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Questions about DEC regulation changes?

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A question about pike season opener came up in another thread and I posted some info from the DEC to try and help clarify the changes. So I thought it deserved it's own thread for those who have questions. Below is a copy of what I posted. In it there is also a link to the DEC's full 2022-2023 Fishing Regulation Guide.


Yes, starting this year it is May 1st (it used to be 1st Sat in May). That also includes opener for pickerel, walleye and tiger musky. They wanted to get rid of the "day of the week" start and stop dates in favor of 'month/day". Here is a link to the 2022-2023 regulations. From this page you can go to various sections of the regulations to get more detail such as creel and size limits, special regs etc.




The cover page gives a basic list of changes for state wide regulations but there may be some variations in specific waters (and maybe counties) such as some southern tier tribs. Here is text from that page that gives the basics for pike, pickerel, walleye and tiger musky.


New specific dates replaced floating dates for statewide season openers to include:

  • May 1 - Walleye, Northern Pike, Pickerel and Tiger Muskellunge;
  • June 1 - Muskellunge. (Note that in 2022, DEC will allow for the fishing of muskellunge beginning the last Saturday in May to accommodate previously planned fishing trips); and
  • June 15 - Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass.

Note that the opening day for musky is June 1st but THIS YEAR they are allowing people to fish for musky on the last Sat in May (this is for waters like Chautauqua Lake and Waneta Lake).

Also note that musky in the Great Lakes from Lake Erie to the St. Lawrence River does not open until June 15th which is 3 days earlier than the third Sat (which it used to be).

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Here is part of a weekly email I get from the DEC that explains a little more. So there are some exceptions to the rules in specific regions or waters. So it is always a good idea to check because sometimes they change those also.


DEC Reminds Anglers of Special Fishing Regulations In Effect for Upcoming Fishing Seasons

Opening Day for Many Cool Water Species Opens on May 1, Except in Border Waters

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation today reminded anglers to always consult the fishing regulations guide to ensure they are complying with the seasonal restrictions and waterbody-specific rules before heading out onto the water. Fishing regulation changes implemented earlier this year replaced the floating "Saturday" season openers in most - but not all - locations with a fixed May 1 date, in addition to other improvements to enhance fishing opportunities across the state.

Special regulations often apply to border waters such as the Delaware and West Branch Delaware rivers, Greenwood Lake, Lake Champlain and its tributaries, and Indian Lake (NY/CT). For instance, the walleye season for Lake Champlain and its tributaries will continue to open on the first Saturday of the month of May each year, which is May 7 in 2022.

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