Final NY Trout Stream Regulations - The Fisherman

Final NY Trout Stream Regulations

New trout stream regulations that took effect on April 1, 2021, will help improve the management of inland trout streams across the state. The new state regulations support the objectives of the five management categories of DEC’s Trout Stream Management Plan and significantly increase trout stream angling opportunities by allowing fishing year-round. In addition, DEC launched a new interactive Trout Stream Fishing Map to provide anglers with information about how and where to find their preferred type of trout angling opportunities.

“These newly finalized trout stream regulations will help DEC implement our ongoing approach to trout stream management, which is based in science and developed transparently with public input,” said Department of Environmental  Commissioner Basil Seggos. “These regulations not only extend fishing opportunities, but also balance the desires of New York State’s diverse trout stream anglers with our responsibility to manage these resources to their fullest ecological and recreational potential. And the new interactive Trout Stream Fishing Map launched today adds to the incredible resources available on the DECInfo Locator, making it easier than ever before to access information about New York’s outdoor resources.”

The Trout Stream Management Plan’s categories, objectives, and strategies were developed to achieve outcomes identified by a diverse audience of anglers that participated in more than 20 public meetings held across the state. These changes also reflect DEC’s continuing efforts to simplify regulations whenever possible to make fishing more accessible and enjoyable. The rulemaking eliminates more than 20 types of special regulations associated with trout stream reaches, reducing 26 regulations to four, while sustaining a consistent level of resource protection.

The new regulations are:

  • Daily creel limit of five trout per day with no more than two longer than 12 inches statewide and for reaches categorized as Wild or Stocked in effect from April 1 through October 15;
  • Daily creel limit of three trout per day with no more than one longer than 12 inches for reaches designated as Wild-Quality or Stocked-Extended in effect from April 1 through October 15;
  • Daily creel limit of one trout per day, any size, for reaches designated as Wild-Premier in effect from April 1 through October 15; and
  • Creation of a statewide catch-and-release trout season in effect from October 16 to March 31. During this period anglers are restricted to artificial lures only and must promptly release all trout caught.

Some exceptions apply for certain stream reaches. See special regulations for your particular region. The new 2021 fishing regulations guide lists the new regulations with descriptions of the applicable stream reaches. A listing of how publicly accessible trout stream reaches are categorized is also available in DEC’s Categorization of New York State Trout Stream Reaches, available at