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Play Outside, Play Safe, Smart, Stay Local

Summer’s here and it’s time to get outside, safely and responsibly. During the COVID-19 public health crisis, take the #PlaySmartPlaySafePlayLocal pledge.

PLAY SMART * PLAY SAFE — Practice social distancing, wash your hands, wear a mask to protect yourself and others. If it’s crowded, find somewhere else to go. PLAY LOCAL — Stay close to home and #RecreateLocal in your region — amenities like restrooms and restaurants may not be open. PLAY SMART — plan ahead. Make a list of alternate destinations and places to visit. PLAY SAFE —  stay home if you’re sick or if you’re part of a vulnerable population.

Summer Trout Fishing Tips

Anglers can help trout by taking the following precautions during warm weather fishing trips:

  • Avoid catch and release fishing for heat stressed trout. Trout already weakened by heat stress are at risk of death no matter how carefully they are handled.

  • Don’t disturb trout where they have gathered in unusually high numbers. It is likely that these fish are recovering from heat stress in a pocket of cold water.

  • Fish early. Stream temperatures are at their coolest in the early morning.

  • Go to plan B! Have an alternate fishing plan ready in case water temperatures are too high at your intended destination. Consider fishing a water body that is less prone to heat stress or fishing for a more heat tolerant species like smallmouth bass.

Mohawk River Fisheries Survey – Mission Accomplished!

DEC's Region 4 Fisheries recently completed an extensive five-night boat electrofishing survey of the Lock 7 Pool of the lower Mohawk River (the impoundment between the Vischer Ferry and Lock E8 Dams in Schenectady and Saratoga counties). Smallmouth bass and walleye were the dominant sportfish species caught, but largemouth bass, northern pike, and chain pickerel were also in the mix. Panfish such as bluegill, rock bass, yellow perch, black crappie, and brown bullhead rounded out the catch.

Notably, the Waterford Flight of Locks closure prevented blueback herring from traveling upstream this spring, so none were collected. Also, although native and once abundant in the river many years ago, only two larger American eels were observed.

A similar survey in the pool below Lock 7 (Crescent Lake (PDF)) was conducted in 2018. A full assessment of the Lock 7 Pool survey is forthcoming, and the results from these two surveys will be used to help guide future fisheries management decisions for the river.

DEC Fish Hatcheries Reminder


Out of abundance of caution during the State's response to COVID-19, DEC Fish Hatcheries are temporarily closed to visitors. Even though touring one of our 12 hatcheries may not be in the cards right now, hatchery staff continue to work tirelessly to raise healthy, robust fish for future fishing opportunities statewide.


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This site is dedicated to the memory of Chuck Kelly, longtime editor of The Journal and Advance News in Ogdensburg and the greatest newsman in the history of Northern New York.