The New York State Environmental Conservation (DEC) is reminding anglers that fishing season in New York gets into full swing on May 1, the opening day for Walleye, Northern Pike, Pickerel and Tiger Muskellunge. Also, the catch-and-release bass season is now underway on most state water bodies.
Of the warm-water species, walleye are the traditional primary target this time of year; walleye fishing opportunities exist in more than 100 water bodies throughout the state. Over the last five years and in almost all regions of the state, DEC has stocked 60 waters with walleye fry or fingerlings. Through these and other DEC management actions, new walleye populations are being established and others are being maintained or restored.
The DEC’s fishing homepage
(http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/fishing.html) provides information on freshwater fishing, including current fishing tips, fishing regulations and a list of warm-water fishing locations. In addition, DEC suggests regional hot spots that should provide excellent fishing in 2010. Lake contour maps are available for many of these locations.
Preventing Invasive Species and Fish Diseases
Anglers are reminded to be sure to disinfect their fishing equipment, including waders and boots, before entering a new body of water. This is the only way to prevent the spread of potentially damaging invasive plant and animal species (didymo and zebra mussels) and fish diseases (Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) and whirling disease). Methods to clean and disinfect fishing gear can be found online.
Use Baitfish Wisely
Fish diseases can also be spread through the careless use of baitfish. Anglers are reminded that a “Green List” of commercially available baitfish species has now been established in regulation. In most cases, these fish must also be certified as disease free. For a complete discussion of these regulations and how to identify approved
baitfish species, download the brochure “Baitfish of New York State” (PDF). Personal
collection and use of baitfish other than those on the “Green List” is permitted, but only on the water from which they were collected and they may not be transported overland by motorized vehicle.