“This past week, DEC staff and Environmental Conservation Police Officers responded to events involving people fishing for walleye at DEC’s Oneida Fish Hatchery and nearby Scriba Creek during the walleye spawning run.
DEC takes seriously our responsibility to enforce New York’s environmental laws, ensure protection, conservation, and sustainable management of fish and wildlife, and values our partnerships with Indigenous Nations and the angling community to sustainably manage these resources. To protect this resource, New York State Environmental Conservation Law prohibits walleye fishing from March 15 until May 1. During this time, walleye are concentrated in certain streams and vulnerable to over-harvest. Similarly, Indigenous Nations have their own teachings regarding sustainable harvest practices, and we share mutual concerns in preserving wildlife.
DEC recognizes the importance of walleye as a subsistence and cultural resource for Indigenous Nations, and is actively consulting with the leadership of the nine State-Recognized Indigenous Nations to advance our shared conservation objectives.”
The DEC investigation remains ongoing. However, to protect health, safety, and the spawning population, the DEC is temporarily closing access to the hatchery in Constantia and spawning sites and is asking the public to respect these closures to help sustain the fishery here on Oneida Lake.