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Inland Trout Stream Management in New York

Management Plan

Trout stream management plan cover

The New York State Trout Stream Management Plan (PDF) is founded on angler desires, sound science, and guiding principles that embrace simplicity, encourage angling participation and place value on managing for self-sustaining populations. The plan makes a sharp distinction between wild trout and stocked trout management, using a set of five management categories to clearly define fisheries management objectives. This approach balances the need to manage and restore natural populations while also supplying additional recreational opportunities.

Major Elements of the Plan

  • Drawing a clear line between wild fish and stocked trout management;
  • Placing greater emphasis on habitat improvement;
  • Making management simpler and more understandable;
  • Eliminating unnecessary regulations;
  • Providing year-round fishing opportunities through the creation of a statewide catch-and-release season;
  • Extending the duration of stocking on select stream reaches;
  • Increasing the size of stocked fish;
  • Ensuring that each stocking contains some fish that are 12 inches or larger;
  • Improving the vigor of hatchery brown trout for increased survival;
  • Developing an interactive map for information on stream reach management and fishing access locations; and
  • Expanding outreach on the significance of wild trout populations and the water they inhabit.

Related Documents and Resources

Management Projects

Stocked Trout Stream Access Verification

New York is verifying public access along Stocked and Stocked-Extended inland trout streams to ensure that trout raised with public funds are only stocked into stream reaches where public access is available and anglers can be directed to accessible locations on those reaches by DEC. Access verification will be ongoing through 2025.

For more details, view the Stocked Trout Stream Access Verification Plan (PDF) and Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)

Fisheries Investigation Plan for the Delaware Tailwaters

The Delaware tailwaters are one of New York's premier wild trout fisheries. The information on the biological and angler use characteristics of the wild trout fishery of the Delaware tailwaters is outdated and predates significant changes in the fishery. This Plan outlines the information that will be collected to help develop a new trout management plan for the Delaware Tailwaters.

Learn more about the Fisheries Investigation Plan for the Delaware Tailwaters (PDF) and associated subplans:

Progress Reports

Evaluating New York's Inland Trout Stream Catch and Release Season

Effective as of 2021, a catch and release season from October 16 through March 31 is permitted on trout streams statewide. During this period, anglers are limited to artificial lures only. Previously, the statewide trout season was closed during this period, although many stream reaches were open to fishing under special regulations. To assess any impact of the new season on wild trout populations, angling pressure and young of year trout abundance will be estimated on a statewide sample of 19 wild trout stream reaches from 2021 through 2024.

Learn more about the Angler Use and Wild Trout Young of Year Recruitment Study (PDF)

Reports by Water

For reports of trout surveys conducted on individual waters, visit the appropriate Regional Fisheries Management Reports webpage.

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