Senator Ken LaValle Applauds Court’s Decision Scuttling Fishing-License Rule

Kenneth P. LaValle

December 17, 2010

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle today applauded the New York State Supreme Court decision striking down a law that requires recreational anglers to obtain a fishing license to fish town waters.

The towns of East Hampton, Southampton, Shelter Island, Brookhaven, Southold, Huntington and Oyster Bay challenged the law as encroaching on their individual authority to regulate their waters. The law required any angler older than 16 to get a $10 license. The court’s decision applies only to the towns that filed suit.

“I voted against this measure when it was part of the 2009 budget and am happy it has been struck down,” Senator LaValle said.

“In my district, in particular, various patents that date back to Colonial time give the land to the freeholders. As such, trustees have control over the bay bottoms. The towns rightly challenged the ill-conceived law that imposed an unnecessary fee on recreational and occasional anglers.”

LaValle said that earlier this year he supported a measure that would repeal the recreational saltwater fishing license fee created in the 2009 budget. The bill keeps New York in compliance with federal law by creating a registry in lieu of requiring individuals to purchase a license.

Under the measure , New York would create a free registry for recreational saltwater fisherman. The registry would meet the federal requirements to provide certain background information on recreational saltwater fisherman. States that are not in compliance with this regulation will be forced to require individuals to purchase a license from the federal government.