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New York



Regulations for Harvested Fish

Fish cleaning

  • All legally harvested fish may be gilled or gutted while on the water.
  • Possession of the following fish that have been cut, dismembered, filleted, skinned, or otherwise altered so that the species and total length of such fish cannot be easily determined is prohibited:

⊲ Walleye, ⊲ Black Bass, ⊲ Brook trout, ⊲ Lake trout, and ⊲ Atlantic salmon.

  • Other species of fish may be filleted provided that the skin is not removed from the fillets.

Fish carcass disposal

It is illegal to discard any fish carcass, or parts thereof, into the freshwaters of the state within 100 feet of shore or upon any public or private lands contiguous to and within 100 feet of such water, except:

  • On private lands by the owners of such lands;
  • If properly disposing into suitable garbage or refuse collection systems or by burial;
  • Where incidental cleaning of fish for consumption is permitted. However, resulting waste may not be disposed of within 100 feet of any public launching or docking site unless into a suitable refuse collection system; and
  • Fish required to be returned to the water by regulation or law.


Transportation of fish is permitted as follows:

Fish caught in New York State

  • Salable fish may be transported in any number.
  • No more than two days’ legal take of nonsalable fish may be transported unless a permit is obtained from a DEC Regional Office, or the fish are frozen, processed, and packaged for storage.
  • Smelt, suckers, alewives, and blueback herring taken for human consumption purposes only may be transported at any time.
  • Baitfish transportation regulations can be found on Baitfish Regulations.

Fish caught outside of New York State

Fish caught outside of New York may be transported into New York in any manner, except parcel post, in the number that may be legally exported from the place of taking.

Non-salable fish transported by carrier

A tag must be attached showing the name and address of both the taker and consignee, and the contents of the package.