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DEC Proposes Regulation to Implement Black Bass Fishing Tourney Permit


Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos on Wednesday announced the release of a regulatory proposal to implement a fishing tournament permit and reporting system for black bass (largemouth bass and smallmouth bass). The no-cost black bass tournament permitting and reporting system would help identify the distribution and occurrence of black bass tournaments across the state.

“New York is a national destination for black bass fishing tournaments thanks to the quality of our bass fisheries,” Commissioner Seggos said. “This proposal would require a free permit for bass tournaments and help fisheries managers better understand tournament activity in New York State, advancing efforts to ensure high-quality black bass fishing opportunities for all anglers.”

Black bass are New York’s most sought-after freshwater sportfish. The number of black bass fishing tournaments has increased significantly over time, but the overall scope and scale of tournament activity in New York is currently unknown, limiting the ability of DEC fisheries biologists to fully understand and manage these important fisheries for the benefit of both tournament and recreational anglers.

The information derived from the free permit system would help DEC respond to issues such as user conflicts, overuse of the resource, and concerns about fish populations. Tournament catch data would also be used by fisheries biologist to further DEC’s understanding of black bass fisheries for improved management. In addition, the proposed regulation would allow for the listing of approved tournaments on DEC’s website. Having this information publicly available would assist tournament organizers with scheduling and inform recreational anglers about when and where tournaments are held.

Highlights of the proposal include:

  • Requiring free permits for black bass fishing tournaments held on or after Jan. 1, 2025;
  • Defining a fishing tournament and a fishing tournament director;
  • Setting timeframes for permit applications, report submissions, and DEC review; and
  • Providing DEC with the ability to place conditions on tournaments.

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