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Fish Free Today In New York; Managing Brook Trout

Free Fishing Day - Saturday, September 26

Just because it's fall, it doesn't mean you can't still enjoy great fishing. DEC encourages everyone to take advantage of the Free Fishing Day this Saturday, September 26. This designated day coincides with National Hunting & Fishing Day, so what better opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy the great natural resources our state has to offer. The requirement for a fishing license is waived during free fishing days, but all other fishing regulations still apply. See what local fishing spots await by visiting our website.

Lake Erie Lakers - Part 2

On August 20 during their annual coldwater survey, DEC’s Lake Erie Fisheries Research Unit staff captured a 36 inch, 21 pound lake trout. What was incredible wasn't the size of the fish, but the age – the coded wire tag revealed the fish to be 35 years old! This is the oldest recorded lake trout in the history of the 39-year survey, being stocked from shore off Barcelona Harbor, NY in the spring of 1986. To see a fish reach this size is exciting, but finding out that this lake trout has been swimming around Lake Erie for over 30 years, avoiding anglers and surviving numerous attacks by sea lampreys is truly remarkable!

Managing New York's Brook Trout

As part of DEC’s ongoing brook trout management, we conduct several egg-takes for Heritage (native New York) strains of brook trout each fall. Wild male and female brook trout are captured alive. Their eggs and milt are collected at the water’s edge and used to produced viable eggs, while the fish are immediately released. These eggs are raised at DEC hatcheries then stocked in designated waters to help maintain the integrity and genetic diversity of New York brook trout populations. The three strains that DEC currently works with are the Windfall, Little Tupper, and Horn Lake strains.

This is No Fish Story

While fishing out of Point Breeze (Lake Ontario) on July 11, a charter angler reeled in a rainbow trout with a floy tag attached to it’s dorsal fin. The captain of the boat, Bob Songin, removed the tag and after some investigating, determined that the fish the angler caught was tagged in 2018 as part of the annual Greater Wellsville Fishing Derby. Rainbow trout #252 must've had a serious case of wanderlust because it swam about 140 miles and traversed three dams in the Genesee River before residing in Lake Ontario. Talk about a fish on a mission!

Got a great fish story? Share it with us at and type "Fish Story" in the subject line.

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