PITTSTOWN — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Region 4 Director Keith Goertz announced that DEC and the city of Troy will co-host a free ice fishing clinic from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Tomhannock Reservoir. Pending sufficient ice cover, the event will take place at the angler parking lot at the corner of Route 7 and Lake Shore Road in the town of Pittstown.
“This event is a great opportunity for the public to learn more about the unique sport of ice fishing and how to better enjoy New York’s natural resources in the winter,” Goertz said. “The free ice fishing clinic is non-competitive and geared toward anglers of any age, especially those new to the sport of ice fishing.”
DEC will supply the bait and tackle but experienced anglers are encouraged to bring their own fishing gear. A warming hut will be on site and DEC will provide ice fishing instruction and tips. Anglers will have a chance to catch panfish, yellow perch, pickerel, and walleye at the reservoir. For more information about the event, including current ice conditions, contact the DEC Region 4 Fisheries office at 607-652-7366.
DEC and the city of Troy cooperatively manage public fishing at the Tomhannock Reservoir, a 1,700-acre public water supply that provides drinking water to the city of Troy and surrounding communities. While neither a DEC fishing license nor a city of Troy access permit will be required for this event, all other fishing regulations remain in effect. Normally, anyone age 16 or older is required to obtain a fishing license to fish or assist with fishing in fresh waters of New York State. Also, a city of Troy access permit is normally required to fish at the reservoir.
The use of battery-powered ice augers on the Tomhannock Reservoir is now allowed, but gasoline and propane-powered ice augers are still prohibited. The public is also reminded that ice fishing shelters of any kind are prohibited on the reservoir.
Ice fishing continues to increase in popularity in New York State. Unlike the open water season when an angler usually needs a boat to access good fishing locations, no boat is required to access these locations once the water is covered with safe ice.
New Yorkers should also be aware that as part of Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting initiative, February 16-17, 2019, has been designated as a free fishing weekend in the state. The requirement for a fishing license is waived during this period. This is a great opportunity to try ice fishing for the first time or for experienced anglers to take friends ice fishing for the first time. Beginning ice anglers are encouraged to download the Ice Fishing Chapter of DEC’s new I FISH NY Beginners’ Guide to Freshwater Fishing for information on how to get started ice fishing. Additional information, including a list of waters open to ice fishing, can be found on the DEC ice fishing web page and the Public Lakes and Ponds map.
Anglers are reminded that four inches of solid ice is usually safe for anglers on foot. However, ice thickness can vary on every waterbody or even within the same waterbody. Anglers should be particularly wary of areas of moving water and around boat docks and houses where bubblers may be installed to reduce ice buildup. The presence of snowmobile tracks or footprints on the ice is not evidence of safe ice conditions. Individuals are strongly encouraged to check ice conditions and avoid situations that appear to present even a remote risk. Testing the thickness of ice can easily be done with an auger or ice spud at various spots.