Opening dates announced for New York State 2021 muskellunge fishing season

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Muskellunge fishing (photo: NYS DEC)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — Muskellunge fishing season will open in some areas in New York State just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the opening dates of the 2021 muskellunge fishing seasons on Monday. The season for Muskellunge fishing will begin in inland water on Saturday, May 29, and Great Lakes waters on Saturday, June 19, 2021, which includes Lake Erie, Upper Niagara River, Lower Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River.

“New York waters offer excellent muskie fishing opportunities and DEC is committed to sound management of this charismatic predator,” said Commissioner Seggos. “Muskies are the largest freshwater sportfish in New York and many of the high-quality muskie fisheries in the State’s inland lakes and rivers are products of the State’s sustained investments and successful stocking programs. I encourage all New York anglers who seek a truly unique trophy fishing experience to give muskie fishing a try and find the time to enjoy the tremendous fishing opportunities that can be found here in New York State.”

The DEC referred to muskellunge as the “fish of the 10,000 casts” as the species is the top predator in New York waters. muskellunge are also known for their ability to challenge and confound anglers.

Popular hotspots for trophy “muskies” include the St. Lawrence River, Upper Niagara River and Chautauqua Lake. Additional waters known for quality muskellunge fishing include Waneta, Greenwood, Bear and Cassadaga lakes and the Susquehanna, Chenango and Great Chazy rivers.

In total, the DEC confirmed that there are at leats 13 lakes and 19 rivers that have muskellunge populations in New York State.

Muskellunge fisheries in New York State are managed through habitat protection and enhancement, research and monitoring, stocking, and fishing regulations.

Tips on how to fish for muskellunge can be found online on the Department of Environmental Conservation’s “Muskie 101” fishing guide.

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