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New York City Reservoir Regulations

Fishing Regulations Icon New York Fishing

Almost 400 miles of shoreline are open for fishing on the reservoirs and controlled lakes of the New York City Water Supply. A free New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Public Access Permit is required to fish New York City reservoirs. In addition, all anglers 16 years of age or older must possess a valid New York State fishing license. Lifetime permits issued before 2002 are no longer valid. New permits are valid for five years before they need to be renewed. For those 16 years of age or older, permits can be obtained online at www.nyc.gov/dep/accesspermit.

Permits can also be obtained by completing an application and mailing to: NYCDEP—Access Permits, 71 Smith Avenue, Kingston, NY 12401. Guest passes are also available for those who would like to accompany an access permit holder onto water supply lands but do not want to obtain their own access permit. Access permit applications can be obtained online or by visiting a DEP office or police precinct, town hall or sports/tackle shop within the watershed. In New York City, applications are available during normal business hours at:

  • DEP Central Office
    96-05 Horace Harding Expressway
    Corona, NY
    (718) 595-4595
  • DEP’s Bureau of Customer Service
    Services in Manhattan
    1250 Broadway, 8th Floor
    New York, NY
    (212) 643-2215

Boating on NYC Reservoirs

In addition to shoreline fishing, boating for the purposes of fishing is allowed on NYC reservoirs to those with the appropriate DEP Access Permits and Boat Tags. Anglers must store their fishing boats at designated storage areas. All boats must be steam cleaned and registered with DEP. Some boat storage areas may be closed to new boats because of overcrowding. After getting a DEP Access Permit, anglers should call the DEP office near the reservoir of interest to inquire about space, steam cleaning and boat tag registration. There is no cost for these services, which must be performed by DEP.

Expanded Recreational Boating Program

NYC DEP allows non-motorized recreational boating with canoes, kayaks, sailboats, and skulls on a day use basis on Cannonsville, Neversink, Pepacton and Schoharie Reservoirs. Recreational boating season currently opens on the Friday before Memorial Day and runs through Columbus Day. To improve access for visitors, several local businesses near the reservoirs rent kayaks and canoes for day use.

A pilot program now allows the use of electric trolling motors on fishing rowboats on Cannonsville Reservoir. All trolling motors must be registered and steam cleaned prior to use. Information about the recreational boating program and the trolling motor program can be found by visiting: www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/recreation/
expanded_boating_program.shtml.

DEP Offices

  • Ashokan Reservoir
    (845) 657-2663
  • Schoharie Reservoir
    (607) 588-6231
  • Rondout and Neversink Reservoirs
    (
    845) 334-7152
  • Cannonsville and Pepacton Reservoirs
    (607) 363-7009
  • East of Hudson Reservoirs
    (914) 232-1309

For additional information, contact DEP at:
recreation@dep.nyc.gov
or call 1-800-575-LAND (5263)

Kevin Riley with a 2 lb. 12 oz. black crappie he caught from Toronto Reservoir, Sullivan County on January 24, 2016.

Accessible Recreational Facilities

The Department of Environmental Conservation is committed to providing an ever increasing range of access opportunities to its programs and lands that it administers. The South Bay Fishing Pier on Lake Champlain is an example of the efforts the Department has made towards improving fishing opportunities for people with disabilities. For a complete discussion of Department accessibility efforts and a list of accessible outdoor opportunities, go to: www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/34035.html

New York City Reservoir Regulations

Reservoir

Species

Open Season

Minimum Length

Daily Limit

Method

Amawalk
Bog Brook
Cross River
Diverting
Middle Branch
Muscoot

Trout

All year

12″

3

Ice fishing permitted

Croton Falls

Trout

All year

18″

1

Ice fishing permitted

Lake Gilead
Lake Gleneida

Lake Trout

All year

21″

3

Ice fishing permitted

Trout

All Year

Any size

5

Boyd Corners

East Branch

Titicus

Trout

All year

12″

3

Ice fishing permitted

Walleye

1st Sat in May through March 15

18″

3

West Branch

Lake Trout

All year

21″

3

Ice fishing permitted

Trout

All year

12″

3

LL Salmon

All year

18″

1

Kensico

Lake Trout

All year

18″

3

Trout

All year

12″

3

New Croton
Schoharie

Trout

All year

12″

3

Rondout

Lake Trout

April 1 through Nov 30

18″

3

Trout

April 1 through Nov 30

12″

3

Ashokan

Trout

April 1 through Nov 30

12″

3

Walleye

1st Sat in May through March 15

18″

3

Cannonsville

Trout

April 1 through Oct 15

12″

3

Neversink

Trout

April 1 through Oct 15

12″

3

Smelt

Smelt fishing prohibited

Pepacton

Trout

April 1 through Sept 30

15″

2 fish to include only 1 over 21″