nature Conservancy in phases over the next five years. See Governor Cuomo's press release on the planned acquisition.

Earlier this year Governor Cuomo announced the closing on five tracts of land totaling 9,300 acres acquired from the Nature Conservancy. Some of these tracts lie just outside the Adirondack Park. When combined with the previously purchased 18,318-acre Essex Chain of Lakes Tracts, 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.

More information on the acquisition of the former Finch lands from the Nature Conservancy, including announcements regarding public access opportunities, can be found on the Acquisition of Former Finch Lands web page.

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

General Conditions

Winter Weather: Below freezing temperatures, snow and ice are all present throughout the Adirondacks. Cold weather outer garments, extra layers of non-cotton clothing and a winter hat & gloves are necessary for any outdoor recreation activities. Snowshoes or skis should be worn wherever the snow depth is 8 inches or more to prevent "post-holing", avoid injury and ease travel through snow. Use the link near bottom of the right column to view the current National Weather Service "Weather Forecast" and "Snow Depth Map". (12/17)

Prevent Hypothermia: Dress properly and add or remove layers to regulate your body temperature. Carry plenty of food and water. Eat, drink and rest often. Being tired, hungry or dehydrated makes you more susceptible to hypothermia. Traveling in snow takes more energy and will take longer than traveling the same trail on bare ground. Plan accordingly! (12/17)

Short Days: Days are short. Plan accordingly and always carry a flashlight or headlamp and extra fresh batteries. (12/17)

Ice on Water: Ice has formed on most waters and is thickening on high elevation ponds & lakes and small to mid-size bodies of water. Check ice thickness before traveling across it. Avoid ice over running water, near inlets & outlet and near boathouses & docks - especially those with "bubblers" or other ice prevention devices. Ice that holds snow may not hold the weight of a person. (12/17)

Snowmobiles: Gates have been opened and snowmobiles may legally operate on designated snowmobile trails. Skiers and snowshoers using designated snowmobile trails should keep to the sides of the trail to allow safe passage. (12/17)

Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands

A number of roads and campsites have been opened for motorized access until the end of the hunting season. See the press release for details and the Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands web page for information and maps depicting the location of parking areas, designated campsites, the road open to motorized access and the areas where timber has recently been harvested. (11/13)

Adirondack Forest Preserve and Conservation Easement Roads

The Dacy Clearing Road on the eastside of Lake George has received some much needed maintenance. Materials has been added to fill holes and cover rocks, and the road was raked and smoothed. (11/13)

Public access to the Santa Clara Tract Easement Lands and Madawaska Flow from Route 458 is unavailable at this time. DEC continues to work to reopen public access to this area. (11/13)

In the Perkins Clearing Conservation Easement Lands, Jessup River Road and Old Military Road are open to motor vehicles. (11/13)

In the Moose River Plains, the Limekiln Lake, Cedar River and Otter Brook Gates are open and the Moose River Plains road system is open to motor vehicles. (11/13)

In the Lake George Wild Forest, Jabe Pond Road and Lilly Pond Road are open to motor vehicle traffic. Palmer Pond Road is open to motor vehicle access for those with a Motorized Access Permit for People With Disabilities (MAPPWD). (11/13)

All roads in the Hudson River Special Management Area designated for motor vehicle access are open. (11/13)

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.

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.

Deer Management Permits

With an exceptionally mild winter in 2011/12 and below average winter conditions in most of the state again in 2012/13, deer populations have grown despite generally increasing antlerless harvests the past few years. Accordingly, DEC will be issuing approximately 18 percent more Deer Management Permits (DMPs; tags for antlerless deer) this year. DEC issues DMPs to control antlerless harvest and move the deer population closer toward objective levels in each Wildlife Management Unit (WMU).

DMPs will be available at all license issuing outlets and can also be obtained by phone, internet or mail, from August 12 through close of business October 1, 2013. DMPs are issued through a random selection process at the point of sale, and customers who are selected for DMPs will receive their permits immediately. For planning purposes, review the 2013 chances of selection for DMPs in each WMU. Charts of the chances of selection are also available at License Issuing Agent locations, or on the DMP Hotline at 1-866-472-4332. Chances of getting a DMP remain the same throughout the application period - hunters do not need to rush to apply for a DMP on the first day of sale.

If a significant number of DMPs are still available in a WMU after October 1, leftover DMP sales will commence on November 1, and continue on a first-come/first-serve basis until the end of the hunting season or until all DMPs have been issued in the WMU. Additionally, Bonus DMPs will be available in the bowhunting-only WMUs 3S, 4J, and 8C and in WMUs 1C. Information about Bonus DMPs.

Outline on how DMP targets are set and permits are issued. Hunters are reminded that DMPs are only valid for antlerless deer in the WMU specified on the permit. To learn more about what to expect for deer hunting throughout the state this fall, see Deer Hunting Season Forecasts.

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 provides special hunting opportunities for junior hunters by offering youth hunts for deer, waterfowl, wild turkey and pheasants. Learn more about opportunities for junior hunters and trappers or find details and a permission form in the 2013-2014 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide.

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

DEC Seeks Hunter Support to Keep Chronic Wasting Disease Out Of New York

DEC reminded hunters in a press release that Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) continues to pose a potential threat to New York's wild white-tailed deer herd, and hunters should take precautions to prevent the spread of the disease. Late last year, CWD was found on a deer farm in Pennsylvania and in early 2013, CWD was confirmed in Pennsylvania's wild white-tailed deer herd.

