Governor Announces New York’s Statewide Trout and Salmon Fishing Season Opens April 1


Early Season Angling Looks Promising Across the State

New Investments in Fish Hatcheries and Fishing Access Points Open New Opportunities For State Anglers and Visitors

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that trout and salmon fishing season will open on April 1. Ahead of the season opening, anglers can start planning their first outing on the I LOVE NY website, which features information on freshwater, saltwater and fly fishing and highlights ideal locations for fishing.

“New York is home to some of the best fishing in the country and through our NY Open for Fishing and Hunting initiative, we are making it easier for anglers to enjoy this proud tradition,” Governor Cuomo said. “I encourage residents and visitors alike to take advantage of these opportunities and start planning their first fishing trip of the season right here in New York State.”

“I’m excited to announce the opening of the 2016 trout and salmon season, and celebrate the success of our efforts to sustain our popular and economically important recreational fisheries,” said New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Through Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, we are making important investments to improve access to fishing opportunities and upgrade our fish hatchery system, and combined with the current favorable weather conditions and stream flows, 2016 should be a great fishing year.”

Unlike last year, when most of the state was languishing through an extended winter with much ice and snow, prospects for the 2016 opener look very promising. Even with the expected fishable stream flows, trout will still be relatively lethargic until stream temperatures warm. Anglers will have 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 sixties later in the spring. The warming also encourages aquatic insect activity, which improves opportunities for those preferring to use fly fishing gear.

DEC recommendations on where to fish
Ahead of the season opening, anglers can start planning their first spring outing on the I LOVE NY website. Anglers can also download DEC’s official New York Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife App on the Apple App Store or Google Play store, or by going to the Pocket Ranger website. This app provides up-to-date information on fishing, hunting and wildlife watching and serves as an interactive outdoor app using today’s leading mobile devices.

Best early season angling opportunities for trout are typically in lakes and ponds, with some of the best fishing found immediately after ice out. Long Island, where anglers can enjoy a year-round trout season, provides some of the best early season trout fishing with most waters receiving at least a portion of their annual stocking allocations prior to April 1. Early season trout fishing recommendations by DEC staff in each region can be found in the 2016 Coldwater Fishing Forecast at The DEC website also includes a map of recommended fishing locations and specific locations on streams where DEC has purchased fishing easements at

Stocking efforts on track
DEC plans to stock over 2.3 million catchable-size brook, brown and rainbow trout in 314 lakes and ponds and roughly 2,850 miles of streams across the state. Spring stockings will include 1.76 million brown trout, 431,555 rainbow trout and 130,000 brook trout. Approximately 97,000 two-year-old brown trout 13-14 inches in length will also be stocked into lakes and streams across the state. Nearly two million yearling lake trout, steelhead, landlocked salmon, splake, Chinook salmon and coho salmon will be also be stocked by DEC this spring to provide exciting angling opportunities over the next several years.

For those who prefer a quieter, more remote setting, more than 320,000 brook trout fingerlings will be stocked in 339 lakes and ponds in the Adirondacks this spring and fall, providing unique angling opportunities for future years. For a complete list of waters planned to be stocked with trout this spring, go to A listing of waters stocked with trout last year can be found

DEC’s stocking program traditionally commences in late March and early April with the stocking of catchable-size trout in the lower Hudson Valley, Long Island and western New York. It then proceeds, as weather and stream conditions permit, to the Catskills, Adirondacks and other portions of the state. Given this year’s favorable weather conditions, stocking should occur according to schedule, or in some cases, ahead of schedule. Anglers are encouraged to check the DEC website for approximate stocking dates and locations.

New investments in hatcheries and fishing access
Under the New York Open for Fishing and Hunting initiative, DEC recently announced significant improvements to DEC’s fish hatchery system and waterway access facilities. In 2014 and 2015, a total of $8 million in NY Works funding was provided for hatchery improvements. Projects completed to date include: repaving and painting at Caledonia Hatchery, the acquisition of 16 new large stocking trucks and associated fish transport equipment, the installation of new water treatment and heating equipment (Chautauqua and Oneida hatcheries), the replacement of the roof at Salmon River Hatchery, and the installation of a new spring dam wall at Rome Hatchery. Other projects are currently underway including: replacement of fish-rearing raceways at Chateaugay Hatchery and pond renovations at South Otselic Hatchery. Additional hatchery projects to be addressed include pond and raceway renovations at Catskill, Caledonia, and Randolph hatcheries, and an emergency generator replacement at South Otselic Hatchery.

