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Fish cleaning on the water

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If I read it right, you CAN clean a fish while on the lake but must leave the filet whole and skin on. Anyone steer me right. Only would consider it if late eve , no cleaning station open.

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I like to zip them open and dump the guts n' blood while out on the water.  Can still prove species and length if ever checked by DEC coming in and certainly makes for cleaner final fillet work and less scrap to dump back home

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Copied from NYS Regulations

Regulations of Harvested Fish

Fish Cleaning
  • All legally harvested fish may be gilled or gutted while on the water.
  • Possession of the following fish that have been cut, dismembered, filleted, skinned, or otherwise altered so that the species and total length of such fish cannot be easily determined is prohibited:
    • Walleye,
    • Black Bass,
    • Brook trout,
    • Lake trout, and
    • Atlantic salmon.
  • Other species of fish may be filleted provided that the skin is not removed from the fillets.
Fish Carcass Disposal

It is illegal to discard any fish carcass, or parts thereof, into the freshwaters of the state within 100 feet of shore or upon any public or private lands contiguous to and within 100 feet of such water, except:

  • On private lands by owners of such lands;
  • If properly disposing into suitable garbage or refuse collection systems or by burial;
  • Where incidental cleaning of fish for consumption is permitted. However, resulting waste may not be disposed of within 100 feet of any public launching or docking site unless into a suitable refuse collection sys tem; and
  • Fish required to be returned to the water by regulation or law.           



It's OK to fillet salmon, steelheads and browns on the water but not lakers or atlantics.

I do see a lot more boats with cleaning stations these days coming in slow with a lot of gulls following them in? 

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I had a game warden try to get me on this a few years ago. Skin must be kept on all fish if filleted on the water. Carcasses for Lake Trout and Atlantic Salmon need to be brought back to the dock with the fillets.

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Well, my side of the story. Got to Olcott Tues afternoon and she was rollin, waited a bit and went out in front of power plant, caught 6 or 7 small steelies and 1 keeper abut 25". Day 2, 6 kings and 4 steelies. Had a big king straighten a swivel and 4 or 5 real good rips, and a handfull of throwbacks. A very nice day on the pond. Came home early due to weathermans advice, Hmm, kinda questioned that after looking out the door. Anyhow, Olcott has raised their cleaning price to 2.00 a fish now, worth it but hope it doesnt go up, gonna start finding carcasses in crazy places. Like to thank everyone for their advice, good info is priceless, Tight Lines all, Mike

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