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Text Summary of Fishing Regulations for 2022

Trout, Lake Trout and Atlantic Salmon regulation changes
Summarized regulation change Rationale
Separate Trout in lakes and ponds into Brook Trout regulations and Brown and Rainbow Trout regulations. Brook Trout are managed differently than Rainbow and Brown Trout are. Therefore, they should be regulated differently. See the next two rows for more information.
Establish a statewide brook trout regulation from April 1 to October 15 with a minimum length of none and a daily limit of 5. Brook trout are managed to achieve self-sustaining populations where possible and put-grow-and-take fisheries if not possible. They are highly vulnerable to being caught through the ice. To protect wild brook trout during their spawning season and protect brook trout during the vulnerable ice fishing season, a closed season from October 16 through March 31 is appropriate.
Establish a statewide Rainbow and Brown Trout in lakes and ponds regulation all year with a daily limit of 5 with no more than 2 longer than 12" Rainbow and Brown Trout in lakes and ponds are managed for Put-and-Take or Put-Grow-and-Take fisheries. These are primarily stocked fisheries where there is no biological reason to close the season. The new daily limit is a hybrid approach that allows some harvest of freshly stocked trout while spreading out the catch of larger, more valuable trout and aligns daily limits with the statewide stream trout regulation.
Change the existing 31 county-wide lake and pond "trout" regulations in DEC Regions 6, 7, 8 and 9 to apply only to "brook trout." These changes preserve the existing regulations for brook trout in DEC Regions 6, 7, 8 and 9 while allowing for the all year season for brown and rainbow trout.
Change 12 existing waterbody trout special regulations to apply only to "brook trout." These changes preserve the existing regulation for brook trout in these waters.
Eliminate Nassau and Suffolk county-wide Brown and Rainbow Trout regulations in ponds and lakes. There is little potential for holdover trout in Nassau and Suffolk County ponds. This proposal allows for additional harvest of stocked yearling trout while spreading out the harvest of larger 12" trout among anglers.
Eliminate 123 special regulations for Trout and revert to statewide regulations. The proposed statewide regulations for Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout is a hybrid approach that allows multiple regulations types to be consolidated into the proposed statewide regulation. In addition, some special regulations were deleted because they were no longer warranted.
Add Trout, all year, Daily Limit-5 with no more than 2 longer than 12" special regulations to Park Station Pond, McDonald Pond, South Pond (Nassau County) and Belmont Lake. These ponds receive fall Brook Trout stockings where there is no potential for wild reproduction. This regulation allows for additional fishing and harvest opportunity generated by those stockings.
Eliminate the Suffolk County tidal streams brown and rainbow trout regulation and establish brown and rainbow trout, April 1-October 15 with a daily limit of 5 with no more than 2 longer than 12" and an October 15 through March 31 catch and release season regulation on select Suffolk County tidal waters. This regulation aligns Brown and Rainbow Trout regulations in select Suffolk tidal streams with inland trout stream regulations.
Add a Brown and Rainbow Trout, April 1 through October 15, Daily Limit-3 with no more than 1 longer than 12" special regulation on Hards Lake and Carmans River from Hards Lake upstream to Cement Dam. This regulation aligns the lake regulation with the adjoining Carmans River regulation, making the Trout regulations consistent within Southaven County Park.
Align Trout regulation on Trout Pond (Delaware County), Huggins Lake, Crystal Lake, Hodge Pond, Alder Lake and Echo Lake to be Trout, April 1 through September 30, Minimum Length 12", Daily Limit-2, artificial lures only, ice fishing prohibited. Brook Trout ponds in the Catskills are managed to preserve these locally scarce fisheries. Since they are managed for the same purpose, the regulations should be the same.
Extend the Trout harvest season on Pepacton Reservoir to October 15. Extending the harvest season to October 15 aligns the Reservoir harvest season with its tributary streams.
Eliminate 6 special regulations for Lake Trout and revert to statewide regulations. These regulations were eliminated because their management purpose no longer exists or the special regulation applied to waters not managed for Lake Trout.
