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DEC: New Tools for Anglers

(8/3/17) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has unveiled two new tools that will help rookie and veteran freshwater anglers alike improve their skills. DEC has developed a new instructional manual entitled “The I FISH NY Beginners’ Guide to Freshwater Fishing.” The new manual is part of a series of publications DEC has produced recently designed to get more people involved in the sport of fishing in New York State. If you are starting out with fishing you may shop around a lot for various fishing equipment for different fish – a lot of the fishermen I know head to Bass Pro as they stock most of the essentials, plus you can use a Raise coupon to get a deal on items. The DEC guide does a good job in going over some of the basics for the equipment you’ll need such as the tackle types, though I know some beginners might have trouble wondering which model of tackle or fishing rod they want to start with. If that’s the case then this blog, the Casual Carper has a few begginner friendly guides on equipment, so check out the New York State fishing guide, grab your equipment, and get fishing.

DEC also stocks more than 2.3 million catchable-size brook, brown and rainbow trout in over 309 lakes and ponds and roughly 2,900 miles of streams across the state each spring. To offer a better angling experience, DEC recently collaborated with the Office of Information Technology Services to provide the trout stocking data on the Open NY (http://Data.NY.GOV) website.

The I FISH NY Beginners’ Guide to Freshwater Fishing manual can be downloaded at: The guide is composed of nine modules:

  • The Fishes of New York
  • Basic Fishing Tackle and Techniques
  • Care of Your Catch
  • Safe and Responsible Angling
  • Intermediate Fishing Tackle and Techniques
  • The Waters of New York
  • Fisheries Management
  • Aquatic Life
  • Ice Fishing

The beginners’ guide provides important information for those desiring to get started in the sport of fishing while also providing a resource for educators to teach students about fish and the sport of fishing. If you’re looking for some fishing tips, this guide may be able to help you. Alternatively, check out a website like to learn more. People may also want to check out the various equipment used for fishing on sites where they can find such things as the Best Portable Fish Finders to help with their fishing experience. The manual will also prove helpful to those conducting free fishing events as part of the Governor’s expanded free fishing clinic program. Organizations or groups interested in conducting an event can find instructions and an application form on DEC website at

To give better access to fishing stocking information, DEC collaborated with the Office of Information Technology Services to provide searchable fish stocking data on the Open NY (Data.NY.GOV) website. Previously, the fish stocking information was only available in county listings on the DEC website.

There are two different data sets to choose from:

Current Season Spring Trout Stocking ( contains the current year DEC spring stocking information for “catchable sized” brown, brook and rainbow trout. This data set will be renewed annually in mid-March.

Fish Stocking Lists from 2011 to 2015 ( contains the actual fish stockings by DEC and Essex, Onondaga and Warren counties for all fish species. This data set is particularly useful for people who want to fish in “put-grow-and-take” waters where fish are stocked at a small size and allowed to grow to a size anglers can keep. Now, an angler will be able to look back at the stockings over the past five years in their search for a fishing destination. This data set will be updated in May the year after stocking was completed.

There are also two different ways to view the stocking information. The links above will take you to a spread sheet-like dataset that allows you to filter the data on any of the columns (such as County, Waterbody, Species and size). But you can also search the data with a user interface that allows you to search multiple fields and then use graph features to add additional filters. The links for the user interfaces are:

Current Season Spring Trout Stocking –

Fish Stocking Lists (Actual): Beginning 2011 –

The new stocking data sets will help anglers to plan their fishing trips to take advantage of the plentiful fishing opportunities in New York State.