New York’s senior senator is dropping in at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton this morning to call on both the US and Canadian border protection agencies to figure out how to protect the fishing and tourism industries from tightened — and confusing — border enforcement along the St. Lawrence.
Canadian officers boarded, searched and seized Roy Anderson’s boat as he and a friend fished, unanchored, on May 30th.
The officers fined Anderson $1000 dollars on the spot. He paid by credit card to get his boat released.
Anderson later said he was fishing under the common belief that anglers didn’t have to check in at Canada customs as long as they haven’t anchored or docked the boat.
The US State Department later said the Canadian officers were well within their legal authority.
The problem is, the international border snakes along the middle of the St. Lawrence. Law-abiding people who live on or visit the river — on both sides of the line — have for centuries paddled, rowed, sailed and motored pretty much at will, except for wartime.
In boating and fishing circles from the Thousand Islands to Massena, the Canadian seizure and fine was seen as pretty much a game-changer.
One US fishing tournament — the NYBASS Tourney, scheduled for July 23 in Massena — has pulled competitors back from Canadian waters just in case. Others tournaments are threatened.
Schumer wants a plan to prescreen fishing tournament participants that would allow them to fish on both sides of the border.
I hope they do. Now what about everybody, and everything, else along the river?