The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has unveiled two new tools that will help rookie and veteran freshwater anglers alike improve their skills, Commissioner Basil Seggos announced Monday.
DEC has developed a new instructional manual entitled “The I FISH NY Beginners’ Guide to Freshwater Fishing.” The new manual is part of a series of publications DEC has produced recently designed to get more people involved in the sport of fishing in New York State.
DEC also stocks more than 2.3 million catchable-size brook, brown and rainbow trout in over 309 lakes and ponds and roughly 2,900 miles of streams across the state each spring. To offer a better angling experience, DEC recently collaborated with the Office of Information Technology Services to provide the trout stocking data on the Open NY (Data.NY.GOV) website.
“Fishing is a proud and economically important tradition in New York and our ‘I FISH NY Beginners’ Guide to Freshwater Fishing’ and the new portal for fish stocking data are both designed to provide detailed information on the best places to fish in New York,” Commissioner Seggos said. “People of all ages and angling abilities will find these tools helpful as they fish the more than 7,500 lakes, ponds and reservoirs and 70,000 miles of rivers and streams New York is home to.”
The I FISH NY Beginners’ Guide to Freshwater Fishing manual can be downloaded at DEC’s website. The guide is composed of nine modules:
• The Fishes of New York
• Basic Fishing Tackle and Techniques
• Care of Your Catch
• Safe and Responsible Angling
• Intermediate Fishing Tackle and Techniques
• The Waters of New York
• Fisheries Management
• Aquatic Life
• Ice Fishing
The beginners’ guide provides important information for those desiring to get started in the sport of fishing while also providing a resource for educators to teach students on fish and the sport of fishing. The manual will also prove helpful to those conducting free fishing events as part of the Governor’s expanded free fishing clinic program. Organizations or groups interested in conducting an event can find instructions and an application form on DEC’s website at the Conduct a Free Fishing Clinic webpage.
To give better access to fishing stocking information, DEC collaborated with the Office of Information Technology Services to provide searchable fish stocking data on the Open NY (Data.NY.GOV) website. Previously, the fish stocking information was only available in county listings on the DEC website.
There are two different data sets to choose from the Open NY website:
Current Season Spring Trout Stocking (link leaves DEC’s website) contains the current year DEC spring stocking information for “catchable sized” brown, brook and rainbow trout. This data set will be renewed annually in mid-March.
Fish Stocking Lists from 2011 to 2015 (link leaves DEC’s website) contains the actual fish stockings by DEC and Essex, Onondaga and Warren counties for all fish species. This data set is particularly useful for people who want to fish in “put-grow-and-take” waters where fish are stocked at a small size and allowed to grow to a size anglers can keep. Now, an angler will be able to look back at the stockings over the past five years in their search for a fishing destination. This data set will be updated in May the year after stocking was completed.
There are also two different ways to view the stocking information. The links above will take you to a spread sheet-like dataset that allows you to filter the data on any of the columns (such as County, Waterbody, Species and size). But you can also search the data with a user interface that allows you to search multiple fields and then use graph features to add additional filters. The links for the user interfaces available on the Open NY website are:
Current Season Spring Trout Stocking (link leaves DEC’s website)
Fish Stocking Lists (Actual): Beginning 2011 (link leaves DEC’s website)
The new stocking data sets will help anglers to plan their fishing trips to take advantage of the plentiful fishing opportunities in New York State.
The I FISH NY fishing promotion efforts along with the trout stocking info on the Data.NY.GOV website are part of Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative. This initiative is designed to improve recreational opportunities for sportsmen and women and to boost tourism activities throughout the state. It includes streamlining fishing and hunting licenses, reducing license fees, and improving access to fishing and hunting in New York State.
Under the 2016-17 budget, Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative provides $3 million for State land access projects and $4 million for hunting and fishing infrastructure. The 2015-16 budget also created a new capital account, which, along with federal Pittman-Robertson funds, will be used to manage, protect and restore fish and wildlife habitat and will improve and develop public access for fish and wildlife-related recreation. This year’s commitment builds on the previous $6 million in funding for 50 new projects to provide access to approximately 380,000 acres of existing State lands for recreation, including boat launches, bird-watching areas, trails and hunting blinds, and $8 million for upgrades and improvements to fish hatcheries statewide.