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New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Fishing Regulations New York Freshwater Fishing

Fishing Hotlines

Central New York

(607) 753-1551

Orleans County

(585) 589-3220

Lake Erie (Dunkirk)

(716) 679-ERIE

Lake Erie (Buffalo)

(716) 855-FISH

Niagara County

(877) FALLS US

Southeastern New York

(845) 256-3101

Wayne County

(315) 946-5466

DEC Web Hotlines

New York State facilities are available to all persons without regard to race, color, national origin or physical disability in accordance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This guide is a summary that is intended for convenience only. For complete information, consult New York State Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) and Volume 6 of the Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York (NYCRR). Copies can be reviewed at the nearest library with a State Supreme Court references section or by contacting a regional Division of Law Enforcement Office. They can also be found online at for ECL and for NYCRR. Be sure to see “Using this Guide”  and review “Highlights of Changes” below.

Highlights of Changes

Note: Changes are highlighted in red throughout the guide.

  • Sauger season closed statewide.
  • Increased minimum size limit to 9 inches and reduced daily limit to 25 for American eel.
  • Increased minimum size limit and extended season for muskellunge, statewide, as well as for specific waters including Lake Champlain and St. Lawrence County rivers and streams, and for both muskellunge and tiger muskellunge in Chautauqua Lake.
  • Increased minimum size limit for muskellunge to 54 inches for the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River.
  • Increased minimum size limit for walleye in Honeoye Lake from 15 to 18 inches.
  • Year-round trout seasons, with catch-and-release fishing only, from October 16 through March 31, have been established for streams in western New York: Chenunda Creek, Oatka Creek, Clear Creek, Fenton Brook, Prendergast Creek, and waters in Allegany State Park.
  • Catch-and-release seasons for trout have been established for sections of the Salmon River (Franklin County) and Ninemile Creek (Onondaga County).
  • Special trout regulations with a daily creel limit of five fish with no more than two fish longer than 12 inches, have been established for waters in Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, and St. Lawrence Counties, as well as for Little River and Oswegatchie River in St. Lawrence County, and Oriskany Creek in Oneida County.
  • An all-year trout season, with a 12-inch minimum size limit and daily limit of 3 fish, has been established for Hinckley and Prospect reservoirs in Herkimer and Oneida counties, North Lake in Herkimer County, and for an additional section of the North Branch Saranac River in Franklin and Clinton counties.
  • 15-inch minimum size limit for lake trout has been established for Owasco Outlet (Cayuga County).
  • The minimum size limit for trout has been increased to 12 inches and the daily creel limit has been reduced to 3 for trout and/or salmon in Star Lake and Trout Lake (St. Lawrence County); landlocked salmon is now included as part of the open year round trout season in Star Lake.
  • A year-round trout season for Sylvia Lake (St. Lawrence County) with a 12-inch minimum size limit and 3 fish daily creel limit, with ice fishing permitted.
  • A total of seven ice fishing devices/lines is allowed for ice fishing (statewide) with a total of 15 ice fishing devices/lines for Lake Champlain. Names and addresses are not required on ice fishing devices.
  • With the exception of the Salmon River, the use of floating lures with multiple hooks with multiple hook points is permitted on all Lake Ontario tributaries.
  • Any weight added to the line, leader, swivels, artificial fly or lure shall not hang lower than the hook when line or leader is held vertically from September 1 through March 31 on all Lake Ontario tributaries.
  • The use of multiple hooks with multiple hook points on Lake Erie tributaries is legal.
  • The use of artificial flies with up to two hook points is legal on all Great Lake tributaries.
  • Statewide terminal tackle restrictions, not Lake Ontario tributary restrictions, apply to St. Lawrence River tributaries in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties.

Marine Recreational Fishing Regulations

Recreational fishing regulations for marine fish species are subject to frequent changes in response to rapid changes in fishing conditions and development of interstate management strategies for these species. For complete and accurate information on current New York marine recreational fishing regulations, contact the DEC Bureau of Marine Resources, Finfish and Crustacean Unit (631) 444-0435 or visit the DEC website at:
Anglers 16 years and older desiring to fish in the marine and coastal district or for migratory marine species must enroll in the no fee Recreational Marine Fishing Registry (see  License Requirements).