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First New York State Record Fish Caught for 2020

While out fishing with his dad, Joe, on May 6th, Morgan Fonzi reeled in a new state record white bass from the Lower Niagara River. Weighing in at 3 lbs. 8 oz, it surpassed the previous state record set in 1992 by 2 ounces. Interestingly, the father-son duo had been out the day before when Joe Fonzi caught one even larger. When they realized what the (then) state record white bass weighed, they set out the following day specifically targeting that species and the rest is history.

It's safe to say, the fishing season in New York State is off to a great start! 

Congratulations Morgan!

For more information on New York's Angler Achievement Awards Program which covers state records, visit DEC's website.

Anglers Cautioned to Avoid Spawning Lake Sturgeon

Lake sturgeon can be unintentionally caught by anglers fishing in certain waters in New York during May and June when they’re spawning. The stress incurred from being caught by an angler can inhibit a lake sturgeon’s ability to spawn. It takes many years for female sturgeon to become sexually mature, and they only spawn every 4-7 years, so missing a spawning opportunity can have a big impact on the growth of a population. 

Keep in mind, lake sturgeon are listed as a 

threatened species in New York. There is no open season for lake sturgeon and possession is prohibited, so anglers should not be targeting these rare fish. If you catch a sturgeon, you should move to another area or change fishing gear to avoid catching another. Should you hook a lake sturgeon, follow these practices to ensure that it is returned to the water unharmed:

  • Avoid bringing the fish out of the water if possible.

  • Use pliers to remove the hook; sturgeon are almost always hooked in the mouth.

  • Always support the fish horizontally. Don't hold sturgeon in a vertical position by their head, gills, or tails.

  • Never touch their eyes or gills.

  • Minimize their time out of the water and return them to the water immediately once they are freed from fishing gear.

Be a lake sturgeon champion for New York and fish responsibly - it can make all the difference in returning this giant to our waters.

Lake Erie & Upper Niagara River Fisheries Status Meeting is Going Virtual

DEC invites the public to “tune in” on Thursday, May 21st from 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. for a virtual public meeting on the status of Lake Erie and Upper Niagara River fisheries. The webinar will feature news and updates on the warmwater and coldwater fisheries, followed by a 30-minute Q&A online chat session. New York Sea Grant will also provide information on yellow perch barotrauma.

This webinar is sponsored by DEC's Lake Erie Fisheries Research Unit and Region 9 Fisheries Unit.

Participants can use the webex link to join the meeting. If a password is required, enter the meeting password 2RZrJKc3si6, and click ‘join,’ and follow any instructions that appear on your screen. Participants are directed to use the meeting access code 614 331 916.

Upon joining the meeting, participants will be prompted to connect to audio using their computer. To connect to audio via phone, use the following call-in information: toll free number 1-844-633-8697 and access code: 614 331 916.

Promising News for Several Adirondack Brook Trout Ponds

Water chemistry values for 13 ponds in the Adirondacks have recently been evaluated and indicate that the brook trout that inhabit those waters may have the potential to reproduce naturally, which could eliminate the need for stocking. Stocking will be suspended in 2020 and 2021 and the ponds will be surveyed in 2022 to determine if stocking is needed. The 14,000 brook trout fingerlings that would have been stocked in these waters will now be stocked into other Adirondack ponds to help offset an anticipated shortage of Temiscamie hybrid brook trout this fall.

For further information email

Whitebass Record Caught From Lake Erie

Handle Lake Sturgeon Caught Carefully

Some Adirondack Lakes May Support Brook Trout

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