Outdoors Niagara Opinion Poll

NYSDEC  Niagara River - Lake Ontario 
Fishing Regulations Proposals for 2004-2006  

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NYSDEC Sportfishing Regulation Change Proposals
for 2004-2006 A Summary

As part of the State Administrative Procedures Act (SAPA), proposed regulation changes are subject to public review and comment. Below is a listing of the proposed changes to New York State's freshwater fishing regulations for 2004-2006.

To submit comments on any of the proposed changes, simply send us the following e-mail: Proposed Freshwater Fishing Regulation Changes. To ensure we receive and can properly review your comment(s), you must leave the subject line as it appears on the e-mail, and be sure to indicate the Proposal ID # (s) of the regulation(s) you are commenting on. Last day for comments is April 12, 2004.

Due to the high volume of comments received, we will be unable to reply to individual submissions. However, all comments will be incorporated into a summary and addressed in our Summary Assessment of Public Comment Regarding Fishing Regulations, which will be posted on the web when completed.

Fast Index on this page: Walleye / Rainbow/Steelhead / Muskellunge / Atlantic Salmon


GL-1 Proposal to change walleye season in Lower Niagara River

Proposal: To shorten the walleye season in the Lower Niagara River from the current statewide season (1st Saturday in May through March 15th) to 1st Saturday in May to December 31st.

Objective: With a closed walleye season in January, February and early March, anglers will not target and creel the mature walleye (large females with eggs) and thus protect this spawning stock to deposit eggs prior to the May season opener.

Rationale: During the past few years walleye stocks in some areas have been experiencing serious population declines (Bay of Quinte). The Niagara River Anglers Association, through their pond aquaculture project involving rearing and stocking walleye fingerlings into the Lower River, has noticed an increase of adult walleye in the late winter which are localized prior to spawning. These mature fish are extremely accessible in these isolated areas and anglers are harvesting this spawning stock prior to egg deposition. The organized sportsmen groups in Niagara County have petitioned to close the season on December 31st.


RAINBOW & STEELHEAD - All Lake Ontario Tributaries

Proposal GL-3

Proposal: Establish a 1 fish per day creel limit for rainbow trout and steelhead in all Lake Ontario tributaries.

Objective: Greater distribution of catch opportunity, enhancement of the status of steelhead as a "trophy" fish.

Rationale: In recent years, steelhead runs in Lake Ontario tributaries have declined significantly. Steelhead runs are characterized by movements of fish into tributaries during high water events. As water levels drop, available steelhead are quickly "fished out" under the existing three fish per day daily creel limit. The proposed regulation is intended to increase the length of time that steelhead are available to anglers in tributaries and provide the opportunity to catch a steelhead to more anglers.


 MUSKELLUNGE - St. Lawrence River Lake Ontario Lower Niagara River
Proposal  GL-4

Proposal: To extend the open season for muskellunge from November 30 to December 15 for the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, and the Lower Niagara River.

Objective: Angler success rates for muskellunge increase in late fall. This proposal will expand trophy muskellunge angling opportunities.

Rationale: Per joint NYSDEC/Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Muskellunge Management Plan, maintain common regulations for muskellunge (Ontario extending season to December 15 effective 01/01/04).


ATLANTIC SALMON   Lower Niagara River   (Niagara Co.)
Proposal GL-9   

Proposal: Lower Niagara River: correct regulations for Atlantic salmon so that only one fish 25 inches can be harvested.

Objective: Reduced harvest of Atlantic salmon in the Lower Niagara River.

Rationale: Minimize harvest of Atlantic salmon in the Lower Niagara River.


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