Increase the Lake Trout daily limit to 3 on Schroon Lake, Schroon River from Schroon Lake upstream to Alder Meadow Road, and Schroon River from Schroon Lake downstream to Starbuckville Dam. This regulation change simplifies the suite of Lake Trout regulations by eliminating the minimum length 18", Daily Limit-2 Lake Trout regulation variation.
Expand the statewide Atlantic Salmon season to all year. Few Atlantic Salmon fisheries are managed under the existing statewide season. Extending the season to all year reflects current management of these fishery resources.
Eliminate 43 special regulations for Atlantic Salmon and revert to statewide regulations. Most of these regulations were "eliminated" since they align with the proposed statewide Atlantic Salmon regulation. Select other regulations were eliminated because the management purpose no longer exists or the special regulation applied to waters not managed for Atlantic Salmon.
Inland Trout Stream regulation changes
Summarized regulation change Rationale
Remove Rock Pond Outlet Stream and Thirteenth Lake Outlet from the list of waters where the Inland Trout Stream regulations do not apply. There was no biological reason to retain the special regulations for these waters. Management under the Statewide Trout Stream Management Plan is appropriate.
Eliminate Carmans River catch-and-release season and extend the existing Rainbow and Brown trout regulation upstream to Yaphank Avenue. The management purpose of this regulation was to protect wild Brook Trout. Since there is an existing catch and release season on the Carmans River for Brook Trout, this regulation is unnecessary and reduces harvest opportunity of stocked brown and rainbow trout.
Eliminate the Stocked-Extended regulations for Onondaga Creek and Otselic River. An evaluation of these reaches determined they did not meet the Stocked-Extended criteria documented in the New York Trout Stream Management Plan and are therefore eliminated. They will be managed as Stocked streams.
Move/restore the downstream end point of the Genesee River catch-and-release reach to 1.0 miles upstream of County Route 29 near York's Corners. The catch-and-release reach was inadvertently extended in the 2021 Trout Stream regulations package. This proposal restores the original reach boundaries to correct this mistake.
Clarify that the downstream endpoint of the Oriskany Creek Wild Premier reach is the Route 12B Bridge in Oriskany Falls. Route 12B crosses Oriskany Creek in two places. This change clarifies which of the 2 bridges mark the downstream endpoint of the Wild Premier reach.
Add Fish Creek, tributary to Black River, as a Wild-Quality water. Fish Creek meets the criteria for Wild-Quality documented in the New York Trout Stream Management Plan.
Limit Nassau and Suffolk County catch and release Brook Trout regulations to waters of concern. This change protects Brook Trout streams where concerns about angler harvest exists without over-regulating the approximately 1,000 streams where Brook Trout do not exist.
Statewide and related species seasonal date changes
Summarized regulation change Rationale
Change opening dates for selected warmwater and coolwater species fishing seasons from Saturdays to hard numerical dates. Season dates for New York sportfish seasons are currently a mix of hard dates (Trout Harvest Season - April 1 to October 15) and Saturday openers (Black Bass Harvest Season - Third Saturday in June until December 31). DEC proposed to normalize opening dates to hard dates to: 1. provide consistency in how opening days are applied 2. make dates easier to remember and provide anglers a means for easier trip planning.
Change the statewide opening day for Walleye, Northern Pike, Pickerel and Tiger Muskellunge seasons to May 1. Simplifies regulations by going to May 1 rather than "The first Saturday in May." This change is based on results of a 2021 angler poll.
Change the season opening date for Walleye, Northern Pike, Pickerel, Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge to May 1 for any special regulations with a first Saturday in May opening date except border waters. Simplifies regulations by going to May 1 rather than "The first Saturday in May." This change is based on results of a 2021 angler poll.
Change the fishing prohibited closure end date to April 30 on 26 stream reaches. Simplifies regulations by going to an April 30 date rather than "The Friday preceding the first Saturday in May." This change is based on results of a 2021 angler poll.
Change the statewide opening date for Muskellunge to June 1. Simplifies regulations by going to a June 1 date rather than "The last Saturday in May." This change is based on results of a 2021 angler poll.
