DEC proposes changes to daily sunfish, crappie catch limit

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NEW YORK (WWTI) — New regulations have been proposed regarding sunfish and crappie fishing in New York State.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced a proposal that is claimed to improve fishing for both these species. This proposal includes changes to the daily catch limit of both sunfish and crappie and special regulations on select waters across the state.

According to Commissioner Seggos, this is part of an experimental program aiming to create fishing opportunities for larger sunfish.

“To ensure quality sunfish and crappie fishing, DEC is proposing regulatory changes to benefit anglers in search of a good catch while continuing the restoration of the state’s natural resources,” Commissioner Seggos said in a press release. “New York is home to a wide variety of fishing opportunities and our goal is to increase these opportunities for anglers while bolstering local economies.”

The DEC stated that these prp[psed statewide regulations are a “modest adjustment” and reflect “recognition that more conservative harvest regulations are needed to ensure conservation” for these resources. Proposals include:

  • Reducing the statewide daily harvest limit for sunfish from 50 to 25
  • Increasing the crappie statewide minimum size limit from nine to ten inches

Additionally, the DEC proposed implementing an eight-inch minimum size limit and a daily harvest limit of 15 for sunfish in certain waters. This includes Blydenburgh Lake, Lake Welch, Canadarago and Goodyear lakes, Saratoga Lake, Sixtown Pond and Red Lake, Cazenovia Lake, Otisco Lake, Honeoye Lake and Silver Lake.

These proposals were included in the Draft Sunfish and Crappie Management Plan that the DEC released for public comment earlier in 2021. They are a part of a five-year experimental program intended to take advantage of the ecological capacity of 11 select lakes. The experiment is proposed to run from 2022 to 2025.

The regulatory proposals are available on the Department of Environmental Conservation website for review and public comment. Comments can be submitted via email or mail and will be accepted through December 26, 2021.

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