23 December 2008

Connecticut Anglers: Beware of NY Waters

Connecticut anglers who troll across the Connecticut/Westchester line or into Long Island waters may have a lot to worry about in 2009. It’s a mistake easily made, if you don’t watch your GPS…there’s no line in the water marking the boundary.

NY Gov. Paterson's proposed budget includes a $40 non-resident saltwater fishing license; not having one might cost Connecticut anglers a bunch of money. And, if they have legal Connecticut fish in their possession that do not meet the NY size, season, or bag limits, NY’s fines are steep—anglers have paid as much as $300 to $500 for certain violations—and there are few warnings, only tickets. The NY budget deficit needed that out-of-state money.

Paterson has proposed 137 tax hikes, including a five percent luxury tax on boats costing more than $200,000. James A. Donofrio, executive director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, said the tax will hurt the already staggering boat building and sales industry.

"Gov. Paterson isn't stopping there," Donofrio said. "He's establishing a trout and salmon stamp on top of the freshwater fishing license. This will be $10 to start with, but bureaucrats looking for money on their runaway spending spree will soon increase that. Maybe they'll get creative with a fluke stamp, a blackfish stamp or a winter flounder stamp."

Paterson also has proposed an increase in state park fees for camping, cabin rentals and marina usage. Some of these fees had already been increased as late as 2007.

NY’s budget will balloon to $121.1 billion, and spending will increase by $1.4 billion. The tax package hike is the largest in the state's history. But, the governor admits that his plan will not cure the budget deficit… in fact, the deficit will grow to $5.8 billion by 2011-12 fiscal year. [Sounds like "tax and spend," doesn't it?]

When a Connecticut resident drifts into NY waters without a NY license in 2012 they may confiscate his boat in payment of the fine.

This blog is based on the article, Beware of Costly New York Waters which appeared in APP.com on 21 December 2008.

p.s.: In case you're wondering, the Middleground lighthouse on Stratford Shoal, in the middle of Long Island Sound, is considered to be part of Fairfield County, Connecticut.

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