The start of 2009 marked the first record-breaking fish caught in New York State since 2007. Fishing with tip-ups, Thomas Reed of Kill Buck, NY pulled a 16 pound 9 ounce walleye through the ice on Mystic Lake on January 20th. Located in Cattaraugus County, Mystic Lake sits along Tunungwant Creek, a tributary of the Allegheny River.
“Reed’s walleye surpassed the now historic 1994 state record by 2 ounces, which was caught from the Allegheny Reservoir, also in Cattaraugus County,” said New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Fisheries Manager Paul McKeown. “Very few state records have been broken during ice fishing season.”
Reed’s walleye was brought into New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC’s) office for inspection, where fisheries biologists estimated the fish to be over 20 years old.
Walleye are one of New York’s most popular game fish species, and can be found in over 150 waters. The northern and central regions of New York contain about 80% of the State’s walleye waters, but outstanding fisheries can be found in every major watershed, from Lake Erie to the eastern end of Long Island. Many of New York’s finest walleye fisheries harbor self-sustaining populations, while others require periodic boosts through DEC stocking efforts. DEC raises and stocks approximately 200,000,000 walleye fry (recently hatched fish) and about 500,000 fingerlings (1.5 – 4 inch long fish) in about 25 to 30 waters every year.
The fishing season for walleye opens on the first Saturday in May and extends through March 15. The general statewide regulation is a 15 inch minimum length and a daily limit of 5 fish; however, many waters have special regulations where length and daily limits vary, so be sure the check the Fishing Regulations Guide.
New York State record fish make up one of the three categories of the Angler Achievement Awards Program. Through this program, anglers entering freshwater fish meeting specific qualifying criteria receive official recognition of their catch and a distinctive lapel pin commemorating their achievement. The three categories that make up the program are: Catch & Release, Annual Award and State Record. Further information on the Angler Achievement Awards Program, including a downloadable application form, can be found on the DEC website. Past winners from previous years can also be accessed by visiting the webpage. Don’t have access to the internet? Program details and an official entry form can also be found in the current Freshwater Fishing Regulations
For additional information on the Angler Achievement Awards Program contact (518) 402-8891 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weekly updated fishing hotlines are available on DEC’s website. Additional NYS Freshwater Fishing Records can also be found online