What may be one of the biggest challenges to following fishing regulations in New York is knowing the regulations. When it comes to size limits, the rules can vary depending on what body of water you are fishing.

The DEC is proposing to change those "size limit regulations" when it comes to bass fishing. Currently statewide smallmouth and largemouth bass must be at least 12" to keep. There are a few rivers and lakes where it's acceptable to keep smaller ones, some have a 10" limit while others are "any size."

The smaller size limits were allowed on waters where bass seemed to grow at a slower rate than in other areas. Official conducted a recent survey, Black Bass 10-inch Minimum Size Limit Evaluation, and concluded the smaller size regulations had little impact on growth rates. So under the proposal, all bass size limits will be increased to the 12" limit.

Impacted by the change would be Lake Colby in Franklin County, Moose Pond in Essex County, and Lake Champlain. Also Catatonk Creek (Tioga County) and Fall Creek (Tompkins County) would increase size limits to 12".

The DEC will accept public comments and questions on the proposed change through January 23. You can share your thoughts by e-mail:

or regular mail:
Inland Fisheries Section, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4753

Place "Black Bass Regulations" in the subject line. Read more on the proposal on the DEC's website.

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