Fishing Regulations in New York

Last Updated: 26.05.20

All NYS anglers above the age of 16 have to own and carry a fishing license. Free permits can be given to residents who are active service members of the NYS Organized Militia or US Reserve Forces, bling individuals, and veterans.

When this article was published, an annual fishing license for residents cost twenty-five dollars while those not living in New York had to pay fifty. A lifetime fishing permit, available only for NYS residents, could be purchased for four hundred and sixty dollars. As per usual, you need to carry your license or proof according to which you are exempt from owning one; otherwise, if you are caught fishing without the permit on you, you could be breaking the law.

Unlike in other states, in New York, you’re allowed to help your child catch some fish if he or she is aged under 16. You do not need to have a permit yourself. However, if you are found actively engaging in fishing, you can get a ticket. Since fines can range from $0 to $250, we strongly suggest getting a license instead.


Here is a list of endangered species:

  • Silver chub
  • Deepwater sculpin
  • Bluebreast darter
  • Gilt darter
  • Round whitefish
  • Atlantic sturgeon
  • Spoonhead sculpin
  • Pugnose shiner
  • Shortnose sturgeon


Here is a list of threatened species:

  • Eastern sand darter
  • Lake sturgeon
  • Lake chubsucker
  • Gravel chub
  • Longhead darter
  • Banded sunfish
  • Northern sunfish
  • Swamp darter
  • Mud sunfish
  • Spotted darter


You are not allowed to target any of the species mentioned above, under any circumstances. If you accidentally catch one, you should gently unhook it and release it back in the water.


When engaging in freshwater fishing, you should be aware of the following daily bag limits:

  • 5 trout at any size from April 1 through Oct 15
  • 3 lake trout at 21 inches from April 1 through Oct 15
  • 3 Landlocked or Atlantic salmon at 15 inches in the same time span as above
  • 10 Kokanee of any size in the same time span as above
  • 5 Black bass at 12 inches from the third Saturday in June through November 30th
  • 1 Muskellunge at 40 inches from the last Saturday of May through November 30th
  • 5 Northern Pike at 18 inches from the first Saturday in May through March 15th
  • 5 Pickerel at 15 inches from the first Saturday of May through March 15
  • 1 Tiger Muskellunge at 30 inches from the first Saturday in May through March 15
  • 5 Walleye at 15 inches in the time span as above
  • 25 crappie at 19 inches all year long
  • 5 lake whitefish at any size all year long
  • 50 yellow perch at any size all year long
  • 50 sunfish combined at any size all year long
  • 25 American Eel at 9 inches all year long


You also need to be aware of the following saltwater daily bag limits:

  • 10 Atlantic cod at 22 inches all year long
  • 3 Black sea bass at 15 inches from June 27 through August 31, 8 fish from Sept 1st to Oct 31st, and 10 fish from Nov 1st to Dec 31st
  • 15 Bluefish at any size as long as the first ten are at least 12”
  • No limit for haddock with a length of at least 18 inches
  • No limit for pollock at 19 inches all year long
  • 4 tautog at 16 inches from Oct 5 to Dec 14
  • 1 striped bass caught in marine waters from April 15 through December 15
  • 2 winter flounder at 12 inches from April 1 to May 30
  • 45 scup at 10 inches from Sept 1 through Oct 31, and 30 at the same length from May 1 through Dec 31



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