New York's trout and salmon fishing season opens on April 1
Anglers can visit DEC’s website to view this spring’s planned trout stockings in 314 lakes and ponds and 2,850 miles of streams across New York State.
Department of Environmental Conservation staff and partners have been monitoring New York’s waterbodies and estimate that ample rain and snowfall during the winter months helped to fill depleted lakes and reservoirs and restored favorable stream flows for large parts of the state that were affected by drought during the fall of 2016.
"New York is home to world-class fishing in virtually every corner of the state," Governor Cuomo said.
"From the Catskills to the Adirondacks, from the Finger Lakes to Lake Ontario, or a small stream or neighborhood pond, I encourage New Yorkers and visitors alike to get out and enjoy all the great fishing that New York’s waters have to offer."
The best early season angling opportunities for trout are typically in lakes and ponds, with some of the best fishing found immediately after ice thaws.
Long Island, where anglers can enjoy a year-round trout season, provides good early season trout fishing with warmer water temperatures and most waters receiving at least a portion of their annual stocking allocations prior to April 1.
Early-season fishing conditions on Upstate trout streams will improve as snow melts and temperatures rise.
Anglers will have the best success using bait and lures such as spinners that can be fished slow and deep. Fishing will improve markedly once water temperatures move into the 60s later in the spring.
DEC operates 12 fish hatcheries in New York and plans to stock more than 2.2 million catchable-size brook, brown and rainbow trout in 314 lakes and ponds and roughly 2,850 miles of streams across the state, which over the course of the spring will include 1.6 million brown trout, 426,300 rainbow trout, and 160,200 brook trout.
That’s in addition to the stocking of nearly 2 million yearling lake trout, steelhead, landlocked salmon, splake, Chinook salmon, and coho salmon that will grow over the years to become catchable size fish.
DEC’s stocking program traditionally starts in late March and early April with the stocking of catchable-size trout in the lower Hudson Valley, Long Island, and western New York. Stocking then proceeds, as weather and stream conditions permit, to the Catskills, Adirondacks and other portions of the state.
Given this year’s mid-March snowstorm, some delays in the stocking schedule can be expected in the state’s hardest hit areas.
Anglers are encouraged to contact the regional DEC office where they intend to fish for up-to-date stocking information.
For those who prefer a quieter, more remote setting in the Catskills or Adirondack Park, more than 316,000 brook trout fingerlings will be stocked in 342 lakes and ponds in those locations this spring and fall, providing unique angling opportunities.
As part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, which is aimed at increasing outdoor recreational opportunities in New York, the state is making significant improvements to DEC’s fish hatchery system and waterway access facilities.
Since 2014, $11 million in NY Works funding has been budgeted for hatchery improvements.
Anyone 16 years of age and older that wants to fish in New York must have a State fishing license. ■