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Message from the Commissioner

Fishing Regulations Icon New York Fishing

Message from the Commissioner

My first year as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) kept me busy, but I did get out on the water a few times and experience the incredible fishing our state has to offer.

On a trip to the Salmon River this fall, I managed to hook into a nice steelhead, and although I failed to land it after a good fight, I will never forget the battle I had with that fish. I also participated in two Bassmaster tournaments on Onondaga Lake and took my daughters fishing on the Saint Lawrence River.

I can’t wait to get out again this spring.

This year, DEC’s regulations guide highlights Lake Champlain, considered by many to be the country’s sixth Great Lake. Lake Champlain is an outstanding fishery, and DEC and our partners are working hard to keep it that way.

Best known for its excellent largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing, which draws anglers from across the country, Lake Champlain is also a fantastic coldwater fishery, known for its lake trout and Atlantic salmon. This is thanks in large part to the hard work of DEC Fisheries staff and our partners, including the State of Vermont and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, who raise the fish that are stocked in the lake and work tirelessly to control the parasitic sea lamprey.

This past year was not without its challenges. A significant drought impacted many of our coldwater fisheries, including the Salmon River where DEC temporarily closed a section of the river immediately below the Salmon River Fish Hatchery to ensure that the Pacific salmon egg take would not be impaired. This quick action allowed staff to meet its egg take objectives for both Coho and Chinook salmon.

DEC also continues to closely monitor the fishery in Lake Ontario to ensure that world class trout and salmon fishing is maintained. Working in concert with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, we made the difficult decision to reduce the overall stocking of Chinook salmon to help keep the predator population in line with the prey fish community, primarily alewife. This stocking reduction should have minimal to no impact on overall angler success, but will help ensure that the lake continues to provide the trophy fishery it has in the past.

I’d like to remind you that you can also help us limit the spread of aquatic invasive species by following the “Clean, Drain, and Dry” procedures for boats, trailers, waders and other fishing and boating equipment when using New York waters.

Also, as a licensed angler in New York State, you are not only fortunate to be able of enjoy some of the finest fishing in the country, but also contribute directly to the management of the State’s fish populations. Your license fees go directly into the New York State Conservation Fund, a dedicated fund that can only be used for the management and protection of our fish and wildlife resources and for providing access opportunities to the public. Without your license fees and the federal funding these fees generate, we would not have the quality fishing opportunities currently enjoyed in New York.

Thank you for your continued support and good luck fishing.

Basil Seggos

Commissioner, NYSDEC