All right, it took some time but I got to the bottom of this, I suppose. I spoke with the Dept of Enviromental Conservation officer in charge, and he informed me that there are only 4 fishes (one is a family - the infamous Syracuse NY case of Rocky the snakehead, see web if interested) illegal in NY state listed in an official excerpt below (from paragraph 180.9). Keep in mind we are speaking of in-house, private aquariums (ponds have additional regulations, say a grass carp, aka white amur, is the most heavily regulated fish in NY state - last year, I had to get a licence for one just to get it for my 10,000 gal backyard pond and I had to claim I need him for algae control, which is somewhat true, otherwise, they would deny my application - cannot have him for esthetics; it is also critical whether the pond has connections, ins or outs, to other watersheds, state waters, rivers, brooks, etc., so fish could potentially escape on its own).
(1) Except as provided in subdivisions c and d of this section, no person shall buy, sell or offer for sale, possess, transport, import or export, or cause to be transported, imported or exported live individuals or viable eggs of the following species of fish, which the Department of Environmental Conservation (department) has determined present a danger to indigenous fish populations:
(i) Silver carp (Hypophthalmicthys molitrix)
(ii) Bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis)
(iii) Black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus)
(iv) Snakehead fish of the genera Channa and Parachanna (or the generic synonyms of Bostrychoides, Opicephalus, Ophiocephalus, and Parophiocephalus) of the Family Channidae (VJ: long list of about 40 fish ensues...)
Thank you all for suggestions, thoughts and care.