Opening day for trout and salmon fishing is Monday, April 1, but high, cold water and icy banks and streambeds are anticipated.
Those conditions could make for dangerous early season angling, particularly in northern areas of the state, Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said today.
"Although opening day conditions may be less than ideal for fishing in most sections of the state, the urge to wet a line and look forward to spring is more than enough reason to draw anglers to their nearest stream or pond,” said Martens.
Early season trout are typically lethargic and anglers will have best success using bait and lures such as spinners that can be fished slow and deep, according to the DEC. Fishing will improve markedly once water temperatures warm later in the spring. This also encourages aquatic insect activity, which will improve opportunities for those preferring to use fly fishing gear.
DEC plans to stock more than 2.1 million catchable-size brook, brown and rainbow trout in 307 lakes and ponds and roughly 3,000 miles of streams across the state. Spring stockings will include 1.51 million brown trout, 432,000 rainbow trout and 158,000 brook trout. About 97,000 two-year-old brown trout 12-13 inches in length will also be stocked into lakes and streams across the state, according to the DEC.
Roughly 2.05 million yearling lake trout, steelhead, landlocked salmon, splake and coho salmon will be also be stocked by DEC this spring to provide angling opportunities over the next several years.
For a complete list of waters planned to be stocked with trout this spring, click here.
A listing of waters stocked with all sizes of trout last year can be found here.
Early season trout fishing recommendations by DEC staff in each region can be found in the 2013 Coldwater Fishing Forecast here. Anglers searching for places to fish can check out the I FISH NY Guide to Freshwater Fishing in New York State. This map/brochure provides information on over 320 lakes and pond and 110 rivers. Anglers desiring to order a map may do so by e-mailing their name and address to email@example.com (include NY FISHING MAP in the subject line). An interactive version of the guide can also be found here.
“Governor Cuomo’s 'New York’s Open for Hunting and Fishing Initiative' strives to increase opportunities for angling in New York State through stocking, increased access and reduced license fees,” said Martens. “Trout and salmon are extremely popular sportfish in New York state with nearly 6 million days spent annually by New York anglers in search of trout and salmon.