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March 30, 2017, (845) 334-7868

Department of Environmental Protection Encourages Anglers to Enjoy World Class Trout Fishing in the Watershed

Paddling at Pepacton Reservoir

NYC reservoirs and surrounding waters offer some of the best trout fishing in the Northeast

High-resolution photos of fishing on NYC reservoirs can be found by clicking here

To mark the start of trout fishing season, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection encouraged anglers to enjoy world-class fishing on its upstate reservoirs, their headwaters and tailwaters, and myriad public lands that include frontage along creeks and streams throughout the watershed. The City’s 22 water supply reservoirs and lakes, covering roughly 36,000 acres, are open for fishing from shore or from boats that have a valid DEP boat tag.

Many of the reservoirs and lakes include deep, cold water that is optimal for trout fishing. The reservoirs are also excellent for warmwater species such as smallmouth and largemouth bass. New York’s trout season generally runs until Oct. 15. However, the trout fishing season on certain New York City reservoirs is open year-round or closes later than Oct. 15. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) outlines statewide fishing regulations, including information on licenses, catch limits, and stocking, on its website.

“Some of the best trout fishing in the United States is found on New York City’s reservoirs and the streams, creeks and rivers that surround them,” DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said. “Trout fishing in the Catskills and Hudson Valley is a tradition that has been passed down across many generations. DEP has been proud to support anglers by improving recreational access and broadening our outreach to share that access with more people. We hope these efforts encourage more young people and families to enjoy the great outdoors as another trout season begins.”

To promote fishing in the watershed, DEP developed a fishing brochure and an interactive map to help anglers find access areas, planned several family fishing days at its reservoirs, and reached out to anglers at outdoor expositions, community days and other events. Fishing resources and upcoming events include:

  • This year DEP will host several family fishing days at its reservoirs. Each of these events is co-sponsored by state DEC. Experts will be on hand to teach young people how to fish, and bait and tackle will be provided for those who don’t have their own. Those who have equipment are encouraged to bring it. More information about each of these family fishing days, including exact locations at each reservoir, will be posted to DEP’s watershed Facebook page at Upcoming events include:
    • April 29 - Family Fishing Day at Lake Gleneida, 9 a.m. till 2 p.m.
    • May 27 - Family Fishing Day at Pepacton Reservoir, 10 a.m. till 2 p.m.
    • June 24 - Family Fishing Day at Rondout Reservoir.
    • September - Family Fishing Day at Ashokan Reservoir.
  • DEP has developed the interactive RecMapper utility, which allows anglers to zoom in to any part of the watershed to find access for fishing, hiking and other activities. The RecMapper includes dozens of recreation areas that are open for fishing at reservoirs and streams within the watershed. It also includes links to angler maps that show the depth contours within each water supply reservoir. The interactive mapping tool can be found by going to
  • A fishing brochure has also been compiled by DEP to help anglers find access and learn what species of fish are located in each reservoir. The brochure can be found by clicking here. The centerpiece of the brochure is a chart that outlines all the species that are present in each reservoir, including whether the angling for all the species is fair, good or excellent. That table is shown below.

  • Fishing on New York City reservoirs was also featured in the 2016-2017 New York Freshwater Fishing Guide. The guide features information about the coldwater and warmwater fisheries at the reservoirs, and it includes information on state fishing regulations.
  • 2017 also marks the fourth year that New York state-certified outdoor guides are permitted to offer their services—including guided fishing trips—on water supply reservoirs and lands. A list of certified guides that are approved for the program on water supply lands and waters can be found by clicking here.
  • Fishing on all city-owned reservoirs and lakes, along with some recreation units along streams and creeks, requires a free DEP Access Permit. An access permit can be obtained through DEP’s online permitting system, found at Those with questions about permitting may also email or call (800) 575-LAND. Those fishing on streams that run across water supply lands should carefully check signs in those recreation units to determine whether a permit is required.

The breadth of fishing opportunities on City reservoirs and land underscores DEP’s effort to support the recreation and tourism economies in the watershed by opening more properties to recreation. There are currently more than 133,000 acres of City property open for recreation in the watersheds, including the reservoirs.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than 1 billion gallons of high-quality water each day to more than 9.5 million New Yorkers. This includes more than 70 upstate communities and institutions in Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties who consume an average of 110 million total gallons of drinking water daily from New York City’s water supply system. This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and other professionals in the watershed. In addition to its $70 million payroll and $166 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.7 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program with $20.7 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600