Individuals who hunt deer, elk or moose outside of New York should be familiar with New York's CWD regulation (6 NYCRR Part 189) regarding the importation of cervid carcasses and meat back into New York before returning home. It is illegal to bring in whole carcasses from any CWD susceptible animal taken at a shooting preserve or to bring in whole carcasses from any state or province that has had CWD confirmed in wild or captive cervid herds. It is also illegal to ship the unprocessed trophy head from those preserves or CWD positive states or provinces. It is legal to import finished mounted heads, however. A person may only bring back the meat, hide and antlers, and certain parts must be removed before entering New York. Full list of prohibited parts.

Northern Zone: All seasons are closed.

Southern Zone

  • Late Bowhunting: December 9 to December 17
  • Muzzleloading: December 9 to December 17

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

Black Bear

Adirondack (WMUs 5A, 5C, 5F, 5G, 5H, 5J, 6C, 6F & 6J): All seasons are closed.

Southern (WMUs 5S & 5T)

  • Late Bowhunting: December 9 to December 17
  • Muzzleloading: December 9 to December 17

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

Wild Turkey

Fall hunting season is closed in al WMUs.

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

Small Game

Pheasant Release Sites for 2013 Hunting Season

DEC Region 5 released pheasants at the twelve (12) sites listed below. YH indicates pheasants released before the September 28-29 Youth Pheasant Hunt and RS indicates pheasants released before the regular season. Those sites with both YH and RS had two separate releases. See Pheasant Release Site press release and web page contain more details including statewide information.

  • Clinton County
    • Chazy - Lake Alice Wildlife Management Area (YH, RS)
    • Schuyler Falls - North of Brand Hollow Rd, west of Rt. 22B (YH, RS)
  • Essex County
    • Westport - Near the junction of Lake Shore Rd & Clark Rd on state land (YH, RS)
  • Franklin County
    • Fort Covington - Griffon Road between Donovan Road and County Route 3 (YH, RS)
    • Malone - Webster Street Road between Fayetteville Road and Brown Road (YH, RS)
  • Fulton County
    • Ephratah - South of Ephratah on Route 140 and Turn Hill Rd. (YH, RS)
  • Saratoga County
    • Greenfield - Daketown State Forest (YH, RS)
    • Wilton - Saratoga Sand Plains (Old Gick) (YH only
  • Washington County
    • Greenwich - Carter's Pond Wildlife Management Area (YH, RS)
    • Hartford - Eldridge Lane (YH, RS)
    • Jackson - Eldridge Swamp State Forest (YH, RS)
    • Fort Edward - Washington County Grasslands State Forest Area between the Blackhouse Road and County Route 46 (YH, RS)


  • Woodcock season is closed
  • Snipe, Rail and Gallinule seasons are closed
  • Weasel, Opossum, Skunk, Raccoon and Fox seasons are open until February 15
  • Bobcat is open until February 15 in all WMUs except 5R where the season is closed
  • Gray, Black & Fox Squirrel seasons are open until February 28
  • Ruffed Grouse season is open until February 28
  • Pheasant season is open until February 28
  • Cottontail Rabbit season is open until March 16, except in WMUs 5R, 5S, 5T & 6R where the season closes February 28.
  • Varying Hare season is open until March 16 (except in WMUs 5R, 5S, 5T & 6R where the season opens December 9 and closes February 28)
  • Coyote season is open until March 30
  • Crow season is open until March 31

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

Waterfowl

Northeast

  • Ducks, Coots, Mergansers and Sea Ducks seasons are open until December 15
  • Snow Geese season is open until January 15

Lake Champlain

  • Ducks, Coots, Mergansers and Sea Ducks seasons are open until December 19
  • Snow Geese season is open until December 29

Southeast

  • Ducks, Coots, Mergansers and Sea Ducks seasons are open until January 6
  • Snow Geese season is open until January 15

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

  • Closed

Lake Champlain

  • Closed

East Central

  • Closes December 21

Hudson Valley

  • Opens closes January 4

Furbearer Trapping

  • Fisher is closed
  • Marten is closed
  • Raccoon, Red Fox, Gray Fox, Coyote, Opossum and Weasel will close February 15 (After December 10 body gripping traps set on land may not be be set with bait or lure in WMUs 5A, 5C, 5F, 5G, 5H, 5J, 6A, 6C, 6F & 6J
  • Bobcat will close February 15 (except WMU 5R where the season is closed)
  • Mink and Muskrat will close April 15 (except in WMUs 5R, 5S, 5T & 6R where it closes April 7)
  • Beaver will close April 7
  • River Otter will close April 7 (except in WMUs 5S & 5T where the season closes February 28 and WMUs 5R & 6R where there is no River Otter trapping season)

DEC will be holding to pelt sealing events to seal fisher and marten pelts as follows:

  • December 17; Fulton Montgomery Fur Harvesters Association, Ephratah Rod & Gun Club; 7:00 PM
  • December 19; Foothills Trapper Association, 4-H Training Center, Ballston Spa; 7:00 PM

All otter, bobcat, fisher and marten pelts must be sealed within 10 days after the close of their respective trapping season. Pelts can be brought to the DEC offices in Ray Brook (1115 State Route 86) or in Warrensburg (245 Golf Course Road). Do not bring pelts into the building. Enter the building and explain to the receptionist that you have pelts to be sealed and someone will be called to assist you. You can also contac your local Environmental Conservation Officer through the DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook (518-897-1300) to arrange to get your pelts sealed.

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 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.

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.

Fishing Seasons

  • Trout and Landlocked Salmon are closed, except in specific waters, see the Special Regulations by County to learn which waters are still open to trout and salmon fishing. (11/13)
  • Black Bass season is open for catch and release fishing only, except in Franklin and Hamilton Counties where it is closed. (11/13)
  • Pike, Pickerel, Muskellunge, Tiger Muskellunge and Walleye seasons are open until March 15. (11/13)
  • 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.

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.