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State Muskellunge Season Opens On May 30

Anglers seeking the ultimate trophy fish don’t have to wait much longer. The fishing season for muskellunge, New York’s largest freshwater sportfish, opens on May 30 across much of the state. In New York’s Great Lakes waters (Lake Erie, Upper Niagara River, Lower Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River) the season opens on June 20.

Capable of growing to 50 pounds or more, special techniques are often required when fishing for these massive predators. See Muskie 101 for tips on how to catch and handle them. New York’s most renowned muskellunge fisheries are in the St. Lawrence River, Upper Niagara River and Chautauqua Lake, but there are other quality waters including Waneta, Greenwood, Bear, and Cassadaga lakes and the Susquehanna, Chenango, Grass and Great Chazy rivers.

New Black Bass Report Available

A recent study by DEC found that smallmouth bass populations in certain rivers and streams managed with a 10 inch minimum size limit had similar size structures and growth rates to populations in lakes and rivers managed under the statewide minimum size of 12 inches. These results indicate that there is no longer a need for the 10 inch size limit. Read the full report on DEC's website

2020 Spring Stocking Season is in the Books!

Whether it was via truck, barge or air, DEC’s Fish Hatchery staff have officially completed this spring’s fish stocking.

Just to break it down:

  • DEC stocked over 4.6 million trout and salmon and 50 million walleye statewide.

  • Of those, over 50,000 got a lift in a helicopter and were stocked in 71 remote ponds, lakes, and rivers in the Adirondacks.

  • Hundreds of thousands of lake trout and brown trout made their way into Lake Ontario via a barge carrying a DEC stocking truck.

For a full Spring Stocking Summary for 2020, visit DEC's website

Trout stocking season always presents its own set of challenges, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, hatchery staff were faced with a whole new way of getting fish out of hatchery raceways and stocked into the waters they were planned for. Some new factors to contend with included:

  • Maintaining a safe distance between staff while loading the trucks,

  • Disinfecting the cabs of the trucks so multiple drivers could use them safely;

  • Keeping a safe distance from curious onlookers watching the fish being stocked

  • Locating restrooms while traveling long distances across the state that were still open because many were closed due to the pandemic.

DEC’s dedicated, essential hatchery staff worked long days and some weekends to provide anglers with fishing opportunities. Thanks to their commitment, spring fish stocking was completed approximately one month ahead of schedule. The stockings were completed without volunteer help this year due to the pandemic.


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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.