Albany, NY - January 30, 2014 - Ice thickness can be difficult to predict, however, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today reminded ice anglers to enjoy the ice responsibly. With the early cold weather that New York has experienced this year, anglers will likely be headed out on the ice earlier than they have in the past few years. DEC cautions that the presence of snowmobile tracks or footprints on the ice should not be taken as evidence of safe ice conditions. Individuals are strongly encouraged to check ice conditions for themselves and avoid situations that appear to present even a remote risk.
- Follow the bait fish regulations to prevent the spread of harmful fish diseases and invasive species.
- Use only certified disease-free bait fish purchased at a local tackle store, or use only personally collected bait fish for use in the same water body in which they were caught.
- Do not reuse baitfish in another water-body if you have replaced the water they were purchased in.
- Dump unused baitfish and water in an appropriate location on dry land.
Anglers looking for a good place to ice fish should check out DEC's Public Lakes and Ponds map available on DEC's website. This interactive map provides recommendations on waters open to ice fishing provided by DEC staff.
Ice fishing is an example of Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Hunting and Fishing Initiative, an effort to improve recreational activities for in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and sportswomen and to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state. This initiative includes the streamlining of hunting and fishing licensing and reducing license fees, improved access for fishing at various sites across the state, and increasing hunting opportunities in various regions.