New York fishing guide

Welcome to your key source for all fishing-related information in New York. Discover not only the prime fishing spots but also learn about the diverse species inhabiting these waters. Stay informed about the latest fishing regulations and licensing requirements for fishing in New York

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14 waterbodies
1100 cities
82 fish

Lakes and reservoirs for fishing in New York

Below are the largest and most popular lakes, reservoirs, and bays for fishing in New York. Each New York body of water includes information on fish species, analytics, and a map with fishing spots

Licenses for fishing in New York

For more information and to purchase a license, visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website

License Type Resident Fee Nonresident Fee
Annual (ages 16-69) $25 $50
Annual (ages 70+) $5 -
7-day $12 $28
1-day $5 $10
Lifetime (ages 0-69) $460 -
Lifetime (ages 70+) $65 -


  • Licenses are valid for one full year (365 days) from the date of purchase.
  • Free or reduced fee licenses are available for eligible active-duty military, military veterans with 40% or greater disability, senior citizens (70 years or older), legally blind individuals, and non-resident students attending a New York State college or university full-time.
  • You need a fishing license if you are 16 years and older and fishing for freshwater fish species.

Fishing Regulations in New York

Prohibited Gear and Fishing Methods
  • Use of explosives, poisons, or stupefying substances to catch fish is illegal.
  • Fishing with nets, traps, or seines is restricted to certain species and areas.
  • Use of fish for bait is regulated, and certain species cannot be used.
  • Snagging fish is prohibited except in designated areas during specific seasons.
  • Spearing fish is allowed only for certain species and in specific waters.
Catch Limits
  • Black bass (largemouth and smallmouth): Daily limit of 5 with a minimum length of 12 inches.
  • Crappie: Daily limit of 25, no size limit.
  • Trout and Salmon: Varies by water body and species, generally 3-5 fish.
  • Pike, Pickerel, and Tiger Muskellunge: Daily limit varies by species and area.
  • Panfish (bluegill, sunfish): No daily limit, no size limit.
  • Walleye: Daily limit of 3-5, minimum size varies by water body.
  • Striped Bass: Limits vary by area, generally 1-2 fish with size restrictions.
  • Sturgeon: Catch and release only in most waters, no harvest allowed.
  • Catfish: Varies by species and area, generally no daily limit.
  • Lake Trout: Limits vary by lake, generally 2-3 fish.
Restrictions on Access to Water Bodies
  • Access to certain waters is restricted during specific times for environmental protection.
  • Private property fishing requires explicit landowner permission.
  • Fishing in designated wilderness areas may have special access requirements.
  • No fishing zones enforced around certain infrastructures like dams and hatcheries.
  • Seasonal closures for specific waters, particularly during spawning seasons.
Zones of Special Regulation
  • Special catch-and-release areas for trout and other species.
  • Areas with gear restrictions, such as artificial lures only.
  • Slot limits for bass and other species in specific waters.
  • Special regulations in waters shared with neighboring states or Canada.
  • Trophy sections with enhanced size and limit regulations.
Protection of Rare Species
  • Endangered or threatened species are fully protected and cannot be targeted.
  • Fishing in habitats of rare species may be restricted or regulated.
  • Special permits required for research fishing involving rare species.
  • Reporting of accidental catches of rare species is encouraged for conservation purposes.
  • Areas with rare aquatic plant communities may have fishing restrictions.
Seasonal Restrictions
  • Closed seasons for certain species to protect during spawning or migration.
  • Ice fishing regulations, including specific guidelines for shelter removal.
  • Seasonal restrictions in sensitive ecological areas for conservation purposes.
  • Temporary closures during environmental events or for habitat restoration.
  • Special trout seasons in designated trout waters, including catch-and-release periods.
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