New York state’s new catch-and-release trout stream season begins Saturday, expanding fishing opportunities in fall’s cooled waterways that hold trout.
The catch-and-release trout season is part of DEC’s Statewide Trout Stream Management Plan, developed to improve and modernize management of its trout stream fishing resources. The new season, which runs from Saturday to March 31, requires anglers to use only artificial lures and immediately release trout they catch.
The catch-and-release season applies to inland trout streams only. Fishing for trout in lakes and ponds is prohibited after Oct. 15, 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.
“Using science, research, and public input, DEC is increasing fishing opportunities while advancing responsible trout management in order to ensure trout reach their fullest ecological and recreational potential,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said.
DEC will conduct a study to gauge angling pressure and young-of-year trout abundance on a statewide sample of 19 wild trout streams from 2021-24. DEC biologists will use the results of the study to evaluate the new regulation and guide future management.
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 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.