Governor Kathy Hochul today 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 water bodies 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.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Tackle Box features allow anglers to easily get vital information from the convenience of their smartphones, with or without an internet connection. Fishing regulations, fishing access sites, stocking information, and much more is all available, either on the fly or by downloading the information. Tackle Box is another great example of New York’s commitment to make fishing easier for everyone to enjoy.”
Empire State Development Vice President and Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said, “Anglers from around the world regard New York State as a premier fishing destination. The new Tackle Box feature will encourage even more people who love fishing to come be a part of all there is to enjoy in New York, from spectacular scenery to inviting lodging and world-class food and beverage experiences. I LOVE NY looks forward to highlighting the Tackle Box in its tourism promotion efforts for residents and visitors alike planning an Empire State getaway .”
Stephanie West Vatalaro, Senior Vice President for Marketing and Communications with the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, said, “One of the main reasons people don’t fish is because they don’t know where to go. The new ‘Tackle Box’ feature on the HuntFishNY app helps guide people to local fishing spots and connects them with regulations and fish species information to help make trip planning easier and smoother.”
Todd Ceisner, Publisher of In-Fisherman Magazine, said, “Anglers across New York now have a best-in-class tool to research and plan their next fishing trip, whether to a lake, river, creek or pond. The new Tackle Box section of the HuntFishNY app is incredibly user-friendly and will be a helpful tool for new, novice and experienced anglers.”
Larry Charette, Chairman of the New York State Council of Trout Unlimited, said, “The new DEC Tackle Box is a recreational angling game changer. The new feature provides a wealth of targeted angling information on New York waters, as well as highlights the rich public access to New York fishing. Trout Unlimited is excited to introduce this new tool to our 8,000 members in New York.”
Scott Locorini, President of the New York State Outdoor Guides Association, said, “I think the new Tackle Box app is incredible! Not only will it be helpful for the guides of New York State when searching for new waters, but I also believe it will benefit all anglers in New York. I really like having the ability to use it offline because many of the places I go don’t have phone service.”
Dawn L. Borchert, Director of Tourism at Orleans County Tourism, said, “The development of DEC’s new Tackle Box feature in the HuntFishNY app is going to enhance and educate our anglers’ experience when visiting Lake Ontario, tributary streams, or other waterbodies found in Orleans County. This app will allow anglers to discover other world-class fishing areas that they might not have been aware of before, by using the tools such as regulations, stocking, fish species, all found in their phone. Lastly, the app will allow anglers to extend their stay in New York State while fishing!”
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 in the field. 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 https://youtu.be/iqQI_cqxUI8. 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 [email protected].
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 continues 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.