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DEC announces adoption of 2020 Great Lakes fishing regulations


Tue, Mar 3rd 2020 02:00 pm

Amended regulations help DEC further improve Great Lakes fisheries, build on progress to offer excellent year-round fishing

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the adoption of several fishing regulation amendments for New York’s Great Lakes. These changes are designed to safeguard and expand certain fish populations while enhancing anglers’ continued enjoyment of these world-class fisheries. Most of these regulations are a direct result of DEC’s work with anglers during the past several years to identify desired outcomes for Lake Ontario sportfishery management.

“DEC received comments from more than 550 anglers on our proposed regulations, and most were highly favorable, which reflects the importance of working with the fishing community to develop regulations that are protective of the resource and continue to offer quality fishing opportunities,” Seggos said. “We greatly appreciate the public’s support for our efforts to make New York’s world-class Great Lakes fishing even better.”

The regulation amendments are effective immediately and include:

•Increasing fishing opportunity by opening the Lake Ontario/Lower Niagara River lake trout season on Dec. 1 (formerly opened on Jan. 1). The season will be closed from Oct. 1 through Nov. 30, and is now consistent with Province of Ontario regulations;

•Reducing the daily creel limit for rainbow trout/steelhead on the open waters of Lake Ontario (excluding the Lower Niagara River) to two fish per day to provide consistency with Province of Ontario regulations and help increase survival of steelhead, especially during periods of reduced fishing success for other species;

•Decreasing the brown trout daily creel limit on Lake Ontario tributaries (excluding the Lower Niagara River) to one fish/day to maintain high quality brown trout fishing opportunities from fall through the spring; 

•Increasing the minimum size limit for rainbow trout/steelhead to 25 inches to prolong high-quality rainbow trout/steelhead fishing opportunities through the winter months on Lake Ontario tributaries (excluding the Lower Niagara River). The rainbow trout/steelhead minimum size limit for the open waters of Lake Ontario and the Lower Niagara River remains at 21 inches; and

•Eliminating unnecessary angling regulations on Spooner Creek and tributaries (Erie County) and the North Branch Clear Creek and tributaries (Erie County) from Taylor Hollow Road upstream to the outflow of Clear Lake by allowing fishing year-round.

Details on these amended regulations can be found at DEC’s website. Questions regarding these regulations can be directed to [email protected] or Steve LaPan, Great Lakes Fisheries section head, at: New York State DEC, P.O. Box 292, Cape Vincent, NY 13618.

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