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DEC Announces Black Bass Fishing Season Opens June 20

June 11, 2020   04:00 p.m.
    Press Release from NYS DEC:

    DEC Announces Black Bass Fishing Season Opens June 20

    Opportunities Abound for New York's Most Popular Freshwater Sportfish

    New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner
    (DEC) Basil Seggos announced today that the traditional harvest season for
    Largemouth and Smallmouth bass opens on June 20 and closes Nov. 30. In most
    waters, there is also a catch and release season starting on Dec. 1, and
    continuing until the start of the regular season, during which anglers can fish for
    bass using artificial lures. There are special fishing regulations for some waters,
    and York anglers should check the current fishing regulations guide before
    heading out to fish.

    "New York provides some of the best bass fishing in the country, including the St.
    Lawrence River, which in 2019 was named the top bass 'lake' in the country by
    Bassmaster Magazine," Commissioner Seggos said. "As New Yorkers start
    heading outdoors for the summer season after months of staying home to
    prevent the spread of COVID-19, there's nothing better than spending time with
    family and friends on the water pursuing these exciting sportfish while still
    recreating responsibly and practicing social distancing."

    Black bass are New York's number one freshwater sportfish because they are
    aggressive, typically abundant, and are found in waters throughout New York.
    Big bass can be caught in small neighborhood ponds, warmwater rivers and
    streams, and lakes of all sizes.

    Often overlooked and underutilized by anglers, New York's inland rivers and
    streams can provide exceptional bass fishing. Some of the state's most well-
    known black bass rivers include the St. Lawrence, Susquehanna, Hudson,
    Seneca, Allegheny, Chemung, Mohawk, Schoharie and Raquette rivers, but
    there are many others throughout the state that provide great opportunities. A
    recent study by DEC found that Smallmouth bass populations in a number of
    rivers and streams managed under a 10-inch minimum size limit had similar
    growth and size structures as populations in lakes, ponds, and other rivers
    managed under the statewide 12-inch minimum size limit.

    Anglers are reminded that fishing for black bass (including catch and release) is
    prohibited outside of the open season in Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Hamilton, and
    Franklin counties. In these counties, black bass open season is June 20 - Nov.

    During the State's ongoing response to COVID-19, DEC reminds anglers to
    maintain safe social distancing while fishing (PDF) to help stop the spread of the
    coronavirus. Guidelines include:

  • Fish local: Stay close to home. Keep your fishing trip short. Avoid high-traffic
  • Be safe: Avoid crowds and groups. Keep a distance of six feet or more from
    others. When fishing from a boat, make sure it's large enough so persons
    on board are at least six feet from one another. If such distance cannot be
    maintained, acceptable face coverings must be worn at all times by all
    individuals on the vessel.
  • Stay home: If you're not feeling well, stay home. Anyone 70 and older or
    with a compromised immune system should postpone their trip.
  • Be adaptive: Move quickly through parking lots and paths. If crowded,
    choose a different fishing location, or time to visit.

    Anglers fishing from boats should be able to maintain at least six feet of distance
    between one another. For more information on boating guidelines and safety, go
    to State Parks website and DEC's website.