Fishing is about to become much less complicated in New York State.

Both experienced and novice anglers can thank the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for some changes that will make freshwater fishing a lot less confusing.

chug bait on jumping smallmouth bass
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Beginning April 1 the DEC will be adopting changes to fishing regulations that DEC commissioner Basil Seggos says will make fishing easier and more accessible for New Yorkers.

The new regulations adopted today coupled with the reformatted Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide reflect DEC's sustained commitment to ensuring the enjoyment of both novice and expert anglers in New York State.

Highlights of the changes include year-round fishing for Atlantic salmon as well as other lake and pond fish. Ice fishing will also be permitted on all waters, except for a few limitations. There are also new season opening dates for several species of fish, as well as changes to harvest sizes.

Dad and son fishing at lake
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A full list of the changes is available on the DEC's website. They've also provided us with some highlights that we've reprinted below.

  • New statewide regulation for rainbow, brown trout, and splake in lakes and ponds. The season will now be open year-round, with a five-fish daily limit, any size, with a "no more than two longer than 12 inches" harvest rule;
  • Statewide Atlantic salmon regulations will now allow for a year-round open season;
  • Ice fishing is permitted on all waters in New York unless specifically prohibited with the exception of Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Warren, and Washington counties where previous rules remain;
  • New specific dates replaced floating dates for statewide season openers to include:
    • May 1 - Walleye, Northern Pike, Pickerel and Tiger Muskellunge;
    • June 1 - Muskellunge. Note that in 2022, DEC will allow for the fishing of muskellunge beginning the last Saturday in May to accommodate previously planned fishing trips; and
    • June 15 - Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass.
  • A five-fish daily walleye limit in Oneida Lake;
  • A new regulation to limit the growth of the walleye population in Skaneateles Lake. No daily possession limit; 12-inch minimum size limit, open year-round;
  • The statewide sunfish daily harvest limit has been reduced from 50 to 25 fish; and
  • The statewide minimum size limit for crappie has been increased from nine inches to 10 inches.

Creatures Emerging From Hibernation in the Hudson Valley

There are many different creatures that hibernate during those colder months, like other mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects according to New York State Parks Department.

See what sort of animals could be waking up in your Hudson Valley neighborhood in March and April.