DEC Adopts 2020 Great Lakes Fishing Regulations

DEC Adopted several fishing regulation amendments for New York’s Great Lakes. These changes are designed to safeguard and expand certain fish populations while enhancing anglers’ continued enjoyment of these world-class fisheries. Most of these regulations are a direct result of DEC’s work with anglers during the past several years to identify desired outcomes for Lake Ontario sportfishery management.

The regulation amendments are effective immediately and include:

  • Increasing fishing opportunity by opening the Lake Ontario/Lower Niagara River lake trout season on December 1 (formerly opened on January 1). The season will be closed from October 1 through November 30, and is now consistent with Province of Ontario regulations;
  • Reducing the daily creel limit for rainbow trout/steelhead on the open waters of Lake Ontario (excluding the Lower Niagara River) to two fish per day to provide consistency with Province of Ontario regulations and help increase survival of steelhead, especially during periods of reduced fishing success for other species;
  • Decreasing the brown trout daily creel limit on Lake Ontario tributaries (excluding the Lower Niagara River) to one fish/day to maintain high quality brown trout fishing opportunities from fall through the spring;
  • Increasing the minimum size limit for rainbow trout/steelhead to 25 inches to prolong high quality rainbow trout/steelhead fishing opportunities through the winter months on Lake Ontario tributaries (excluding the Lower Niagara River). The rainbow trout/steelhead minimum size limit for the open waters of Lake Ontario and the Lower Niagara River remains at 21 inches; and
  • Eliminating unnecessary angling regulations on Spooner Creek and tributaries (Erie County) and the North Branch Clear Creek and tributaries (Erie County) from Taylor Hollow Road upstream to the outflow of Clear Lake by allowing fishing year-round.

You can find details on the amended fishing regulations on DEC’s website. Direct all questions regarding these regulations to: fwfishlo@dec.ny.gov or Steve LaPan, Great Lakes Fisheries section head, at: New York State DEC, P.O. Box 292, Cape Vincent, NY 13618.

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