The New York State Trout Stream Management Plan (PDF) is founded on angler desires, sound science, and guiding principles that embrace simplicity, encourage angling participation and place value on managing for self-sustaining populations. The plan makes a sharp distinction between wild trout and stocked trout management, using a set of five management categories to clearly define fisheries management objectives. This approach balances the need to manage and restore natural populations while also supplying additional recreational opportunities.
Major Elements of the Plan
- Drawing a clear line between wild fish and stocked trout management;
- Placing greater emphasis on habitat improvement;
- Making management simpler and more understandable;
- Eliminating unnecessary regulations;
- Providing year-round fishing opportunities through the creation of a statewide catch-and-release season;
- Extending the duration of stocking on select stream reaches;
- Increasing the size of stocked fish;
- Ensuring that each stocking contains some fish that are 12 inches or larger;
- Improving the vigor of hatchery brown trout for increased survival;
- Developing an interactive map for information on stream reach management and fishing access locations; and
- Expanding outreach on the significance of wild trout populations and the water they inhabit.
Related Documents and Resources
- Categorization of New York State Trout Stream Reaches (PDF) - Updated March 28, 2023: This document contains the current list of management categories assigned to New York trout stream reaches. These reaches are updated annually prior to April 1.
- Assessment of Public Comments on Draft New York State Trout Stream Management Plan (PDF): This document provides a summary of the 489 public comments that were received on the draft plan. General theses to recurring comments were identified (22 total themes); responses to those themes are included in the document. The appendix includes the full text of comments that were received (with personal identifying information removed).
- Interactive Trout Stream Fishing Map (DECinfo Locator): find details about stocked, and stocked-extended, as well as wild-quality and wild-premier trout streams statewide. For assistance using the mapping tool, refer to the Trout Stream Map User Guide.
Stocked Trout Stream Access Verification
New York is verifying public access along Stocked and Stocked-Extended inland trout streams to ensure that trout raised with public funds are only stocked into stream reaches where public access is available and anglers can be directed to accessible locations on those reaches by DEC. Access verification will be ongoing through 2025.
Delaware Tailwaters Investigation
The Delaware tailwaters are one of New York's premier wild trout fisheries. In 2017, DEC and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission jointly developed a Fisheries Investigation Plan for the Delaware Tailwaters (PDF) to update the baseline information needed for adaptive management. The findings of this study are summarized in the report linked below:
Evaluating New York's Inland Trout Stream Catch and Release Season
Effective as of 2021, a catch and release season from October 16 through March 31 is permitted on trout streams statewide. During this period, anglers are limited to artificial lures only. Previously, the statewide trout season was closed during this period, although many stream reaches were open to fishing under special regulations. To assess any impact of the new season on wild trout populations, angling pressure and young of year trout abundance will be estimated on a statewide sample of 19 wild trout stream reaches from 2021 through 2024.
Learn more about the Angler Use and Wild Trout Young of Year Recruitment Study (PDF)
Reports by Water
For reports of trout surveys conducted on individual waters, visit the appropriate Regional Fisheries Management Reports webpage.