Message from the Commissioner

Fishing Regulations Icon New York Fishing

This year, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is celebrating our 50th anniversary—half a century of extraordinary stewardship that sets the national standard for environmental excellence. This momentous milestone offers the opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve brought the environmental movement, and to renew our collective commitment to tackling future challenges, particularly climate change, the most pressing threat of our time.

One constant over the past 50 years has been DEC’s talented and dedicated team of professionals who work across the state and around the clock to protect New York’s magnificent natural resources. It’s an enormous responsibility, and one we could not manage alone. Thankfully, DEC has an amazing network of partners who share our passion for conservation and work to support and advance our mission.

Throughout the past five decades, these strong partnerships have helped DEC effectively manage our fisheries and the habitats that support them. As a result, our work is yielding some of the finest fishing opportunities in generations while providing angling’s critical boost to our local economies.

One example of our successful partnerships is DEC’s innovative pen-rearing program on our Great Lakes. For the past 20 years, DEC has worked with a group of volunteers to help increase the survival of our hatchery fish and greatly improve the region’s fishery. Last year, the program expanded to include more pens for steelhead on Lake Ontario. In 2021, the Tug Hill Chapter of Trout Unlimited will launch an experimental Atlantic salmon pen rearing project in the Salmon River, the first-of-its-kind in the nation and will increase returns of Atlantic salmon to the river as part of New York’s efforts to create a year-round fishery.

Similarly, dedicated volunteers throughout the state partner with DEC to help stock fish, plant trees along streambanks, report observations to monitor populations, and much more. In Lake Erie and the Niagara River, DEC’s partnership with the Niagara Musky Association (NMA) has been in place for more than 25 years to protect the area’s muskellunge fishery. NMA maintains a muskellunge angler diary program, contributes to habitat protection efforts in the Upper Niagara River, tags muskellunge as part of a DEC study to estimate the population’s abundance, and helps conduct an acoustic telemetry study in the Buffalo Harbor to determine the best location to help enhance muskellunge spawning habitat.

As we look ahead to the next 50 years, DEC and our partners have a great deal to be excited about, such as a project in the Adirondacks in collaboration with Trout Power that will help increase our knowledge of native brook trout. This is just one example of the critical role our strategic partnerships play in managing New York’s fish and wildlife for today and for generations to come.

Conservation is most effective when we all work together, and DEC is grateful for the strong working relationships we have built with our anglers throughout New York. Enjoy this 50th anniversary season on the water. Here’s to 50 more years of great fishing!

Basil Seggos

Commissioner, NYSDEC

Connecting New York State families and visitors to the great outdoors. For more information visit www.dec.ny.gov/62.html



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