Hook, Line and Sinker: April 8, 2009

Reservoir levels (as of March 27) were as follows: Pepacton Reservoir, 96.3 percent capacity of 140.2 billion gallons; Ashokan Reservoir, 90.5 percent capacity of 122.9 billion gallons; Cannonsville Reservoir, 100.3 percent capacity of 95.7 billion gallons. West Branch Delaware River anglers will need to take care while wading, as Cannonsville is currently spilling.
Hopefully by April 1 trout fishers have gotten their gear ready for the big day! But for those who procrastinate, it’s time to check those waders and hip boots for leaks – go through the fishing vest and tackle box and get rid of outdated materials (tippets that are dated, rusty hooks or lures, old candy wrappers and the like!) Be sure to have on hand a fresh tube of sunscreen and insect repellant, your sunglasses, and some good early-season flies or lures.
When embarking on a fishing trip, it’s important to carry along a copy of the latest fishing guide, “New York Freshwater Fishing 2008 - 2009 Official Regulations Guide” that you can pick up wherever you purchase a license. There are so many special regulation opportunities in our area that differ from statewide trout fishing regulations – and having the guide handy in your glove compartment or even in your fishing vest or tackle box will make it much easier to be sure you’re following the current regs on a particular stream or body of water.
The current (2008 – 2009) guide is in a magazine format – larger than the old pocket-sized blue book of a few years back, and features color photos, ads, even coupons for sporting equipment. In addition to fishing regulations for each of the nine DEC regions in New York State, there is information on “Hot Spot” fishing.
There is also a note of Free Fishing Days – June 27 – 28. On these two days, during this last weekend in June, anyone can fish in New York State waters, and no license if required….a good opportunity to introduce a friend or relative to the joys of fishing. For a list of DEC sponsored fishing clinics on these dates, contact a local DEC office or visit the website at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27123
For 2009, statewide fishing regulations for trout allow a daily limit of five trout (brook, brown, rainbow and hybrids of these species, and splake (a cross between brook trout and lake trout found in some lakes) of any size, from April 1 through October 15.
However, in our area, there are many Special Fishing Regulations in effect for Delaware County:
For all unlisted tributaries to Pepacton Reservoir and to East Branch Delaware River upstream from Pepacton Reservoir highwater mark, there is a daily limit of five trout of any size, but the fishing season runs from April 1 – September 30.
On the Bush Kill, Tremper Kill, Terry Clove, Fall Clove, Platte Kill, Dry Brook and Batavia Kill, the daily limit is five trout with a minimum size of nine inches, season from April 1 – September 30.
From Pepacton Reservoir high water mark upstream, season is from April 1 – September 30 with a daily bag limit of five trout, minimum size of nine inches.
From Pepacton Dam downstream to Shinhopple Bridge, season of April 1 – October 15 allows two trout with minimum size limit of 12 inches.
All streams and their tributaries that flow in to the East Branch of the Delaware River between the villages of East Branch and Hancock have a five-fish daily limit, no minimum size; however the season opens on the first Saturday after April 11-October 15.
On the West Branch Delaware River, from Cannonsville Reservoir high water mark upstream from April 1 – September 30, there is a 5-fish daily limit of at least nine inches.
From Cannonsville Dam downstream to the Route 17 overpass at Deposit, a season from April 1 – October 15, daily limit of two trout, minimum size 12 inches.
From Route 17 overpass at Deposit downstream 2.0 miles, April 1 to October 15, Catch and Release fishing, artificial lures only may be used.
From the lower limit of catch-and-release section in Deposit downstream to NY/PA border (1.7 miles below Hale Eddy Bridge) April 1 to October 15, two trout daily limit of at least 12 inches.
And on the Beaverkill from state Route 206 (county Route 7) bridge downstream to the Sullivan County Line April 1 – November 30, 5 trout minimum size limit of nine inches;
Beaver Kill 1) from Sullivan County line (below Roscoe) downstream 2.5 miles to the old railroad trestle and 2) from one mile upstream to 1.6 miles downstream of iron bridge at Horton Catch and Release fishing, artificial lures only may be used.
Please note that on the Beaver Kill from Iron Bridge at Horton downstream to first Route 17 overpass, angling is prohibited July 1 through August 31 to protect thermally stressed trout.