Statement From NYC DEP Commissioner Strickland On the Opening of Trout Season
The start of spring was March 20 but the real start of spring for anglers is today—the official opening of trout season. It’s a great time of year and what better way to spend it than by fishing in one of the dozens of reservoirs, lakes and streams of the city’s water supply system. The city’s water supply is host to some of the best fishing in the country. This is the kickoff to what’s going to be a great recreational season, especially because of the broad expansion of the recreational boating program at the Neversink, Pepacton and Schoharie reservoirs, which begins Memorial Day weekend. Anglers can look forward to what we hope will be a banner year of fishing in the watershed.”
City-owned reservoirs are open for fishing from shore and with fishing boats and most offer fishing opportunities for cold-water species such as trout and warm-water species such as smallmouth and largemouth bass. Approximately 33,500 acres of water surface area on 19 reservoirs are available for trout fisherman by shoreline or boat. The statewide trout season generally runs until October 15; however, on certain New York City reservoirs, trout fishing is open year-round or closes later than October 15. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation lists statewide fishing regulations at www.dec.ny.gov.
In addition to the reservoirs, there are 191 miles of stream frontage on city lands in the watershed, including in areas where public access to water is otherwise difficult. Some parcels that have been opened which offer good fishing opportunities are as follows:
- Tremper Kill Unit: Recent acquisition of 202 acres which includes 1,580’ of frontage along the Tremper Kill less than three miles north of where it empties into the Pepacton Reservoir.
- Maplecrest Unit: Recent acquisition of 176 acres which adds 3,123’ of frontage on the Batavia Kill to the 1.25 miles already protected to the east. This creek was in the eye of the storm for both Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, and stream stabilization and restoration work is ongoing.
- Fall Clove Road Unit: Recent acquisition of 166 acres which includes 1,612’ of frontage along the Fall Clove about four miles north of where it empties into the Pepacton Reservoir.
- East Bramley Mountain Unit: Recent acquisition of 162 acres which includes 2,494’ of frontage along an unnamed tributary to the Little Delaware River.
- Roaring Kill Unit: Recent acquisition of 143 acres which includes 2,177’ of frontage along the Roaring Kill in the Schoharie Reservoir Basin.
- Van Aken Road North: Recent acquisition of 23 acres which includes 1,733’ of frontage along the Bear Kill just upstream of the city’s Grand Gorge wastewater treatment plant.
- Slater Road Unit: Recent acquisition of 17 acres which includes 1,412’ of frontage along the Chestnut Creek just over three miles west of where it empties into the Rondout Reservoir.
Since 2003, DEP has significantly expanded the amount of city-owned water supply lands open for recreation to 108,000 — more than double the amount available in 2003. Of the 108,000 total acres open to recreation, 75,000 are land and 33,000 are water. Last year, DEP opened approximately 6,600 more acres of land in the watershed for recreation. DEP also expects to open an additional 7,500 acres of watershed land this year for recreation, including areas in Schoharie, Sullivan, Ulster, Greene and Delaware counties.
DEP manages the city’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including eight million in New York City, and residents of Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties. This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP employs nearly 6,000 employees, including more than 750 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and others professionals in the upstate watershed. In addition to its $49 million payroll and $132 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.5 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program with a planned $13.2 billion in investments over the next 10 years that creates up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nycwater, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nycwater.