Anglers will find new or upgraded boat launches at Forge Pond (Peconic River) in Suffolk County, Upper and Lower Saranac Lake in Franklin County and Lake George (Lake George Beach) in Warren County. A new accessible fishing pier will also be ready for public use April 1 on Wiscoy Creek (Town of Pike) in Wyoming County. Reconstruction of the fishing pier on Lake Erie at Dunkirk should also be completed by early summer. Work is also underway on a new boat launch at Meacham Lake in Franklin County which should be ready for use later this summer. Over $6 million dollars have been invested in boating and fishing access facilities over the past 5 years.

Anglers urged to help stop the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species
DEC reminds anglers to be sure to take appropriate measures to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species in New York State. Adirondack anglers and boaters should be particularly vigilant. The Spiny Waterflea, a recent invader in the region, has slowly spread from its initial site of detection, Great Sacandaga Lake. This species can attach to fishing and anchor lines, downrigger cables and can also be found in the remnant water in a boat’s bilge, livewells and bait wells. Boats, boating accessories and fishing gear should be completely dried and/or disinfected with hot water before being used in a new body of water. Methods to clean and disinfect fishing gear can be found

Boaters should take the following steps to ensure that their boat, trailer and equipment are free of aquatic invasive species:

  • Visually inspect the boat, trailer and other fishing and boating equipment and remove all mud, plants and other organisms that might be clinging to it. Dispose of the materials in one of the Nuisance Invasive Species Disposal Stations installed at many DEC boat launches, in the trash or at an upland location away from the launch ramp.
  • Drain the boat’s bilge and any other water holding compartments such as live wells, bait wells and bilge tanks. This does not apply to water associated with sanitary systems or drinking water supplies.

DEC also highly recommends drying boats. Boaters who are unable to dry their boats between uses should flush the bilge and other water holding compartments with water, preferably at a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Microscopic larval forms of aquatic invasive species, such as zebra mussels and spiny waterflea, can live in as much as a drop of water. Anything holding water should be dried, flushed or disinfected with hot water to ensure that these aquatic invasive species are not spread.

Fishing license requirements
Anyone 16 years of age and older who desires to fish in New York must have a New York State fishing license. Anglers can purchase their license and print them for immediate use by visiting Anglers can also purchase their license by phone by calling 1-866-933-2257, or from the numerous license issuing agents across the state. Those purchasing by phone will receive a confirmation number that can be used as proof of purchase until they receive their actual license by mail. Fishing licenses are now valid for one year from the date of purchase. When buying a fishing license, please consider also purchasing a Habitat/Access Stamp to help fund important access and habitat projects. For more information on the Habitat/Access Stamp Program go to

Anglers interested in purchasing a lifetime fishing license should consider a New York State Adventure license which is incorporated on their NY Driver’s License and provides a free fishing-themed license plate. Additional information can be found

Free Fishing Weekends and Clinics available
To further encourage fishing in New York State, Governor Cuomo signed legislation in 2012 expanding the opportunity for free fishing clinics, allowing more New Yorkers to experience fishing for the first time by enabling DEC to increase the number of free clinics that can be held throughout the state. The Free Fishing Days program began in 1991 to allow all people the opportunity to sample the incredible fishing New York State has to offer.

In addition, New York State residents and visitors may fish for free without a fishing license in any of the state’s 7,500 lakes and ponds and 50,000 miles of rivers and streams during the weekend of June 27-28. For additional Upcoming Free Fishing Dates, visit DEC’s website at
Governor Cuomo has expanded recreational opportunities for residents and tourists, positioning New York State as a recreation destination, connecting communities to state lands, and improving the quality of life. Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative is an effort to improve recreational opportunities for sportsmen and women and to boost tourism activities throughout the state. This includes streamlining fishing and hunting licenses, reducing license fees, improving access for fishing and increasing hunting opportunities in New York State. Under the initiative, the 2015-16 Enacted Budget included an additional $8 million for state land access projects and an additional $4 million for the state’s hatcheries in NY Works funding.

DEC operates 12 fish hatcheries and raises and stocks more than 15 species of fish into New York waters. Visit the Fish Hatcheries webpage for more information on DEC’s website.

Author: Harlem Valley News