Change the season opening date for Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge to June 1 for any special regulations with a last Saturday in May season opening date. Simplifies regulations by going to a June 1 date rather than "The last Saturday in May." This change is based on results of a 2021 angler poll.
Change the statewide opening date for Black Bass harvest season to June 15. Simplifies regulations by going to a June 15 date rather than "The third Saturday in June." This change is based on results of a 2021 angler poll.
Change the harvest season opening date for Black Bass to June 15 for any special regulations with a third Saturday in June season opening date. Simplifies regulations by going to a June 15 date rather than "The third Saturday in June." This change is based on results of a 2021 angler poll. Border waters are exempt from this change to keep regulations aligned with the bordering state.
Change the statewide closing date Black Bass catch and release season to June 14. Simplifies regulations by going to a June 14 date rather than "The Friday preceding the third Saturday in June." This change is based on results of a 2021 angler poll.
Change the end date of Black Bass catch and release season to June 14 for any special regulations with a Friday preceding the third Saturday in June end date. Simplifies regulations by going to a June 14 date rather than "The Friday preceding the third Saturday in June." This change is based on results of a 2021 angler poll.
Great Lakes regulation changes
Summarized regulation change Rationale
Align Northern Pike, Walleye and Black Bass season openers with new statewide opener. Simplifies regulations by going to May 1 rather than "The first Saturday in May." This change is based on results of a 2021 angler poll.
Align season dates for Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge to June 15 through December 15 on Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River, Upper Niagara River, and Lower Niagara River. Simplifies regulations by going to a June 15 season opener rather than "third Saturday in June" and aligns the season end date in all Great Lakes waters.
Limit harvest of Rainbow Trout to 2 in the Lower Niagara River. Aligns the Lower Niagara River regulations with other Lake Ontario tributary regulations and corrects a previous rule change omission.
Eliminate redundant statewide regulations for Yellow Perch and Sunfish for Great Lakes waters. There is no need to repeat statewide regulations in an individual waterbody regulation.
Clarify that jigs do not need a free-swinging hook on Great Lakes tributaries. Jigs do not have free swinging hooks by their construction. This clarification makes it clear jigs are permitted to be used on Great Lakes tributaries.
Eliminate the seasonal added weight restrictions from Lake Erie tributaries. These restrictions are not considered necessary in a Steelhead based tributary fishery.
Eliminate special Trout regulation for Skinner Creek. Skinner Creek is a Lake Ontario tributary that received migratory runs of trout and salmon, and it should be managed as such.
Finger Lakes regulation changes
Summarized regulation change Rationale
Establish a Walleye, all year, Minimum Length-12", Daily Limit-none regulation on Skaneateles Lake. Walleye were illegally introduced into Skaneateles Lake and threaten the Rainbow Trout fishery. This is an experimental regulation that attempts to control Walleye at a low enough population level to protect Rainbow Trout.
Establish regulatory exclusion language for Finger Lakes tributaries. This language is necessary to help enforce tributary regulations.
Eliminate unnecessary reference to 10.1(b) for all other species in Fishing Regulations for Finger Lakes table. This reference is unnecessary because statewide species regulations apply unless there is a Finger Lakes special species regulation.
Clarify that the seasonal fishing prohibited closure on North McMillian Creek and Conesus Inlet Fish and Wildlife Management Area includes the dam on Conesus Inlet. This regulation eliminates an ongoing law enforcement issue with anglers fishing from the dam during the Northern Pike and Walleye spawning runs.
Other species regulation changes
Summarized regulation change Rationale
Decrease the sunfish daily limit from 50 sunfish per day to 25 sunfish per day. Protect sunfish from overharvest while still providing ample harvest opportunities.
Increase the crappie minimum length from 9" to 10". Improve the size structure of crappie populations.
Eliminate statewide Kokanee regulation. Kokanee are not managed in New York and only exist in a few waters. Therefore they do not warrant a statewide regulation.
Establish sunfish, all year, minimum length 8", daily limit-15 regulations on 11 waters. These waters are part of a 5 year experimental program that takes advantage of the ecological capacity of select lakes by using a minimum length restriction and reduced daily limit to provide a fishing experience for large sunfish.
Eliminate Nassau County county-wide regulations for Crappie, Sunfish, Yellow Perch and Pickerel. These special regulations did not result in a change the population structure which was their intended management purpose. Therefore, these regulations are unnecessary and are reverted to statewide regulations.
Expand Nassau County Black Bass catch and release season to all year and apply to only lakes and ponds. Expanding the catch and release season allows additional fishing opportunity. Additionally, there are no black bass fisheries in rivers and streams in Nassau County, so regulating streams was unnecessary.
Eliminate Suffolk County county-wide regulations for Crappie, Sunfish, Yellow Perch, and Black Bass. These special regulations did not result in a change to the population structure which was their intended management purpose. Therefore, these regulations are unnecessary and are reverted to statewide regulation.
Eliminate Ulster County county-wide Walleye regulation. Ulster County streams are no longer being stocked with walleye. Therefore, this regulation is unnecessary.
Eliminate Deep Pond Chain Pickerel special regulation. The Chain Pickerel regulation is no longer necessary due to the introduction of Largemouth Bass and a reduction of Chain Pickerel habitat that has caused the population to drop. The regulation no longer serves its management purpose.
Eliminate Walleye special regulations on East Sidney Reservoir and DeRuyter Reservoir. The regulation for DeRuyter Reservoir was part of a special project that has ended. The regulation on East Sidney Reservoir is no longer necessary because the Walleye stocking experiment ended.
Eliminate redundant Yellow Perch and Sunfish special regulations on Lake George. This regulation mirrored the statewide regulation and is therefore unnecessary.
Change the start of the Fishing Prohibited season to March 16 on the Saranac River from Hough Brook at Union Falls Flow upstream to Franklin Falls Dam. This change aligns the Fishing Prohibited season with other regulations that protect Walleye during their spawning season.
Eliminate Perch Lake special regulation. The "fishing" regulation was more about access than fishing. Access to fish Perch Lake will be controlled by WMA signage in the future.
Add fishing prohibited March 16 through April 30 special regulation on Genesee River from downstream side of Mount Morris Dam downstream to first railroad bridge downstream of Route 36. This regulation protects a spawning congregation of Walleye.
Eliminate Pickerel and Black Bass special regulations on Bashakill Marsh. The extended season for these species on the Bashakill Marsh are unnecessary. Eliminating them also reduces the number of regulation variations for these species.
Add Walleye, May 1 through March 15, Minimum Length-18", Daily Limit-3 regulation to Eric Canal and Clyde River downstream of Lock 26 on the Canal to confluence with Seneca River. This regulation aligns these reaches with the regulations for the Seneca River. Walleye can move freely between these waterbodies, so aligning regulations manages the population as a whole.
Eliminate Muskellunge/Tiger Muskellunge and American Shad special regulations on Chenango, Susquehanna, Tioughnioga, and Tioga rivers and Chemung River and tributaries. These rivers have self-sustaining Muskellunge populations and are no longer managed for Tiger Muskellunge. Therefore they should be regulated under statewide Muskellunge regulations. American Shad no longer make a detectable run up the Susquehanna River into New York, so the special regulation was unnecessary.
Limit the Chautauqua Lake tributaries Muskellunge/Tiger Muskellunge special regulation to upstream to the first road bridge. This change limits the special regulations on the tributaries to the portion of greatest concern. It also eliminates unnecessary regulations on the portions of the tributaries where Muskellunge do not exist.
Limit Great Sacandaga Lake tributaries Walleye special regulation to upstream to the first road bridge. This change clarifies the upstream extent of the special regulations.
Eliminate Oneida Lake Walleye special regulation. The Walleye special regulation is no longer necessary due to an adult Walleye population of over 1,000,000 fish. The population should remain abundant over the several years with additional good year classes recruiting into the fishery.
