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Top 10 Fishing Spots in Dutchess County

Publish Date: 2020-04-01

With all the currently instructions to stay home and follow social distancing guidelines, you may be wondering how that affects fishing season. Well the good news is, it’s full steam ahead! Thankfully, this outdoor activity is one you can enjoy while respecting social distancing. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation asks that people act safely while fishing but are welcomed to enjoy the many locations in our area.

Some guidelines to follow: If you arrive at an angler parking area that is congested, please consider finding another area that is less crowded. When on the water, make sure there is ample room between you and fellow anglers. Do not share a boat unless it is large enough so that all persons aboard can always remain at a minimum distance of six feet apart. Providing ample distance helps to reduce the spread of colds, flu and COVID-19, and also contributes to an overall better angling experience. 

So if you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’ve come to the right place! Dutchess County is the perfect place to drift a fly or cast your bait or lure. Before you go, don’t forget to obtain your fishing license - it’s a New York State requirement for anyone 16-years of age or older. More information on obtaining a fishing license can be found here.

Morgan Lake – Located in Poughkeepsie near Dutchess Community College, Morgan Lake is a 19-acre urban fishery and park which boasts a fishing pier and an abundance of trout stocked by local sportsmen’s groups. You may fish off the pier but there are no boats allowed on this lake. Morgan Lake is also a trail head for the Dutchess County Rail Trail, a perfect location for a post-fishing walk or bike ride. More info: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60890.html

Sprout Creek – Running through the towns of Lagrange and East Fishkill, among others, Sprout Creek is a public fishing stream with brown trout and brook trout present.  The DEC stocks this creek with 6,000 brown trout annually and there is also some contribution to the fishery by wild brown trout. All this makes this creek a lot of fun to fish! Bring your hiking shoes because you can walk for miles along this stream. You can find more information about this great creek at http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/fish_marine_pdf/pfrsproutck.pdf

Stissing Pond – This pond is a known spot to catch largemouth bass using live bait or your favorite soft baits. The pond is 70-acres and is accessible by small rowboat, canoe or kayak. Stissing Pond has good weed-lines and drop-offs, giving anglers the opportunity to apply a variety of their favorite techniques to catch fish. More info: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60924.html

Sylvan Lake – A prime fishing spot for the avid angler. This lake has been known to produce trout exceeding 8 pounds and some bragging sized largemouth bass, along with a variety of other species. The DEC stocks this lake with 1,700 brown trout annually. Sylvan Lake is accessible by boat, but no gas motors are permitted. More info: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60854.html     

Ten Mile River – Running along Route 22 in the Towns of Dover and Amenia, Wassaic and Webatuck Creeks and the Ten Mile River, are Public Fishing Streams. They all are quality cold-water streams that contain wild brown trout. The Ten Mile River is stocked annually with 9,000 brown trout.

These are amazing fishing areas located in the eastern part of Dutchess County near the Connecticut border. Don’t be afraid to stay the whole day and fish until you can’t anymore! More info: http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/fish_marine_pdf/pfrtenmilewassaic.pdf

Wappinger Creek – Wappinger Creek is the largest stream in Dutchess County, running 41.7 miles from Thompson Pond in Pine Plains to the Hudson River in New Hamburg. This creek is stocked with 12,000 brown trout and 2,000 rainbow trout each year. This is a good creek for the beginner angler. This DEC map shows the public fishing rights maps for the length of the creek. In addition, there are several easily accessible spots located within town parks which are along the creek.

Wappingers Lake – Wappingers Lake is a shallow impoundment of the Wappingers Creek. This 75-acre lake has a good amount of vegetation and provides opportunities for largemouth bass and chain pickerel. The best time to fish here is early morning along the edges of the lake. Bait and tackle are available nearby, as are boat rentals. A small boat launch is available on the south shore off of Spring St in the village of Wappingers. More info: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60950.html

Rudd Pond – Rudd Pond is located in the northeast part of Dutchess County just 2-miles north of Millerton on County Route 62. It has easy access, an abundance of largemouth bass and chain pickerel and is surrounded by state park land. This area is part of the larger Taconic State Park at Rudd Pond Area and camping and hiking is also available - https://parks.ny.gov/parks/141/details.aspx. This is a perfect place to enjoy a weekend or overnight outdoor getaway! More info: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60937.html

Hudson River – The Hudson River is the premier fishing spot in the Hudson Valley. This majestic river runs from New York City to Albany and beyond. Some of the most popular Dutchess County access points include Riverfront Park in Beacon, Waryas Park in the city of Poughkeepsie, Quiet Cove (just north of Marist College on Rt 9) in Poughkeepsie, Margaret Lewis Norrie State Park in Staatsburgh and Tivoli Bays in Red Hook. Largemouth bass, perch, catfish and sunfish are all present here, as are herring shad and striped bass, seasonally. The Hudson’s striped bass fishery is considered world class, producing fish of more than 50 pounds during the spring spawning run.  

Ferncliff Forest – This 200-acre forest preserve located in Rhinebeck is a great spot for casting a reel into their stocked pond. In addition to fishing, one of the main draws about Ferncliff Forest is the breathtaking views from the fire tower. Finish up your day by taking a short hike to the top! More info: https://ferncliffforest.org

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