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Sunfish and Crappie changes proposed!

Jack Danchak - Columnist
Posted 2/18/21

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released a draft plan called Sunfish and Crappie Management Plan for public review and comment. The plan proposes new daily harvest reductions that …

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Sunfish and Crappie changes proposed!

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The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released a draft plan called Sunfish and Crappie Management Plan for public review and comment. The plan proposes new daily harvest reductions that should increase size limits of sunfish and crappies for anglers throughout the state. The draft plan is available on DEC's website and public comments should be made ASAP.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Sunfish and crappie are some of New York's most popular panfish species, and with this plan, DEC is balancing conservation and fishing opportunities for more sustainable fisheries in waters across the state. DEC encourages New York's anglers to share their input on this draft management plan and the Big Panfish Initiative to help develop destination fisheries for sunfish and crappie and complement our on-going efforts to expand and diversify New York State's freshwater opportunities.”

Results from an online angler survey indicate support for more conservative sunfish fishing regulations. Recent research on the impacts of sunfish and crappie harvest regulations indicates that lowering daily harvest limits or increasing minimum size limits can result in improvements to population size structure, which is likely to improve fishing quality and sustainability for these species.

Some elements of the draft plan include: Reducing the sunfish statewide daily harvest limit from 50 to 25; increasing the crappie statewide minimum size limit from 9 to 10 inches; implementing a 12 inch minimum size limit and a daily harvest limit of 10 for crappies on certain listed waters; and evaluating the impacts of these fishing regulation changes to sunfish and crappie population structure and through periodic checks of angler satisfaction.

Comments on the draft plan can be submitted by email: fishplans@dec.ny.gov or write to Jeff Loukmas, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4753.

King of the Ice Contest!

The Sullivan County Conservation Club will hold their annual “King of the Ice” fishing contest this Sunday, February 21 on White Lake//Kauneonga Lake. They will be awarding up to $2,000 cash and prizes and $500 for catching the largest eligible fish.

Fishing hours are from 6AM to 3PM. Registration, weigh-in and awards will take place behind the White Lake Firehouse on Route 17B. Entry fees: Adults $15, youth (15 years and under is free with a paid adult).

This is the largest ice fishing contest held in Sullivan County, don't miss it!

Jack Danchak is a longtime sportsmen and spent 30 years as the President of the Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs of Sullivan County, Inc.

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