New York is a big state. Therefore fisheries near Buffalo likely face different challenges than those in Westchester. The Empire State prides itself in regulations but sometimes has to simplify those rules in order to accommodate such a large area of different terrain. The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation made some of those adaptations on Tuesday.

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According to the NYSDEC website, the changes for 2022 are intended to reduce the number of special regulations while keeping some “that are still necessary, particularly for waters that require unique management strategies to achieve desired fisheries outcomes” the agency said in a press release.

Black Crappie caught from a Minnesota Lake in the spring
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According to their statement on Tuesday, the "DEC adopted more conservative harvest regulations for sunfish to protect populations from overharvest and increase the minimum size limit for crappie to 10 inches to improve the stability and size structure of populations." The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation provided a summary of the changes that go into effect on April 1, 2022.

Fishing. Close-up shut of a fish hook under water
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New statewide regulation for rainbow trout, brown trout, and splake in lakes and ponds. The season will now be open year-round, with a five-fish daily limit, any size, with a "no more than two longer than 12 inches" harvest rule. Statewide Atlantic salmon regulations will now allow for a year-round open season;

Ice fishing. Fisherman sitting on a frozen lake for fishing
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Ice fishing is permitted on all waters in New York unless specifically prohibited with the exception of Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Warren, and Washington counties where previous rules remain.

Beautiful predator fish - walleye
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New specific dates for statewide season openers include:
*May 1 - Walleye, Northern Pike, Pickerel and Tiger Muskellunge;
*June 1 - Muskellunge. (Note that in 2022, DEC will allow for the fishing of muskellunge beginning the last Saturday in May to accommodate previously planned fishing trips)
*June 15 - Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass.

chug bait on jumping smallmouth bass
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The statewide sunfish daily harvest limit has been reduced from 50 to 25 fish and the statewide minimum size limit for crappie has been increased from nine inches to ten inches. Make sure that you check out the DEC website for any rule changes that could effect you. Can't wait to get out there! Tight lines!

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