Changing Fishing Regulations

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Highlights of 2017/18 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Changes from the DEC (Seneca Nation Changes Below)

The following is a summary of the freshwater fishing regulation changes for the April 1, 2017 through March 31, 2018 period:

  • An 18 inch minimum size limit and daily creel limit of 3 has been established for walleye in Titicus Reservoir (Westchester County); Sacandaga Lake and tributaries and outlet and Lake Pleasant and tributaries (Hamilton County); Kiwassa Lake, St. Regis Falls Impoundment, and Little Wolf Pond (Franklin County); Putnam Pond (Essex County); Cazenovia and DeRuyter lakes (Madison County); Waterport Reservoir (Orleans County); Rio Reservoir (Orange and Sullivan counties); East Sidney Reservoir (Delaware County); Taghkanic Lake (Columbia County); Canadarago Lake (Otsego County); and additional portions of the Seneca River (Cayuga, Onondaga, Seneca and Wayne counties).
  • The 18 inch minimum size limit and daily creel limit of 3 walleye has been eliminated in Chautauqua Lake (Chautauqua County) and Franklin Falls Flow (Essex County).
  • Three short sections of Fish Creek, Indian River and Grasse River in St. Lawrence County have been closed to all fishing from March 16th until the opening of walleye season.
  • The number of brown trout and rainbow trout that can be kept as part of a 5 fish daily limit in Skaneateles Lake has been reduced to no more than 3 of either species.
  • The allowable daily harvest of brown trout and rainbow trout has been reduced from 5 of each to 3 of each and the allowable daily harvest of lake trout has been increased from 3 to 5 as part of the 5 in any combination daily limit regulation for trout, lake trout, and landlocked salmon on Cayuga and Owasco lakes.
  • The minimum size limit for rainbow trout has been increased from 9 to 15 inches on Owasco, Skaneateles and Otisco Lake tributaries.
  • Ice fishing is now permitted on Rushford Lake in Allegany County.
  • Crane Pond (Essex County) has been reopened to ice fishing.
  • The restriction on the number of devices allowed for ice fishing on Bigsby and Copperas ponds (Essex County), Upper Saranac Lake (Franklin County), and Fawn Lake (Hamilton County) has been continued.
  • The Lake Erie and tributaries 20 inch minimum size limit, 1 fish daily limit black bass regulation has been expanded to run December 1 through the Friday before the third Saturday in June.
  • The daily limit for northern pike in the St. Lawrence River has been reduced from 5 to 3.
  • The special trout regulation on Whey Pond (Franklin County) has been eliminated.
  • The special regulation for landlocked salmon on Piseco Lake (Hamilton County) has been eliminated.
  • The minimum size length for lake trout in Woodhull Lake (Herkimer County) has been decreased from 21 to 18 inches.
  • The prohibition on the use or possession of smelt in Lake George has been removed and smelt may now be caught by angling.
  • The special regulation for black bass in the Hamilton County portion of the Hudson River has been eliminated.
  • The minimum size limit for trout at Colgate Lake (Greene County) has been decreased from 12 to 9 inches.
  • The taking of suckers by snatching (but not blind snatching) from January 1 through March 15 in specific portions of the Otselic and Tioughnioga rivers in Cortland County is now permitted.
  • Snatching and blind snatching of lake whitefish is no longer permitted on Piseco Lake in Hamilton County.
  • Spearing bullheads and suckers in all Cayuga and Oswego county tributaries to Lake Ontario is no longer permitted.
  • Fishing is now prohibited at any time on Buttermilk Creek in Cattaraugus County from the mouth to Fox Valley Road Bridge.

Several changes were also made to clarify or better define existing regulations.  Read more on the Cattaraugus Creek on the DEC website

Seneca Nation Changes:

  • All seasonal licenses are valid for one calendar year from date of purchase. 
  • Increase in fishing license fees.

To see all regulations, size/creel limits and information on fishing on Seneca Nation, please go to

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