DEC proposes new daily limit for walleye on Oneida Lake

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NEW YORK (WWTI) — A new daily limit has been proposed for Walleye anglers on Oneida Lake.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has released proposed regulations to increase the daily catch limit of walleye in Oneida Lake. This proposes the limit to be increased from three fish per day to the statewide daily possession limit of five per day. According to DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos, this change was proposed as walleye populations continue to grow.

“The walleye population in Oneida Lake is at a record high and we no longer need to maintain a reduced daily limit,” Commissioner Seggos in a press release. “This proposal encourages the increased harvest necessary to help sustain this outstanding fishery for years to come.”

These populations in Oneida Lake have been studied by scientists since the mid-1950s. The population have fluctuated throughout the years, decreasing from over one million fish in 1980s to less than 300,000 in the later 1990s. To address this change, the DEC reduced the daily possession limit on Oneida Lake to three in 2000.

However, by 2019, the adult walleye population rebounded to an estimated one million fish. Additionally, in 2020, the population broke a record and hit 1.2 million fish.

The DEC added that this record-breaking population could potentially create negative impacts on the forage base in the lake, specifically on yellow perch. Further stating that “this proposed moderate increase in walleye harvest is necessary for the health of both the walleye and yellow perch fisheries.”

Proposed regulations on the daily increase in Oneida Lake can be found on the DEC website. The Department is accepting public comment through October 17.

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