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Changes to Become Effective October 1, 2008

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis today announced the finalization of changes to freshwater fishing regulations for the 2008-2010 seasons. These new regulations will become effective on October 1, 2008, and enhance fishing opportunities for anglers across New York.

?New York continues to provide some of the nation's best fishing opportunities, and these regulation changes are intended to enhance angler satisfaction, while also protecting New York's precious fishery resources,? Commissioner Grannis said. ?During our public comment period on the draft regulations, DEC received many helpful comments from anglers and other stakeholders, with some suggestions incorporated into the final changes announced today. We look forward to continuing together to protect our fisheries and improve fishing opportunities.?

The new regulations are the result of a two-year process which included careful assessment by DEC staff, discussions with various angling interest groups, and a formal public review and input process. DEC proposed draft regulations in February 2008 and initiated a 45-day public comment period which ended in April.

Several of the recently adopted changes apply to all waters in New York, while others apply to specific waters.

Statewide Angling Regulations:

$ Prohibit the act of chumming with fish eggs in order to reduce the harvest of female fish specifically for purposes of taking eggs and using them as a method to aggregate and concentrate fish.

$ Define a ?tip-up? as any device used for fishing through the ice that has a signaling device attached, except a bobber or other floating object on the water, that will visually or audibly signal a strike. This will provide clarity on what devices fall under the category of tip-ups for ice fishing

$ Prohibit the sale of trout eggs in order to prevent the harvest of trout for the purposes of selling eggs in tributary fisheries by anglers.

$ Establish a species-specific list of fish that may be used as bait fish to minimize potential adverse introductions of certain fish outside of their native ranges; clarify and define what bait fish are acceptable for use.

Trout and Salmon Fishing Regulations:

$ Establish a three-fish daily creel limit with a 12-inch minimum size limit for trout in Beardsley Lake in Montgomery and Herkimer counties, Kyser Lake in Fulton and Herkimer counties and Stillwater Reservoir in Herkimer County, to foster production and subsequent catch of larger size trout in waters capable of growing large fish while providing sufficient protection for these quality fisheries.

$ Create a three-fish daily creel limit with a 12-inch minimum size limit for trout in the ponds contained within the Massawepie Conservation Easement Area in St. Lawrence County (Pine, Boottree, Town Line, Deer and Horseshoe) and Tamarack Pond in St. Lawrence County to provide for trophy brook fishing opportunities while protecting heritage-strain brook trout populations.

$ Institute a five-trout creel limit, with no more than two trout longer than 12 inches on the Lansing Kill in Oneida County, to protect larger trout and maintain a quality trout fishery.

$ Extend the catch-and-release section of West Canada Creek in Herkimer and Oneida counties in order to expand the area with this angling opportunity, increase the number of fish available to anglers and spread out anglers on West Canada Creek that seek catch-and-release fishing experiences.

$ Extend the current Apr. 1 ? Oct. 15 catch-and-release season on the West Branch St. Regis River in St. Lawrence County to all year, thereby increasing angling opportunity.

$ Eliminate the special regulation requiring catch-and-release fishing for trout on Allen Pond in St. Lawrence County and replace it with a three-fish daily creel limit and 12-inch minimum size limit. This will provide sufficient protection to the quality trout fishery while allowing for limited harvest.

$ Create a catch-and-release, artificial-lures-only regulation in Wheeler and Clear Ponds in the Town of Webb in Herkimer County to reduce harvest as part of an ongoing heritage-strain brook trout evaluation study.

$ Establish a special regulation for kokanee salmon in Glass Lake in Rensselaer County with a three-fish daily creel limit and 12-inch minimum size limit in order to reduce harvest and protect the kokanee salmon population.

$ Establish a special regulation for Ellicott Creek in Erie County in order to provide anglers the opportunity to harvest trout within Amherst State Park.

$ Remove the special regulation for lake trout on Woodhull Lake in Herkimer County as surveys have indicated that the lake trout have no limitations on reaching larger sizes and a special regulation is not warranted.

Black Bass and other warm-water species:

$ Extend the winter catch-and-release-only black bass season in Suffolk and Nassau counties to provide additional angling opportunity.

$ Reduce the creel limit on walleye and sauger in Lake Champlain to ?3 fish in combination? to better protect walleye and sauger stocks and provide continuity between New York and Vermont regulations.

$ Modify the creel limit and size limit for muskellunge and tiger muskellunge in the border waters of the Delaware River and West Branch Delaware River, to provide a consistent regulation with the State of Pennsylvania.

$ Remove American eel from the list of fish that can be spearfished in order to reduce fishing-related mortality for American eels.

Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations:

$ Restrict the use of weight on the line, leader, swivels or artificial flies in the Salmon River fly fishing-only area in order to reduce snagging of trout and salmon.

$ Refine the allowable fishing tackle that may be used in the special regulations fly fishing catch-and-release areas on the Salmon River in Oswego County in order to offer an unimpeded traditional fly fishing experience.

Bait Fish Regulations:

$ Prohibit the use of bait fish in waters such as the Henderson Lake in the Town of Newcomb in Essex County, and in the Giant Mountain Wilderness Area in order to prevent more non-native fishes from becoming established which impairs the ability to restore native salmonids.

$ Prohibit the use of bait fish in Wheeler and Clear Ponds in the Town of Webb in Herkimer County in order to protect these reclaimed brook trout waters from non-native fish introductions.

$ Add the ponds and streams in the Raquette-Boreal Wilderness Area to the list of waters that restrict the use of bait fish in order to minimize the potential of introducing competing species to these sensitive brook trout ponds.
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