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For Release: Monday, July 8, 2013

DEC Announces Considerations For Freshwater Sportfish Regulation Changes

Anglers Are Encouraged to Review and Comment on Potential Changes

Proposed changes to the current freshwater fishing regulations were announced today by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Based on the status of existing fish populations and discussions with anglers, fisheries biologists, and fisheries managers over the past year, DEC had identified potential changes to fishing regulations and is seeking additional angler feedback.

Changes being considered would adjust angling regulations to enhance angling experiences and enjoyment, consistent with the status of fish populations. Many changes under consideration are focused on eliminating special regulations that did not achieve their intended purpose.

Some highlights for trout anglers include: increasing year-round trout fishing opportunities at specifically chosen streams, adjusting daily creel limits and minimum size limits on select waters to help distribute larger size trout among anglers, and establishing catch and release fishing at a few additional streams.

Warmwater angling highlights include: increasing the statewide minimum size limit for muskellunge and eliminating certain daily creel and minimum size limits for walleye that were temporarily established as part of DEC's multi-year effort to establish walleye populations in candidate waters. Among a number of other changes being considered are adjustments to gear and equipment allowed to be used for angling.

Based on public feedback and after further evaluation this summer, DEC will advance proposals that will likely result in enhanced fisheries and fishing opportunity and have angler acceptance. They will be made available for formal public comment in accordance with State Administrative Procedures Act. At this time, DEC is soliciting initial feedback on what may be proposed later this year. Input will be accepted through August 16.

DEC welcomes and encourages feedback on the regulation changes currently under consideration. To view these potential changes and to provide input, visit the DEC website. Hard copies of the list of changes being considered, as well as instructions on how to submit feedback by regular mail, can be obtained by contacting Shaun Keeler, at New York State DEC, Bureau of Fisheries, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4753.

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