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New regulations for sportmen are out there

Hunters and anglers have a number of new regulations to review.

The New York State Hunting Guide lists changes on page 12; fishing rules changes appear on page 8 of the Fishing Guide.

A summation of key hunting regulations changes (youth archery hunting at age 12-14 and crossbow legalization) appeared last week.

This past week, a "Possible Law Change" entered in the Fishing Guide has now been enacted. Earlier this week, DEC officials announced that legislation has passed to allow freshwater anglers to use three lines each while fishing.

Existing law allowed for two lines per angler on inland waters of the state.

Shore fishermen may benefit in offering another bait option when casting, but the added fishing rod will be a boon for trollers, particularly anglers fishing from smaller boats in the Great Lake.

Trollers on Lake Erie and Lake Ontario run rigs at varying depth levels and in positions behind the boat and to each side. During these outings, a trolling angler might want to put in a down rig (a line attached to a weighted line to fish directly below the boat), a side-planer line (a line attached to a device that move to the side of the boat on the surface), a sinking side-planning device such as a Dipsy Diver, and possibly a "long line" that has weighted line (a.k.a. lead-core line) strung out at length behind the boat.

Now, two anglers have the option of six lines to check out the various depths and angles for angling.

Part of the justification for this change lies in the fact that creel numbers remain the same. Added fishing lines and rods would improve angler successes but not affect harvest numbers.

In fact, if another proposed regulation change is adopted, Lake Erie walleye anglers may see an increase in their creel numbers. Currently, rules are being considered to standardize the recreational walleye count to six fish per angler per day lakewide.

> Stamping it out

Anglers and hunters have more good reasons for obtaining those sporting licenses before the Oct. 1 renewal date. While doing so, it would be good to add a Habitat/Access Stamp donation to the purchase.

For decades hunters, anglers, trappers, and all involved in consuming (so-called "blood") sports pursuits often get mislabeled as killers, as poachers, and, in general, merely self-concerned takers.

The purchase of a Habitat/Access stamp when renewing licenses provides outdoors folk an ensured way to give back in support of deserving outdoors/conservation/environmental programs across New York State.

Each $5 donation, which can be made without buying a sporting license, enters a dedicated fund that enables selected, worthwhile projects and programs to be started, continued, and upgraded for future use.

Consider checking off the H/A entry when buying those new licenses.

email: odrswill@gmail.com

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