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Inland Trout Stream Management in New York

New York State Trout Stream Management Plan

Trout stream management plan cover

The DEC's new Trout Stream Management Plan 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.

Read the New York State Trout Stream Management Plan (PDF)

Related documents

  • Categorization of New York State Trout Stream Reaches (PDF): This document contains the current list of management categories assigned to New York trout stream reaches as of March 22, 2022. It is updated in mid-February of every year starting in 2021.
  • Assessment of Public Comments on draft New York State Trout Stream Management Plan (PDF): This document provides a summary of the 489 public comments that were received on the draft plan. General theses to recurring comments were identified (22 total themes); responses to those themes are included in the document. The appendix includes the full text of comments that were received (with personal identifying information removed).

Trout Stream Fishing Map

An interactive Trout Stream Fishing Map is now available. See the Trout Stream Fishing Map User Guide for more information.

Special Projects

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 we will be collecting that will help develop a new trout management plan for the Delaware Tailwaters.

Learn more about the Fisheries Investigation Plan for the Delaware Tailwaters.

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

Beginning on October 16, 2021, angling will be permitted on trout streams statewide from October 16 through March 31. During this period, anglers are limited to artificial lures only and must immediately release their catch. 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.

More about Inland Trout Stream Management in New York: