Bill Hilts Jr.: Time to comment on proposed changes to fishing regulations is approaching | Outside

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In case you were wondering how this affects trout ponds and lakes in Western New York (Region 9), Allen, Case, Harwood, New Albion, Red House, and Quaker Lakes already have the regulations in place. The only one that would be affected is Lake Rushford and only the dates would change – April 1 to November 30 year-round.

Brook trout is another story. “Brook trout is our state fish,” insists Hurst. “They are beautiful and special, a canary in a coal mine kind of fish. We need to send the message that these fish are different and important. Therefore, they must be managed differently.

The brook trout proposal would establish a regulation for brook trout in lakes and ponds that would run from April 1 to October 15. The daily limit would be the same for rainbows and browns, a limit of five fish of any size, but no more than two that are over 12 inches.

Brook trout waters are a combination of wild and self-sustaining fisheries and stocking. There are about 50 lakes and ponds that are self-sufficient and nearly 50 more have the potential to be self-sufficient. About 321 ponds and lakes are managed to put-grow-take. More than 400 of these ponds do not allow ice fishing and prohibit the use of live bait.

Another proposed regulation will ensure consistency of opening and closing dates for all sport fishing seasons based on public input. May 1 will be open day for walleye, northern pike, walleye and tiger muskellunge. It is currently the first Saturday in May. The opening date for the state’s muskellunge season would be June 1 (it’s not Great Lakes season) and June 15 for the regular bass season.

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