The New York council of Trout Unlimited is urging TU members to comment on the state’s recently released Draft Fisheries Management Plan for Inland Trout Streams.
The plan will provide a detailed road map for protecting trout waters and informing management decisions to improve fishing for trout, among the state’s most sought-after gamefish.
The Department of Environmental Conservation made the plan public on May 29, 2020. The deadline for submitting comments is June 25, 2020.
Once finalized, the document will provide the basic operating principles for managing and protecting the state’s trout streams.
“The council conservation committee applauds the hard work and dedication of the NYS DEC team and believes the plan has a strong scientific foundation and is a major step forward from the previous structure,” said Dan Hess, the committee’s chair.
New York’s trout fisheries are vast and diverse, ranging from small mountain stream to large and famous rivers such as the Delaware, Battenkill and Beaverkill. The Catskills are considered by many to be the birthplace of modern fly angling in the United States.
To help TU chapters and members as they prepare locally focused comments, the state council’s Conservation Committee is providing a position and recommendations document.
“We firmly believe in the concept of ‘One TU,’” said Tracy Brown, TU’s restoration manager for New York and Connecticut. “Our combined voice and actions strengthen our ability to affect change and protect the resource we all deeply care about.”
The council’s recommendations were developed using Trout Unlimited’s best practices and scientific policies. There are several positions the group strongly recommends be considered during the comment period. These include:
- Expanding management from reach-scale to watershed-scale to maximize habitat continuity and recovery of wild trout populations.
- Expanding protection and consideration of headwater streams as a critical link in the recovery and sustainability of native trout populations.
- Focusing on the tributary benefits to achieving wild trout population recovery and increase tributary protection.
- Providing protection of wild and native trout during spawning through identification of spawning habitat and development of fishing season regulations designed to protect natural reproduction.
- Ensuring that “stocked” or “stocked-extended” categories are appropriate within the watershed context.
- Considering watershed scale when planning, funding or prioritizing habitat restoration and considering both private and public lands in the restoration strategy.
- Developing a monitoring and an adaptive management strategy to assess the effectiveness of management actions.
- Working between agency departments and bureaus within NYS DEC to identify and reduce the unintended hurdles to promote wild trout population recovery.
Trout Unlimited is urging its members and supporters who fish in the state to respond during the comment period with their own thoughts and specific issues surrounding their home waters relative to the draft plan.
Email address for comments: email@example.com.
Full text of draft plan: http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/fish_marine_pdf/dfmptroutstream.pdf
New York TU council recommendations and guidance: https://b3537c32-a13b-4ab7-a6b3-5a7beac86021.usrfiles.com/ugd/b3537c_bc4564f5f5694956be105758ffd7994c.pdf
Email for Tracy Brown, TU’s restoration manager for New York and Connecticut: Tracy.firstname.lastname@example.org.