WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – With the harsh winter weather seemingly behind us, avid anglers are eager to get out on Westchester County waters for the start of fishing season.
Since fishing restrictions were lifted at the start of the season on April 1, countless Westchester fishermen have been busy getting their sea legs under them as they get ready to tackle local trout and other marine life.
While many managed to scratch their fishing itch through the winter with occasional ice fishing, now that trout season is officially open, anglers are anxious to get out on the water in some warmer weather.
New Rochelle native Jack Gleason, who noted he tries to go fishing several times a week now that he’s retired, said that he hasn’t made his first trip of the season yet due to the cold weather, though he is more than ready to go when Mother Nature acquiesces.
“It’s been a little chilly for my old bones, but you can bet that my gear is in the garage and ready to go the first warm, sunny day we have,” he said. “It’s something that my family has always enjoyed, so it’s nice to be able to go as often as I like these days.”
Properly licensed fisherman are permitted to fish in any streams and lakes that fall under the guise of the Westchester County Parks Department – outside of locations specifically designated with “No Fishing” signage and nature preserves. Permits can be acquired by contacting the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
According to the NYSDEC, “anyone fishing over the age of 16 must have a valid New York State fishing license, and all kids must be accompanied by an adult with a valid license, except during Free Fishing Weekends,” small weekend events that allow youngsters to try their hand at the sport without cost.
Due to the harsh winter, the DEC’s trout hatchery program has been delayed in stocking local trout waters as they waited for waters to freeze. As of April 9, trout were stocked and ready for the hunt at the Stone Hill, Mianus, Waccabuc, Titicus and Croton Rivers, as well as the Amawalk Outlet, Kensico Reservoir and Titicus Reservoir.
“Opening Day, and the opening weekend is usually a cause for celebration, but it’s been a slow go so far. Hopefully this weekend when things are going to warm up,” Greenburgh native Ken Williamson, who is an active member of the Westchester Fishing Forums. “It was a long winter, so hopefully that means a long summer filled with fishing!”
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