NY's Sportfishing Guide

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NY's Sportfishing Guide

Maintaining Long Island's Sportfishing Traditions

Long Island is a stronghold for sportfishing in the northeast and anglers enjoy its numerous options for sportfishing. Here are things that you can do to enjoy our rich and diverse marine life.

Release Fish Successfully

Releasing live fish is an important activity in recreational fishing. The changes in fish population and the number of anglers make it necessary for people to use techniques that help to make these natural resources more sustainable. Today's laws allow anglers to keep fish, usually through size and bag limits, or seasonal closures. Many anglers practice voluntary catch-and-release of legally caught fish. Anglers use catch-and-release to extend the fishing trip, especially when the fishing is good for legal sized fish, or if the angler has already attained the daily bag limit. It is important to ensure that released fish have a good chance of surviving, in order for catch-and-release to be effective. Click here (PDF) for easy techniques to reduce the mortality in released fish.

Ethical Angling

More people will care for local waterways and wildlife if they frequent the outdoors. Anglers and boaters that were introduced to the outdoors as youngsters continue to use fishing and boating to spend quality time. Fishing and boating are enjoyable pastimes for the entire family and help people to forge strong bonds. There are responsibilities that are associated with an outdoor lifestyle that requires strong ethics that have been embraced by users.

Ethics cannot be forced upon others. It is passed on by example and word of mouth. So who is the ideal ethical angler? There are many things that you can do, and this short list is provided to assist you to practice ethical angling. In general, ethical anglers:

  • Educate themselves about fishing rules and boating regulations
  • Take only fish that are needed, and properly release other fish
  • Haul their garbage back to containers on the shore or take it home
  • Inhibit the spread of invasive species and do not release bait.
  • Courteous to other anglers and respect property owner's rights
  • Share their knowledge and take a friend to fish

Ethical angling is contagious, and you can influence your fishing mate's behavior and attitude by setting a good example. Make the pledge to become an ethical angler!

Practice Safe Boating

Here's a list of things you can do for safe and enjoyable boating around Long Island

  • Bring one life jacket for each person on board, and wear it in cold weather; children 12 andunder are required to wear life jackets at all times
  • Never exceed your vessel's carrying or powering capacity (see vessel's capacity plate), and do not overload
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back. Ask them to call the authorities if you fail to return on time
  • Keep an eye on the sky for foul weather and seek safe harbor
  • Bring a portable phone or VHF radio to summon assistance if necessary
  • Avoid consuming excessive amounts of alcohol and bring water and sunscreen
  • Bring approved visual distress equipment such as flares or smoke signals in case you need assistance
  • Familiarize yourself with local waters and obtain a chart of the area in which you plan to operate
  • Remember the 'one three' rule for gas consumption - use 1/3 on the way out, 1/3 for fishing, and keep 1/3 for the trip home. Keep more gas for the return trip if you expect strong head winds
  • Learn basic first aid and keep a first aid emergency kit on the boat at all times
  • Engine exhaust causes carbon monoxide poisoning; be familiar with these symptoms (headache, nausea, weakness, and dizziness)
  • Take a course to learn about safe boating

Catch Your Marine & Coastal License Plate

More than $1 billion worth of economic activity to coastal communities comes from marine sportfishing. Senator Owen H. Johnson and Assemblyman Robert K. Sweeny sponsored legislation in 2002 that created a new motor vehicle license plate to benefit the marine and coastal districts. Residents and visitors of the Empire State enjoy exceptional sportfishing, and a portion of these license plate sales will be used to increase awareness, promote conservation, and fund research on marine resources.

"New Yorkers can show their support for maintaining, preserving, and improving the marine environment"

Assemblyman Robert K. Sweeney,
11th Assembly District

Residents can purchase these special license plates at the DMV issuing offices, or online at www.nysdmv.com, or contact (800) 364-PLATES.

"New Yorkers can take pride in the marine resources, and help to protect the environment for many generations"

- NYS Senator Owen H. Johnson,
4th NYS Senate District

More information may be obtained from:

Assemblyman Robert K. Sweeney
270-B North Wellwood Avenue
Lindenhurst, NY 11757
(631) 957-2087

Senator Owen H. Johnson
23-24 Argyle Square
Babylon, NY 11702
(631) 669-9200

Adapted with permission from Assemblyman Robert Sweeney's Office.

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