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Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations

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These regulations apply to New York waters of Lake Erie, the Upper and Lower Niagara River, Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, and designated sections of the tributaries to these waters. Tributary sections subject to these regulations are generally defined as the bridge closest to the mouth upstream to the first barrier impassable to fish. Tributaries with different boundaries and exemptions are listed separately below. Note that there are also seasonal tackle restrictions and restrictions on night fishing in the tributaries. Statewide angling regulations apply for species not listed.

Lake Erie and Tributaries

Species

Open Season

Minimum Length

Daily Limit

Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout (including Steelhead), Coho Salmon, Chinook Salmon

All year

12″

3 in any combination

Lake Trout

All year

12″

1

Northern Pike

1st Sat. In May through March 15

22″

5

Walleye

1st Sat. In May through March 15

15″

6

Muskellunge, Tiger Muskellunge

3rd Sat. in June through Nov 30

54″

1

Yellow Perch, Sunfish

All year

Any size

50 of each

Black Bass

1st Sat. in May through the Friday preceding
the 3rd Sat. in June

20″

1

3rd Sat. in June through Nov 30

12″

5

Dec. 1 through the Friday preceding the 1st Sat. in May

Catch and release only

Artificial lures only

Lake Sturgeon

Closed

Possession Prohibited

Upper Niagara River and Tributaries

Species

Open Season

Minimum Length

Daily Limit

Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout (Including Steelhead), Coho Salmon, Chinook Salmon

All year

Any size

3 in any combination

Lake Trout

All year

12″

1

Northern Pike

1st Sat. In May through March 15

22″

5

Walleye

1st Sat. In May through March 15

15″

6

Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge

3rd Sat. in June through Nov 30

48″

1

Yellow Perch, Sunfish

All year

Any size

50 of each

Black Bass (north of the Peace Bridge)

Statewide Angling Regulations Apply

Lake Sturgeon

Closed

Possession Prohibited

Lower Niagara River and Tributaries

Species

Open Season

Minimum Length

Daily Limit

Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout (including Steelhead), Coho Salmon, Chinook Salmon

All year

15″, except 21″
for Rainbow Trout

3 (Trout & Salmon) in any combination not to include more than 1 Atlantic Salmon or 2 Lake Trout

Lake Trout

Jan. 1 through Sept. 30

None, except only 1 Lake Trout may be between 25″ and 30″

Atlantic Salmon

All year

25″

Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge

3rd Sat. in June through Dec. 15

48″

1

Northern Pike

1st Sat. in May through March 15

22″

5

Black Bass

Statewide Angling Regulations Apply

Walleye

1st Sat. in May through Dec. 31

18″

3

Jan. 1 through March 15

18″

1

Yellow Perch, Sunfish

All year

Any size

50 of each

Lake Sturgeon, American Eel

Closed

Possession Prohibited

Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River and Tributaries

Species

Open Season

Minimum Length

Daily Limit

Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout (including Steelhead), Coho Salmon, Chinook Salmon

All year

15″, except 21″ for Rainbow Trout or Steelhead

3 in any combination not to include more than 1 Rainbow Trout (or Steelhead) in the tributaries

Except 9″ in Irondequoit Creek (entire), Lindsey Creek and Skinner Creek (Oswego and Jefferson Counties), and the Black River (Jefferson County)

Lake Trout

Jan. 1 through Sept. 30

None (except no more than 1 shall be between 25″ and 30″)

2

Atlantic Salmon

All year

25″

1

Northern Pike

1st Sat. in May through March 15

22″

5

Black Bass (Lake Ontario & tributaries except in Jefferson County)

Statewide Angling Regulations Apply

Black Bass (Lake Ontario and tributaries in Jefferson County & St. Lawrence River and tributaries)

3rd Sat. in June through Nov 30

12″

5

Fishing for black bass (including catch & release) is prohibited outside of the open season.

Walleye

1st Sat. in May through March 15

18″

3

Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge

3rd Sat. in June through Dec. 15

48″

1

Lake Sturgeon, American Eel

Closed

Possession Prohibited

Yellow Perch, Sunfish

All year

Any size

50
Except Yellow Perch and Sunfish may be taken in any number in Jefferson County

Regulations for All Great Lakes & Tributaries

Regulations for all Great Lakes waters including Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Upper and Lower Niagara River, St. Lawrence River and tributaries to these waters.

At all times:

  • Snatching and attempting to snatch is prohibited. See definition of snatching on section New York State Angler Achievement Awards.
  • All foul-hooked fish must be immediately released without unnecessary injury.
  • Use or possession of gaff hooks is prohibited except when ice fishing.
  • Any action to frighten fish and move them from concealment, including herding, driving, kicking or stoning is prohibited.
  • The use of eggs for chumming is prohibited (see page Baitfish Regulations).
13NYFW-GreatLakeFisheriesUnits.jpg

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the eregulations.com home page
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