Border waters regulations
Summarized regulation change Rationale
Clarify downstream endpoint of the fishing prohibited from boats section of the Ausable River. This regulation moves the endpoint from the railroad bridge upstream to Route 9 where the endpoint was originally intended to be.
Increase the Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge size limit on Greenwood Lake to 44". This aligns New York regulations with New Jersey regulations.
Baitfish regulation changes
Summarized regulation change Rationale
Prohibit the use of European Rudd as bait. European Rudd are a regulated invasive species. Prohibiting their use as bait will help prevent their spread.
Update the baitfish prohibited waters list to include new primitive and wilderness areas, deleted specific ponds included in the new primitive and wilderness areas, added additional ponds, and corrected misspellings. These additions help protect native brook trout ponds where necessary and eliminate restrictions where they no longer make sense.
Prohibit the use of Alewife as bait in Otsego Lake. The Alewife population in Otsego Lake is suppressed. Eliminating their use as bait will help prevent a re-population and help restore native whitefish.
Allow the collection and use of baitfish on the Catch and Release section of the Hudson from the Troy Dam upstream to Bakers Falls in the Village of Hudson Falls and tributaries in this section upstream to the first impassible barrier by fish and the Mohawk River below Route 32 bridge. Use of baitfish is permitted on this reach of the Hudson River. There is no biological reason why collecting baitfish in this reach for use as bait in this reach should not be allowed.
Clarify use and possession of Smelt on Neversink Reservoir is prohibited. Harvest of Smelt is already prohibited. Therefore, use and possession should also be prohibited.
Allow trout eggs produced in a hatchery under permit by the Department to be sold as bait. This clarification allows for the commercial availability and use of trout eggs as bait, reducing the need for anglers to harvest eggs from trout they catch for personal use.
Ice Fishing regulation changes
Summarized regulation change Rationale
Simplify ice fishing regulations by permitting ice fishing unless specifically prohibited in New York except for Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Warren, and Washington counties where the existing ice fishing is prohibited unless specifically permitted in waters inhabited by trout regulation will still apply. This proposal simplifies ice fishing regulations by clearly establishing where ice fishing is permitted in most of the state. Due to the prevalence of Brook Trout waters in the listed counties, the existing ice fishing regulations remain in place that require an angler to know if a water is inhabited by trout or not.
Gear restriction changes
Summarized regulation change Rationale
Eliminate regulations allowing snatching and spearing in select waters. These practices are no longer widely practiced and violate the principle of fair chase.
Clarify that bowfishing is not permitted in waters where the harvest of Carp is not permitted. Bowfishing is a lethal fishing technique. Therefore it does not make sense to allow bow fishing in waters where the harvest of Carp is not permitted.
Allow the use of gaffs while bowfishing. Bow fishing is a lethal fishing technique. Since all bow fished Carp are "kept," use of a gaff will not injure fish intended to be released.
Waterbody definition changes
Summarized regulation change Rationale
Combine 2 existing waterbodies into a single waterbody consisting of Onondaga Lake and the Three Rivers complex. Fish can move freely within the new designated waterbody, so combining these waters into a single designated water is appropriate.
Correct any regulatory references to the defined Hudson River waterbody which was renumbered. These changes were made due to changes in the numbering of designated waters.
Regulation reorganization
Summarized regulation change Rationale
Modify existing County regulation table (6 NYCRR 10.3(b)) by splitting into a lakes, ponds and associated tributaries table and a rivers and streams table with individual waters listed alphabetically by DEC Region. This change simplifies regulations by eliminating redundant regulations that crossed county boundaries and made regulation look up easier by listing waters alphabetically by Region, making regulation look up simpler.
Regulations listed in 6 NYCRR 10.3(f) Waters closed to all fishing. were moved to appropriate locations in Great Lakes tributaries, Finger Lakes tributaries or the newly created rivers and streams table. These regulations were moved to make regulation look up easier in NYCRR.
Clarifications
Summarized regulation change Rationale
Rename any references to Landlocked Salmon to Atlantic Salmon. Atlantic Salmon is the appropriate name to use to refer to this species.