The State Department of Environmental Conservation issued a reminder that trout and salmon fishing season opens Wednesday, while cautioning anglers to practice safe, social-distancing methods during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Fishing is good for the mind and body,” said state DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo continues to invest in ensuring New York’s renowned fisheries remain healthy and productive. While this winter’s mild conditions offered ample opportunities for hardcore or novice trout and salmon anglers to pursue their favorite gamefish on waters open to year-round fishing, springtime remains the main event. Water temperatures are rising, causing trout to feed more aggressively, and present a perfect opportunity for anglers.
“I encourage all anglers, novice and expert, to get outside and fish, but act responsibly by practicing social distancing and staying safe.”
The DEC recommends that anglers avoid busy waters and follow the guidelines on the DEC website about fishing responsibly.
“If an angler arrives at a parking lot and there are several cars, they should consider going to another parking lot,” the DEC statement said. “If an angler is fishing upstream, they should fish downstream of the other angler or consider fishing another day. Anglers fishing from boats should be able to maintain at least six feet of distance between one another.”
The DEC is also encouraging anglers, hunters and trappers to purchase sporting licenses online. Sporting licenses may be purchased online at any time.
The state DEC said it is planning to stock 2.27 million catchable-size brook, brown and rainbow trout in 307 lakes and ponds and roughly 2,845 miles of streams across the state.
Due to the constraints imposed by the recent discovery of zebra mussels at Rome Fish Hatchery, anglers can expect to find some species substitutions and changes in trout numbers compared to 2019 stock totals, the DEC said. Additional information is available on the DEC website.
The NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative continues to help the DEC expand access to outdoor recreation, from youth camps to environmental education centers to new boat launches, duck blinds and hiking trails. To date, a total of $17 million in NY Works funding has been allocated to improving outdoor services, the DEC said.