New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has reminded anglers that the State’s new catch-and-release trout stream season begins on October 16th.
The new catch-and-release trout stream season is a product of DEC’s Statewide Trout Stream Management Plan. The new season, which runs from October 16th – March 31st, requires anglers to use only artificial lures and immediately release trout they catch.
The catch-and-release season applies to trout streams only. Fishing for trout in lakes and ponds is prohibited after October 15th, unless these waters are managed under a special regulation that allows for angling. Anglers should consult DEC’s regulations guide for regulations associated with lakes and ponds that harbor trout before fishing.
This time period was traditionally closed to trout stream fishing as a precautionary measure during the reproductive period for wild trout. DEC biologists concluded that fishing during the spawning season will not result in negative fishery impacts. To provide due diligence, DEC says it will conduct an Angler Use and Wild Trout Young-of-Year Recruitment Study to gauge angling pressure and young-of-year trout abundance on a statewide sample of 19 wild trout stream reaches from 2021-2024. DEC biologists are expected to use the results of the study to evaluate the new regulation and guide future management. Anglers are reminded to use best practices when releasing fish to ensure trout are returned to the stream immediately and unharmed. Visit DEC’s website for more information on catching and releasing fish.
Anglers venturing to inland trout streams this fall should check out the DEC’s Interactive Trout Stream Fishing Map on the DECinfo Locator. The map provides anglers with a one-stop-shop for information about stocking, fishing access, season dates, and regulations. DEC encourages anglers to use this resource before hitting the water, so they are aware of all the trout stream fishing opportunities available to them both locally and afar.
For more information on freshwater fishing in New York waters, go to DEC’s Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide. Anglers interested in receiving information about fishing and fisheries management in New York can subscribe to the Fishing Line Newsletter.
Photo of Brook Trout by Greg Dower.