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New York

Fishing

Methods of Taking Fish

Angling

Angling means taking fish by hook and line. This includes bait and fly fishing, casting, trolling, and the use of landing nets to complete the catch.

  • Anglers must be in immediate attendance when their lines are in the water.

    The use of set lines where the angler is not in immediate attendance is prohibited.

  • An angler may operate no more than 3 lines with or without a rod.

    each line is limited to not more than 5 lures or baits or a combination of both.

    in addition, each line shall not exceed 15 hook points in any combination of single, double or treble hooks.

  • Snatching, lifting, hooking, and use of tip-ups are not angling.

Ice fishing

Ice fishing (see Definitions) is permitted in the following waters:

• All non-trout* waters unless otherwise prohibited.

• Certain trout waters* listed in the special regulations section designated as ice fishing permitted by the following symbol: I

* If you are unsure whether a water is considered trout or non-trout, contact the DEC Regional Office for that area.

Ice fishing regulations

  • No more than 7 ice-fishing lines (see Definitions) in any combination of devices may be used, unless otherwise noted in Special Regulations.
  • No person shall operate an ice fishing line that has more than 5 lures or baits in total or has more than 15 hook points in total.
  • The operator must be in immediate attendance when ice-fishing lines are in the water.
  • Between May 1 and Nov 14, only hand lines (including rod and reels) may be used while ice fishing.

Ice shanties

Ice shanties must be marked on the outside with the owner’s name and address in letters at least 3 inches high. Shanties must be removed from all waters by Mar 15 to prevent them from falling through the ice and becoming hazards to navigation.

For the purposes of this regulation, portable shelters used and removed from the ice on a daily basis are not considered ice shanties.

Bowfishing

  • Carp may be taken by a longbow

    (recurve or compound) in any number

    or size from May 15–Sept 30 from any

    water where fishing and the discharge of a bow is permitted.

    • A person must have either a fishing license, a hunting license, or is entitled to fish without a fishing license to take carp with a longbow.
  • No other fish may be taken with a bow.
    • Taking fish by a crossbow is prohibited at all times.
    • The Fish Carcass Disposal Law (page 76) must be followed.

Snatching

  • The taking of fish by snatching, but not blind snatching (see page 70), is prohibited except on certain waters between Jan 1–Mar 15. See Special Regulations for waters where snatching is permitted.
  • Blind snatching is prohibited at all times.

Spearfishing

The taking of fish by spear (not spear gun) is prohibited except only on certain waters

(see Special Regulations on pages 8-69) and as follows:

  • Use of spearguns is prohibited in the freshwaters of New York.
  • Spears may not be used within 275 yards of eel weirs.
  • Spears may not be possessed on any water in the Adirondack Park or within 200 feet of the high water mark of these waters.
  • Possession of spears is prohibited on all waters except where the taking of fish by spear is permitted.

Taking baitfish

See Baitfish Regulations (page 79).

Use of fish traps

Fish (minnow) traps may only be used to take baitfish. See Baitfish Regulations

(page 82) for minnow trap specifications.

Use of nets

Nets may only be used to take fish as follows:

  • The use of a landing net to complete the catch while angling is permitted.
  • Personally harvested baitfish may be collected with the various nets as described on page 82.
  • Smelt, suckers, alewives, and blueback herring may be collected by dip nets as described on pages 74-75.
  • No other use of nets to collect fish is permitted.

Dip nets

Any person who has a fishing license, or is entitled to fish without a license, may operate one dip net as specifed in the tables below. These are the only circumstances where dip-netting is permitted unless a commercial license has been obtained.

See page 24 for regulations specific to dip net use for alewife and blueback herring on the Hudson River.

Note: Smelt, suckers, alewives, and blueback herring are the only fish that may be taken with a dip net.

SUCKERS MAY BE TAKEN IN A DIP NET NOT EXCEEDING 14 INCHES IN DIAMETER, OR 13 X 13 INCHES IF SQUARE, AS FOLLOWS:

Water

Open

Season

Daily Limit

Tributaries

Cayuga Lake

All year

Any number

All tributaries from the lake upstream to the 1st impassable barrier by fish

Seneca Lake

All year

Any number

All except Catharine Creek

Canandaigua Lake

All year

Any number

All except Naples Creek where netting is prohibited upstream of old Lehigh Valley Railroad bridge

Hudson River upstream to Troy Dam

All year

Any number

All from river upstream to 1st barrier impassable by fish

SMELT MAY BE TAKEN IN ANY SIZE DIP NET AS FOLLOWS:

Water

Open Season

Daily Limit

Tributaries

Lake Erie Lake Ontario Niagara River

All year

8 quarts

All from lake upstream to 1st barrier impassable by fish

SMELT MAY BE TAKEN IN A DIP NET NOT EXCEEDING 14 INCHES IN DIAMETER, OR 13 X 13 INCHES IF SQUARE, AS FOLLOWS:

Water

Open Season

Daily Hours & Limit

Tributaries

Tupper Lake

All year

Anytime/8 quarts

Lake and Bog River upstream to Rte. 421

Canandaigua Lake Canadice Lake Hemlock Lake Keuka Lake Seneca Lake Cayuga Lake Owasco Lake

All year

Anytime/8 quarts

All from lake upstream to 1st barrier impassable by fish

Exceptions: no dipping in Catharine Creek and L’Hommedieu Diversion channel (Seneca Lake) and upstream of old Lehigh Valley Railroad. bridge at Naples Creek (Canandaigua Lake)

Indian Lake Fulton Chain (except Seventh Lake) East Caroga Lake West Caroga Lake

April 1– May 15

5 AM to 10 PM 8 quarts

All from lake upstream to 1st barrier impassable by fish. No dipping in Mead Creek from mouth upstream to State Rte. 29A

Hudson River from Mario M. Cuomo Bridge upstream to the Troy Dam

All year

Anytime/ Any number

All from river upstream to 1st barrier impassable by fish