ALBANY, NY (WKBW/NYSDEC) -- May 1st is the season opener for a number of popular game fish in New York State.
The State DEC reminds anglers that May 1 is the opening day for Walleye, Northern Pike, Pickerel and Tiger Muskellunge. The catch-and-release bass season is also now underway on most state water bodies.
The New York Department of Environment Conservation released the following press release and fishing tips:
State Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis today reminded anglers that fishing season in New York gets into full swing on May 1, the opening day for Walleye, Northern Pike, Pickerel and Tiger Muskellunge. Also, the catch-and-release bass season is now underway on most state water bodies.
"Our recent angler survey reinforced how popular warm-water fishing is in New York," Commissioner Grannis said, "and good fishing opportunities for black bass, walleye, panfish and other warm-water species can be found throughout the state in 2010."
Of the warm-water species, walleye are the traditional primary target this time of year; walleye fishing opportunities exist in more than 100 water bodies throughout the state. Over the last five years and in almost all regions of the state, DEC has stocked 60 waters with walleye fry or fingerlings. Through these and other DEC management actions, new walleye populations are being established and others are being maintained or restored.
Hot Spots and Maps
The DEC's fishing homepage (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/fishing.html) provides a wealth of information on freshwater fishing, including current fishing tips, fishing regulations and a list of warm-water fishing locations. In addition, DEC suggests regional hot spots (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/64710.html) that should provide excellent fishing in 2010. Lake contour maps are available for many of these locations (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9920.html).
Preventing Invasive Species and Fish Diseases
Anglers are reminded to be sure to disinfect their fishing equipment, including waders and boots, before entering a new body of water. This is the only way to prevent the spread of potentially damaging invasive plant and animal species (didymo and zebra mussels) and fish diseases (Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) and whirling disease). Methods to clean and disinfect fishing gear can be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/50121.html.
Use Baitfish Wisely
Fish diseases can also be spread through the careless use of baitfish. Anglers are reminded that a "Green List" of commercially available baitfish species has now been established in regulation. In most cases, these fish must also be certified as disease free. For a complete discussion of these regulations and how to identify approved baitfish species, download the brochure "Baitfish of New York State" (PDF, 1.85 Mb) at www.dec.ny.gov/docs/fish_marine_pdf/baitfishofny.pdf. Personal collection and use of baitfish other than those on the "Green List" is permitted, but only on the water from which they were collected and they may not be transported overland by motorized vehicle.
Habitat Stamp and The Conservationist
Commissioner Grannis also encouraged all outdoor enthusiasts to consider purchasing a Habitat/Access Stamp, an optional stamp that helps support the DEC's efforts to conserve habitat and increase public access for fish and wildlife-related recreation. This year's stamp features a drawing of a pair of playful red fox. Buying a $5 stamp is a way to help conserve New York's wildlife heritage. More information about purchasing a Habitat Stamp is available here. Coverage about the many species and habitats the stamp and other DEC initiatives help protect, as well as important environmental issues affecting the state can be delivered to your doorstep through a subscription to DEC's Conservationist magazine (http://www.dec.ny.gov/pubs/conservationist.html).