Trout Unlimited New York Council
Response & Recommendations to the
NYS DEC Draft Fisheries Management Plan
for Inland Trout Streams
As many of the New York members of Trout Unlimited already know, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation's Draft Fisheries Management Plan for Inland Trout Streams was made public on May 29, 2020. Once finalized, this important document will provide the basic operating principles for the NYS DEC’s initiatives on managing and protecting trout streams in the state. The NYS DEC has provided the draft plan for review and has a comment period ending on June 25th in which New York State residents and other stakeholders, such as Trout Unlimited, are encouraged to submit.

Given that Trout Unlimited’s mission is to conserve, protect and restore North America's coldwater fisheries and their watersheds, this draft plan is of fundamental concern to our organization. Due to the short comment period, the Conservation Committee wanted to provide support to the Chapters and Members as they prepare their own responses. The goal was to work quickly and thoroughly to provide a position and recommendations that could help inform our members throughout New York. 
Our response is the result of work by the TU NYSC Conservation Committee volunteers and staff of TU National, with special thanks to Tracy Brown, Trout Unlimited Restoration Manager for NY and CT.
In summary, the Conservation Committee applauds the hard work and dedication of the NYS DEC team. On the whole, we believe that the plan is a major step forward from the previous structure and has a strong scientific foundation.

Our recommendations were developed by using Trout Unlimited’s best practices and scientific policies, and there are some positions we are strongly recommending to be considered during the comment period. These include:
  • Expanding management from reach-scale to watershed-scale to maximize habitat continuity and recovery of wild trout populations.
  • Expanding protection and consideration of headwater streams as a critical link in the recovery and sustainability of native trout populations.
  • Focusing on the tributary benefits to achieving wild trout population recovery and increase tributary protection.
  • Providing protection of wild and native trout during spawning through identification of spawning habitat and development of fishing season regulations designed to protect natural reproduction.
  • Ensuring that “stocked” or “stocked-extended” categories are appropriate within the watershed context.
  • Considering watershed scale when planning, funding or prioritizing habitat restoration and considering both private and public lands in the restoration strategy.
  • Developing a monitoring and an adaptive management strategy to assess the effectiveness of management actions.
  • Working between agency departments and bureaus within NYS DEC to identify and reduce the unintended hurdles to promote wild trout population recovery.
It is the Conservation Committee’s sincere hope that TU members respond to the NYS DEC during the comment period with their own thoughts and specific issues surrounding their home waters relative to the draft plan. We also firmly believe in the concept of “One TU”, and that our combined voice and actions strengthen our ability to affect change and protect the resource we all deeply care about.
Please use the following links to read the draft plan from the NYS DEC as well as Trout Unlimited's reponse. We encourage you to comment directly to the NYS DEC regarding specifics to the plan, or feel free to specifically support the Trout Unlimited position by using the email links below.

Thank you for your consideration,

NYSCTU Conservation Committee
— Please review our entire Response & Recommendations in the link below. —
Important Links & Documents
Please email comments on plan to Fred Henson, Coldwater Fisheries Unit Leader
Click here to email a pre-populated message of support for
TU's response to the NYS DEC
New York State Council Trout Unlimited Conservation Committee
John Braico • Tracy Brown • Tom Carroll • Dan Hess • Roy Lamberton • Reuben Zaramian
New York State Council Trout Unlimited
1335 Jefferson Road
Rochester, NY
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© 2020 Trout Unlimited New York Council