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March 24, 2014

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Department of Environmental Protection Encourages Anglers to Use Expanded Access to Reservoirs, Streams and Creeks as Trout Fishing Season Begins

City Promotes Access to 33,500 Acres of Reservoir and Lakes, Along with 209 Miles of Streams and Creeks that offer Fishing for Trout and Bass

Due to the Cold Winter, Most Reservoirs Remain Covered in Ice.  Boats are not Permitted on City Reservoirs and Lakes Until They are Free of Ice

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today reminds anglers that its upstate reservoirs and dozens of properties along creeks and streams will be open for fishing when trout season begins April 1. Twenty-two reservoirs and lakes, covering roughly 33,500 acres, will be open for fishing from shore or from boats that have a valid DEP boat tag. Most of these reservoirs and lakes include habitat 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 Oct. 15. However, the trout fishing season on certain New York City reservoirs is open year-round or closes later than Oct. 15. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation outlines statewide fishing regulations, including information on licenses, catch limits, and stocking, on its website

“DEP is proud to support the strong heritage of fishing that has thrived for generations throughout the upstate watersheds, including the Catskill streams and rivers that are hailed as the birthplace of fly fishing in North America,” said DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd. “As anglers prepare for the first cast of the season, DEP encourages them to take advantage of expanded access and new recreation programs across the watersheds.”

In 2013, DEP enhanced fishing access by starting two new recreation programs. These included the first year of a pilot program to allow electric trolling motors for fishing at Cannonsville Reservoir. DEP issued 112 tags to fishermen from New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania who used electric trolling motors on their row boats last year. The pilot program will continue this year at Cannonsville Reservoir only. More information about the electric trolling motor pilot can be found on the DEP website by clicking here. 2013 also marked the first time that state-certified outdoor guides were permitted to offer their services – including guided fishing trips – on water supply reservoirs and lands. Currently, 24 certified outdoor guides are approved for the program on City-owned lands and waters. More information about the guide program can be found by clicking here.  

In addition to its reservoirs and lakes, the City also owns protected land in the watersheds that include roughly 209 miles of frontage along rivers, streams and creeks that are suitable for trout fishing. Some open parcels that offer excellent trout fishing include:

  • Bloomville Unit: Comprises 355 acres and includes a half mile of frontage along the West Branch of the Delaware River. Access is off New York State Route 10 in Kortright, Delaware County. A DEP access permit is not required.
  • East Branch Delaware Unit: Comprises 61 acres and includes more than a mile of frontage on the East Branch of the Delaware River. Access is along County Highway 41 in Roxbury, Delaware County. A DEP access permit is not required.
  • Batavia Unit: Comprises 428 acres with three-quarters of a mile of frontage on the Batavia Kill. Access can be found at the Ashland Connector Reach kiosk off Route 23 in Ashland, Greene County. A DEP access permit is not required.
  • Schoharie Creek Unit: Comprises 58 acres and nearly 2,000 feet of frontage along the Schoharie Creek. Limited access is along Route 23A in Prattsville, Greene County. A DEP access permit is not required.
  • Bushkill Unit: Comprises 18 acres with several hundred feet of frontage along the Bushkill and Dry Brook. Access is along Watson Hollow Road in Olive, Ulster County. A DEP access permit is required.
  • Woodland Valley Unit: Comprises 33 acres with 900 feet of frontage along the Woodland Creek. Access is along Woodland Valley Road in Shandaken, Ulster County. A DEP access permit is not required.
  • Manor Kill Unit: Comprises 586 acres with 1,000 feet of frontage along the Manor Kill. Access is along Hubbard Hill Road in Conesville, Schoharie County. A DEP access permit is not required.
  • North Side Unit: Comprises 636 acres with a half mile of frontage along the Rondout Creek. Access is along Sundown Road in Neversink, Sullivan County. A DEP access permit is not required.

Fishing on all City-owned reservoirs and lakes requires a free DEP access permit that can be obtained on the department’s website. Those with questions about the 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. In addition, fishermen should be aware that boats are not allowed on City-owned reservoirs and lakes until they are free of ice. With only 8 days until the start of trout season, most reservoirs in the water supply system remain covered in thick ice because of this winter’s extremely low temperatures. Fishermen can also call the hotline listed above for any questions about ice cover and when it’s permissible to use boats.

The breadth of fishing opportunities on City reservoirs and land underscores DEP’s effort to support the upstate tourism economy by opening more water supply properties to recreation. There are currently 122,205 acres of City property open for recreation in the watersheds, including the reservoirs. Of that, 59, 211 acres are public access areas that can be used without a permit for fishing, hiking, snowshoeing and other forms of low-impact recreation.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of high quality water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.4 million in New York City, and residents of Ulster, Orange, Putnam, and Westchester counties. This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP employs nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and others professionals in the upstate watershed. In addition to its $68 million payroll and $157 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.5 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program with over $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter at

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

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Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600