---- — ALBANY — Changes to freshwater fishing regulations will be in effect starting Oct. 1, 2012, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced.
“New York provides some of the best fishing in the nation and, periodically, DEC modifies existing freshwater sportfishing regulations to enhance fishing opportunities for anglers throughout New York,” Assistant Commissioner for Natural Resources Kathy Moser said in a press release. “Input received from anglers and other stakeholders during the public comment period earlier this year resulted in some suggestions becoming incorporated in the final changes announced today.”
The new regulations are a result of a two-year process, which included DEC assessment and evaluation of biological and ecological data, discussions with anglers and a formal public review and comment period. Some of the adopted changes apply to all waters in New York, while many others apply only to specific waters.
The regulations prohibit fishing in the following stream sections from March 16 until the first Saturday in May (opening day for walleye) to protect spawning walleye: Lake Pleasant outlet to the mouth of the Kunjamuk River (Hamilton County); and Little Sandy Creek (Oswego County) from the intersection of the channelized area next to Koster Drive downstream of the State Route 3 bridge to the lower boundary of the public fishing rights section located upstream of the State Route 3 bridge.
The laws eliminate the special black bass closed season for Oneida Lake and implement statewide regulations, and apply statewide black bass regulations for Allen Lake (Allegany County) and Cassadaga Lake (Chautauqua County).
TROUT AND SALMON
The regulations extend the catch-and-release-only regulation for brook trout into tidal streams in Suffolk County; eliminate Suffolk County tidal trout regulations and apply freshwater stream trout regulations to these sections; change minimum length for salmonids in the Upper Niagara River to any size; change the trout regulations for the Titicus Outlet (Westchester County) and Esopus Creek, Shandaken tunnel outlet to Ashokan Reservoir (Ulster County) to a daily limit of five fish with no more than two trout longer than 12 inches; delete the 12-inch size and three fish per day limit for kokanee salmon in Glass Lake (Rensselaer County); open Lake Kushaqua and Rollins Pond (Franklin County) to ice fishing for lake trout; open Blue Mountain Lake, Eagle Lake, Forked Lake, Gilman Lake, South Pond and Utowana Lake (Hamilton County) to ice fishing for landlocked salmon and reduce the daily limit for lake trout in these waters from three per day to two per day.
PICKEREL, MUSKELLUNGE AND TIGER MUSKELLUNGE
The regulations institute a catch-and-release-only regulation for chain pickerel in Deep Pond (Suffolk County); implement a 40-inch size limit for muskellunge and tiger muskellunge in the Chenango, Tioughnioga, Tioga and Susquehanna rivers (Chenango, Cortland, Broome and Tioga counties) and a 36-inch size limit at Otisco Lake (Onondaga County).
ICE FISHING AND BAITFISH
The rules delete special ice fishing regulation for Square Pond (Franklin County); eliminate the existing ban on the use of tip-ups in Crumhorn Lake (Otsego County); allow ice fishing on stocked trout lakes in Allegany, Niagara, Wyoming, Chautauqua, Erie and Cattaraugus counties unless otherwise stated; allow ice fishing on specific waters currently deemed as trout waters in the counties of Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida and St. Lawrence; provide for ice fishing at privately managed water in Hamilton County (Salmon Pond); include Cayuta Lake (Schuyler County) as a designated water from which baitfish may be commercially harvested.
The complete list of freshwater sportfish regulation changes can be viewed under “Recently Adopted Regulations (Previous Twelve Months)” on DEC’s website at www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/propregulations.html. All comments received from the public were categorized and reviewed for substance, and staff responses were compiled. A summary of the “Assessment of Public Comment” is available on the Department of State website at www.dos.state.ny.us/info/register.htm.