Here comes the crowds of anglers and the throngs of people watching them. Trout season for Utica Rome Anglers opens April 1 and it comes with new regulations, including for the first time, year-round fishing opportunities.

Grab a dictionary and a legal interpreter, you may need both when trying to understand changes made to the state's Trout Stream Management Plan. First and foremost is the regulation allowing year-round fishing. You just won't be able to take your catch home. A catch and release period will be observed from October 16 through March 31. Fish must be immediately released once caught and only artificial baits can be used.

Other updates to the plan aren't quite as clear, despite the DEC's goal to "simplify regulations whenever possible to make fishing more accessible and enjoyable." In all fairness, the DEC did take 26 regulations and reduced them to four. DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos says trout stream sections or reaches, were broken into these categories, Wild-Quality, Wild-Premier, Stocked, Stocked-Extended, and Wild.

The Trout Stream Management Plan's categories, objectives, and strategies were developed to achieve outcomes identified by a diverse audience of anglers that participated in more than 20 public meetings held across the state.

Here are the four regulations:

  • Daily creel limit of five trout per day with no more than two longer than 12 inches statewide and for reaches categorized as Wild or Stocked in effect from April 1 through Oct. 15;
  • Daily creel limit of three trout per day with no more than one longer than 12 inches for reaches designated as Wild-Quality or Stocked-Extended in effect from April 1 through Oct. 15;
  • Daily creel limit of one trout per day, any size, for reaches designated as Wild-Premier in effect from April 1 through October 15; and
  • Creation of a statewide catch-and-release trout season in effect from Oct. 16 to March 31. During this period anglers are restricted to artificial lures only and must promptly release all trout caught.

In conjunction with releasing the new regulations and categories, the DEC also created an interactive Trout Stream Fishing Map in hopes of making it easier to understand the rules in the waters you are fishing.  The map is part of the DECinfo Locator offering maps and documents on not only fishing, but hunting, parks, scenic views, and state lands. While this all may seem a rigorous undertaking, the video below is an easy to understand tutorial on how to use the locator.

Here are some links to get more information on the DEC regulations:

Categorization of New York State Trout Stream Reaches
Trout Stream Fishing Map and a User Guide
New York State Freshwater Fishing Guide

Good luck, we would love to see photos of your catch. Share them on the Big Frog App or on our Facebook page.

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