The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced proposed changes to the state’s freshwater fishing regulations. The agency will be accepting public comments on the changes until November 2, 2009. According to a DEC press release: “The proposed regulations are the result of careful assessment of the status of existing fish populations and the desires of anglers for enhanced fishing opportunities. The opportunity for public review follows discussions held with angling interest groups over the past year.”
The following are highlights of the proposed changes in the Adirondack region provided by DEC:
* Apply the statewide regulation for pickerel, eliminating the “no size” limit regulation in: Essex, Hamilton, Saratoga, Warren and Washington County waters.
* Apply the statewide regulation creel limit of 50 fish per day for yellow perch and sunfish for Clinton, Essex, Franklin and Hamilton Counties, as well as for Schroon Lake, as this limit will help protect against overexploitation.
* Eliminate special regulation prohibiting smelt fishing at Portaferry Lake in St. Lawrence County as no smelt runs have been reported in many years.
* Delete the 5+5 brook trout special regulation (Regions 5, 6 & 7), which allows for an additional 5 brook trout under 8 inches as part of the daily limit, as there is no basis for retaining this special regulation for this species.
* Prohibit fishing from March 16 until the opening of walleye season in May in a section of the Oswegatchie River in St. Lawrence County to protect spawning walleye.
* Ban possession of river herring (alewife and blueback herring) in the Waterford Flight (Lock 2-Guard Gate 2) on the Saratoga County side of the Mohawk River, where blueback herring, declining in numbers, are especially vulnerable to capture.
* Allow the use of alewives and blueback herring as bait in Lake Champlain, Clinton County, Essex County, Franklin County, Warren County, Washington County and Canadarago Lake (Otsego County).
* Add new state land trout waters to bait fish prohibited list for Essex, Hamilton, and Washington Counties to guard against undesirable fish species introductions and preserve native fish communities.
* Allow ice fishing for rainbow trout in Glen Lake, Warren County.
The full text of the proposed regulation changes are available on DEC’s website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/57841.html.
Comments on the proposals being submitted by e-mail should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Shaun Keeler, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Fisheries, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4753.
After full review of the public comments, the final regulations will go into effect October 1, 2010.
Artwork of Brook Trout by Ellen Edmonson from Inland Fishes of New York, a publication of Cornell University and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation