DEC to stock more than 2 million catchable-size trout in New York waters

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that trout and salmon fishing season in New York State opens on Monday, April 1.

Anglers can visit the Department of Environmental Conservation's website to view this spring's planned trout stocking for 2.33 million catchable-size brook, brown and rainbow trout in 311 lakes and ponds and roughly 2,845 miles of streams across the state. In addition, DEC will stock nearly 1.5 million yearling lake trout, steelhead, landlocked salmon, splake and coho salmon this spring. Stocking supports the state's growing sportfishing industry, which generates an estimated $1.8 billion in economic activity each year.

"New York is home to world-class trout and salmon fishing in virtually every corner of the state," Governor Cuomo said. "Heading out on opening day is a cherished tradition for generations of families, and I encourage New Yorkers and visitors alike to get outside and enjoy all the great fishing that our waters have to offer."

Anglers should visit DEC's website for the 2019 Coldwater Fishing Forecast for recommended trout and salmon fishing locations. As winter gives way to spring, stream anglers should be prepared to adapt fishing plans and tactics to variable temperatures and flows. In cold weather, bait and lures that can be fished slow and deep often prove effective in rousing sluggish trout. As water temperatures rise, anglers can shift to more active styles of fishing such as dry fly fishing. Long Island, where anglers can enjoy a year-round trout season, provides good early season trout fishing with warmer water temperatures and most waters receiving at least a portion of their annual stocking allocations prior to April 1.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Excitement is building across the state as anglers prepare their gear for one of the most anticipated fishing days on the calendar. Temperatures are beginning to rise and conditions should improve throughout April and May, as trout and salmon feed more actively on their natural foods. I encourage angling veterans and novices alike to get out there and enjoy New York's excellent angling opportunities."

Spring stockings will include 1.74 million brown trout, 433,855 rainbow trout and 157,200 brook trout. Approximately 97,000 two-year-old brown trout 13 to 14 inches in length are included in the brown trout total. Brown trout and landlocked salmon can be caught early in the season and close to shore in many of New York's larger waterbodies, such as Lake George, Lake Champlain and select Finger Lakes.

For those who prefer a more remote setting, almost 311,000 brook trout fingerlings will be stocked in 350 backwoods lakes and ponds in the Adirondacks this spring and fall, providing unique angling opportunities for future years. New York's protective air quality regulations have led to the recovery of ponds damaged by acid rain, allowing for the restoration of fish to these waters. Eleven of these newly recovered ponds will be stocked in 2019. Anglers should not forget the many opportunities to catch wild trout in waters that don't appear on the stocking lists such as the Delaware tailwaters below the Cannonsville and Pepacton Reservoirs. For a complete list of waters planned for stocking with trout this spring, go to www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30465.html.

Governor Cuomo created the NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative to improve recreational opportunities for sportsmen and women and to boost tourism activities throughout the state. This includes streamlining fishing and hunting licenses, reducing license fees, improving access for fishing and increasing hunting opportunities in the state. Governor Cuomo signed legislation in 2012 expanding the number of free clinics that can be held throughout the state, allowing more New Yorkers to experience fishing for the first time. The Free Fishing Days program also gives more people the opportunity to participate in the incredible fishing New York has to offer.

New York State Conservation Council President, Chuck Parker said, "For the membership of New York State Conservation Council I would like to take this moment to acknowledge the support and vast opportunities we have to hunt, fish, and trap in New York State.  It is through the leadership, sound management, infrastructure support and enhancement, and a strong advocacy for access that New York plays a leading role in the enjoyment and wise use of our outdoors."

New York State Council of Trout Unlimited Chairman, Larry Charette said, "April 1st is a date that the 8,000 members of New York Council of Trout Unlimited look forward to every year.  There are many blue ribbon streams in the state that are enjoyed by all New Yorkers.  The support from the DEC's hatchery system in stocking some of New York's waters is a great asset in promoting fishing and bringing new anglers into the sport.  Many of our 31 chapters use the stocking program to bring in families and children of all ages to experience placing fish on the stream.  The mission of Trout Unlimited is the preservation and rehabilitation of New York's cold water fisheries and the DEC is a key partner that mission."

Jason Kemper, Chairman, of the New York State Conservation Fund Advisory Board said, "The opening of trout season is a great time of year to get outside and enjoy the natural resources while fishing some of New York's premier waters.  DEC's stocking efforts combined with the infrastructure work occurring at the hatcheries helps support some of the best fishing opportunities there are in nation."

Under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Adventure NY initiative, DEC is also making strategic investments to expand access to healthy, active outdoor recreation, connect more New Yorkers and visitors to nature and the outdoors, protect natural resources and boost local economies. This initiative is supporting improvements ranging from enhancements to youth camps and environmental education centers to new boat launches, duck blinds and hiking trails. To date, a total of $17 million in NY Works funding has been allocated to infrastructure repair and modernization of DEC's hatchery system.