No April Fool's, DEP ready for fishermen


The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reminds anglers that its upstate reservoirs and several other properties will be open for fishing when the season begins April 1.
Twenty-two City-owned reservoirs and lakes, covering roughly 33,500 acres, will be open for fishing from shore or with fishing boats.
Most offer fishing opportunities for cold-water species such as trout and warm-water species such as smallmouth and largemouth bass.
New York's trout season generally runs until October 15.
However, the trout fishing season on certain New York City reservoirs is open year-round or closes later than October 15.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation outlines statewide fishing regulations on its website at
"Spring has brought another trout fishing season to our upstate watersheds, including streams and rivers where early innovations contributed to the strong and unique heritage of angling in North America," DEP Commissioner Carter Strickland said.
"We are excited to offer expanded fishing opportunities on dozens of reservoirs and streams, including the new pilot program that allows for the use of electric trolling motors on fishing boats at Cannonsville Reservoir."
April 1 also marks the start of a new pilot program that will allow electric trolling motors for fishing on Cannonsville Reservoir. The electric trolling motors can only be affixed to row boats or jon boats for the purpose of fishing.
Electric trolling motors must be powered by sealed, marine grade batteries and cannot use gasoline or oil.
In addition, the pilot program requires that electric trolling motors must be steam cleaned by a certified vendor, not exceed 55 pounds of thrust, and their batteries cannot exceed 12 volts.
Motors can be stored along with boats at the reservoirs, but the batteries must be removed after each use.
Those using trolling motors must also follow state regulations that require boaters to have a whistle, hand lantern, and anchor on board. They must also register their boats with the state Department of Motor Vehicles.
The one-year pilot comes after last year's successful expansion of the recreational boating program, and it marks the first time that motorized boating of any kind will be allowed on a City reservoir.
DEP will continue to monitor water quality throughout the trial period to ensure the electric trolling motors do not affect the drinking water supply. More information about the pilot program can be found on the Watershed Recreation page on the DEP website,
In addition to reservoirs, there are more than 191 miles of stream frontage on city lands in the watershed, including in areas where public access to water is otherwise difficult. Some open parcels that offer good fishing include:
• Tremper Kill Unit: Comprises 202 acres and includes 1,580 feet of frontage along the Tremper Kill, less than three miles north of where it empties into the Pepacton Reservoir. Access is off Route 1 in Andes, Delaware County. A DEP access permit is not required.
• Maplecrest Unit: Comprises 632 acres and includes 3,123 feet of frontage on the Batavia Kill. Access is off County Road 40 in Windham, Greene County. A DEP access permit is not required.
• Fall Clove Road Unit: Comprises 340 acres and includes 1,612 feet of frontage along the Fall Clove, about four miles north of where it empties into the Pepacton Reservoir. Access is off Fall Clove Road in Andes, Delaware County. A DEP access permit is not required.
• East Bramley Mountain Unit: Comprises 162 acres and includes 2,494 feet of frontage along an unnamed tributary of the Little Delaware River. Access is off East Bramley Mountain Road in Bovina, Delaware County. A DEP access permit is not required.
• Roaring Kill Unit: Comprises 143 acres and includes 2,177 feet of frontage along the Roaring Kill in the Schoharie Reservoir Basin. Access is off Mink Hollow Road in Hunter, Greene County. A DEP access permit is not required.
• Van Aken Road North: Comprises 23 acres and includes 1,733 feet of frontage along the Bear Kill, just upstream of the City's Grand Gorge wastewater treatment plant. Access is off Van Aken Road in Roxbury, Delaware County. A DEP access permit is required.
• Slater Road Unit: Comprises 17 acres and includes 1,412 feet of frontage along the Chestnut Creek, just more than 3 miles west of where it empties into the Rondout Reservoir. Access is off Slater Road in Neversink, Sullivan County. A DEP access permit is required.
Fishing on all City-owned reservoirs and lakes requires a free permit that can be obtained on the DEP website.
Those with questions about permitting may also e-mail or call (800) 575-LAND.
Those fishing on streams that run across City-owned land should carefully check signs in those recreation units to determine whether a permit is required, or if that unit is a public access area that allows recreation without a permit.
DEP will also support an outreach effort on April 1 to educate fishermen and other outdoor recreationalists about the threat of invasive species. The outreach effort is being coordinated by the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) with support from at least 20 trained volunteers from several agencies, including DEP.
Volunteers will be stationed at fishing access points in the Ashokan, Delaware, and Schoharie basins to inform fishermen about common invasive species such as zebra mussels, didymo, and the emerald ash borer, and ways to prevent spreading them. Invasive species of animals, plants, and microbes that are not native to North America can cause economic and environmental damage that result in an estimated $120 billion in damage each year in the United States.
Some invasive species could threaten water quality by killing trees that naturally filter water, clogging intake pipes or introducing harmful algae or toxins into the water.
To protect against the threat of invasive species, DEP requires all boats to be steam cleaned before they are used on reservoirs.