Muskellunge season just a short cast away in New York

DEC’s Chautauqua Hatchery will raise approximately 25,000 fall fingerlings from the collected eggs, which will be stocked into 13 waters across New York.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today that the DEC is opening the statewide fishing season for muskellunge on Saturday, May 27 in most locations. However, the muskellunge season for New York’s Lake Erie, Upper Niagara River, Lower Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River will open on June 17.

New York’s statewide minimum size limit is 40 inches and Great Lakes waters’ size limit is 54 inches. See the Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide on DEC’s website for more information.

Muskellunge fisheries in New York are managed through habitat protection and enhancement, research and monitoring, stocking, and fishing regulations. At least 13 lakes and 19 rivers have muskellunge populations in New York State.

The St. Lawrence River, Upper Niagara River, and Chautauqua Lake are the most renowned musky hotspots in the state. Other quality musky waters are WanetaGreenwoodBear, and Cassadaga lakes, and the SusquehannaChenango, and Great Chazy rivers. For tips on how to catch muskies, read DEC’s Muskie 101 web page.

Anglers fishing Chautauqua Lake muskies could have a good year of fishing ahead. Chautauqua Lake is the source for DEC’s muskie stocking program. Earlier this spring, DEC staff handled 472 muskies during the annual egg-take operation, including 95 fish over 40 inches and several over 50 inches. According to Region 9 Fisheries Biologist Justin Brewer, this is the highest number of muskies handled since the DEC instituted a standardized netting for the collection of eggs in 1978. DEC’s Chautauqua Hatchery will raise approximately 25,000 fall fingerlings from the collected eggs, which will be stocked into 13 waters across New York.

— New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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