Editor’s Log: Notable Freshwater Changes - The Fisherman

Editor’s Log: Notable Freshwater Changes

While our area is predominantly known for its saltwater fishing, let it be known that Long Island also has over 500 lakes and ponds along with 30 miles of streams for anglers to fish.

Saltwater regulation changes tend to grab more headlines, however, for someone who started off freshwater fishing and still participates in the activity many times a season, I believe changes on the freshwater side of things should get some publicity as well.

Recently, the NYSDEC made some official changes to the freshwater regulations in New York State. Some of these specifically affect region 1 (Long Island). And in comparison to the former regulations, some of these appear to be a little confusing if it’s your first time looking at them. A notable change that had me doing a double-take was the modification to the trout regulations. The former laws had no minimum length and you could keep three fish of any size. Here are the changes, for browns and rainbows you can keep a total of five fish but the big stipulation is that only two of them can be over 12 inches. The season will remain open all year again like it was in the old regulations. Brook trout, on the other hand, will be subject to the same bag limit of five fish with no minimum length but the season will run from April 1 to October 15. Keep in mind that Long Island is also home to many different water systems with various special regulations for a number of them that are different from the ones I just mentioned above.

Being a largemouth bass angler, I couldn’t help but notice the change for region 1 in Suffolk County. Prior bucketmouth regulations had a catch and release season from December 1 to March 15. The season would be closed after the 15th and they would remain off-limits until the first Saturday in June. After the season opened, you could keep five fish over 12 inches until November 30. With the new regulations, you can target largemouth bass during the time of the year where previously you weren’t allowed to. The only stipulation is that you must practice catch and release from December 1 to June 14 and use artificial lures only. The bag limit of five fish goes into effect on June 15. The only change to largemouth bass regulations in Nassau County is they now have an open season all year, maintaining the catch and release law.

Species such as walleye, sunfish, pickerel, yellow perch and crappie also see changes in region 1 for the 2022 season. Region on changes for both Nassau and Suffolk state crappie now have a 25 fish daily bag limit with a minimum size of 10 inches. The sunfish bag limit also went up to 25 as well. Yellow perch regulations in Suffolk are now seeing a 50 fish per person bag per day too.

While I can’t cover all the special regulations for specific bodies of water in this editor’s log due to space constraints, you can read all about it by visiting the URL below, which contains the entire rundown of changes for Long Island. Remember to take a look at these before you head out to do any sort of freshwater fishing this season. A specific special regulation might just affect your favorite honey hole.

For a complete list of freshwater changes for 2022 click the link below:  https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/fish_marine_pdf/2022regchanges.pdf

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