Sunday, September 4, 2016

Comments Sought On Changes to Fishing Regulations

DEC LogoThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is accepting comments on proposed changes to freshwater fishing regulations through October 7, 2016.  DEC modifies freshwater sportfishing regulations approximately every two years.

The new freshwater sportfishing regulations are scheduled to take effect on April 1, 2017. Once enacted, the new regulations will be included in the 2017-18 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide.

The proposed regulations were first provided for informal public review on the DEC website in February 2016. The early feedback helped DEC determine which regulation changes to advance or eliminate.  Comments on the proposed regulations should be sent by email to [email protected] or mailed to Gregory Kozlowski, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Fisheries, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4753.

The full text of the proposed regulations are also available on DEC’s website.

The proposed changes affecting the Adirondacks include:

St. Lawrence River Tributaries Proposals:
•Clarify that St. Lawrence River tributaries in Franklin and Clinton counties are exempt from Great Lakes regulations.
•Reduce the daily limit from five to three northern pike for St. Lawrence River and define boundary between Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.
•Clarification of boundary between Lake Ontario and the Salmon River.
•Provide an exception allowing access for fishing to the closed section of the Salmon River on Salmon River Hatchery property by permit.

Walleye, black bass and northern pike proposals:
•Establish an 18-inch minimum size limit and daily creel limit of three walleye for Sacandaga Lake and tributaries and outlet and Lake Pleasant and tributaries (Hamilton County); Kiwassa Lake, St. Regis Falls Impoundment, and Little Wolf Pond (Franklin County); and Putnam Pond (Essex County).
•Eliminate 18-inch minimum size limit and daily creel limit of three walleye in Franklin Falls Flow (Essex County).
•Clarify that statewide black bass regulations apply to the Hamilton County portion of Fourth Lake.
•Eliminate the special regulation for black bass in the Hamilton County portion of the Hudson River.

Trout and salmon proposals:
•Eliminate special trout regulation on Whey Pond (Franklin County).
•Eliminate the special regulation for landlocked salmon for Piseco Lake (Hamilton County).
•Decrease the minimum size length for lake trout in Woodhull Lake (Herkimer County) from 21 to 18 inches.

Gear and use of gear proposals:
•Eliminate the allowance for lake whitefish snatching and blind snatching at Piseco Lake in Hamilton County.
•Continue to restrict the number of devices allowed for ice fishing on Bigsby and Copperas ponds (Essex County), Upper Saranac Lake (Franklin County), and Fawn Lake (Hamilton County).
•Re-open Crane Pond (Essex County) to ice fishing.

Baitfish and non-game fish proposals:
•Remove the prohibition on the use or possession of smelt in Lake George and allow for harvest of smelt by angling.
•Clarify that taking and possessing sauger and mooneye is prohibited in Lake Champlain.

Fishing prohibited proposals:
•Close two short sections of Fish Creek and Indian River in St. Lawrence County to fishing from March 16 until the opening of walleye season.
•Close a section of the Grasse River in St. Lawrence County to all fishing from March 16 until the opening of walleye season.
•Clarify the portion of the Bouquet River that is closed to fishing at any time.

Several regulation modifications are also proposed to remove duplicate regulations and to make structural changes designed to allow for easier modification of regulations in the future.

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