Governor Kathy Hochul announced the State’s new ‘Tackle Box’ mobile phone feature to enhance fishing-related tourism by making it easier for new and experienced anglers to enjoy the great fishing offered throughout New York. The new Tackle Box feature builds on the State Department of Environmental Conservation’s HuntFishNY smartphone app to provide a one-stop location for nearly all State fishing regulations, waterbodies, State-operated fishing access sites, stocking information, and other useful features like photos to help identify fish likely found in a certain river, lake, or stream.
“New York is a world-class fishing destination that offers a wide variety of opportunities to land a keeper from a large list of prized game species,” Governor Hochul said. “The release of the unique Tackle Box feature will make fishing even more accessible for our residents and visitors of all experience levels, providing them a one-stop location for all fishing information. I encourage all New Yorkers to use this feature and get out on the water today to take advantage of the great fishing our state has to offer.”
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) led the creation of the Tackle Box’s map-based interface for displaying fishing information. Unlike any other current mobile fishing smartphone offering for New York State, Tackle Box allows users to search for waterbodies by name or by panning and zooming. Highlighted waters are clickable, providing information on special fishing regulations, fish stocking, and boating/fishing access sites owned by DEC, the State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, New York State Canal Corporation, and New York City Department of Environmental Protection. In addition, the new ‘navigate’ feature gives users driving directions to the boating access site of their choice. The Tackle Box also includes an offline feature that allows anglers to use it when cell service is not available.
The HuntFishNY app provides instant mobile access to a customer’s sporting licenses, privileges and permits, as well as the ability to report game harvests immediately while afield. The HuntFishNY app, which includes the Tackle Box, is free of charge and available through the Apple App store (iOS) and Google Play (Android) platforms for anyone to download on their tablet or smartphone. To access HuntFishNY with the new Tackle Box feature, users will need to create a DECALS account but do not need to be fishing or hunting license holders.
To watch an instructional video on how to access Tackle Box from the HuntFishNY app, go to youtu.be/G7yQehsjH-g. For a brief demonstration on features of the Tackle Box, go to youtu.be/85jtYE8pBag. For more information on the HuntFishNY app and new Tackle Box feature, visit the DEC website at dec.ny.gov/outdoor/96470.html. For technical assistance with the app, users can call the DECALS helpline at 866-933-2257. For specific questions about fishing, users can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
New York has dozens of bodies of water that consistently rank among the best angling destinations in the country. In 2021, New York boasted six locations in Bassmaster Magazine’s top 25 bass lakes in the Northeast. This included the St. Lawrence River (Thousand Islands No. 1), Lake Erie (No. 3), Lake Champlain (No. 4), Cayuga Lake (No. 11), Oneida Lake (No. 18), and Chautauqua Lake (No. 25). Excellent trout fishing also draws visitors from across the country to renowned places like Ninemile Creek, and the Ausable, Esopus, Delaware, Beaverkill, and Upper Genesee rivers, among many others across the State. Salmon fishing along the Salmon River and throughout Lake Ontario continues to excel and a record walleye population in Oneida Lake, as well as a robust population in Lake Erie continue to thrill anglers. New York’s anglers contribute an estimated $2.1 billion to the economy, supporting jobs and increasing state and local tax revenue.
All New York anglers, resident or visitor, have a role to play in protecting state waters from invasive species. DEC reminds everyone to clean, drain, and dry boats and trailers, and disinfect fishing gear before recreating in New York’s waters to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). Visit DEC’s website for more tips on how to clean, drain, and dry watercraft, fishing gear, and other equipment and for more information about New York’s watercraft inspection steward program.