Western New York Fishing Magazine

Changes to Western New York Fishing Regulations – 2013

Each year, when you renew your fishing license, it’s important to review key changes to New York State Fishing Regulation to ensure you won’t be in for any nasty surprises when you encounter your friendly neighborhood DEC Officer.New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

It’s the responsibility of every fisherman to be aware of these changes, and sometimes they’re fairly subtle and can cause some confusion. Given that it’s a relatively short publication, the Regulations Guide can be a bit vague.  Here’ we’ll dissect some of the changes in 2013 Fishing Regulations, and how in particular they affect the waters of Western New York.

Lake Erie and Upper Niagara Walleye Limit Changed

For those of us that like to target, and potentially consume Walleye, the first important change to note is that the Daily Limit for Walleye on the Upper Niagara River as well as NYS water in Lake Erie has been raised from 5 to 6 per day.

Open season remains from the 1st Saturday in May through March 15th.  Minimum length remains 15 inches.

Of special note is that this includes the tributaries, meaning any water flowing into Lake Erie and the Upper Niagara River is included.

No changes were made affecting the Lower Niagara River, Lake Ontario, or respective tributaries.

Hook Limit Change – Lake Erie Tribs During Special Regulations Season

Lake Erie tributaries are considered to be under Special Regulations from September 1st through March 31st each year.  This is primarily to manage the trout and salmon runs.

Previously, only single free swinging hooks with a maximum gap of 1/2 inch were allowed.  This is the case in most Great Lakes tributaries.

However, for Lake Erie tributaries, single, double, and treble hooks are now allowed during the Special Regulation season.  Maximum hook gap remains at one half inch.  No changes were made to how you can weight those hooks. Those rules, per the book:

Leaders and weights

  • The distance between the hook, artificial fly or lure and any weight attached to the line or leader, whether fixed or sliding, shall not exceed four feet.
  • In addition, when the above special tributary regulations are in effect for Lake Ontario tributaries in Oswego and Cayuga counties, and the Genesee River (Monroe County) from the Driving Park Bridge upstream to the Lower Falls: weight shall not be added to the line, leader, swivels, artificial fly or lure in any manner such that the weight hangs lower than the attached hook, artificial fly or lure when the line or leader is suspended vertically from the rod.

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About Kevin

Kevin is an internet marketer and web analyst by trade, but is found on the water in a lot of his free time. Originally from Buffalo, NY, Kevin now resides in Scottsville with his wife. His favorite species to fish are pike, smallmouth bass, and wild trout.

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