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Fishing Notes

New York taxing boaters, anglers

New York Gov. David Patterson’s 2009 executive budget features five tax increases targeting fisherman, boaters and the $1 billion New York recreational fishing industry, according to the Recreational Fishing Alliance.

Under the new budget, saltwater anglers must purchase a $19 saltwater license ($40 for out of state anglers). An increase in marina fees, state park fees and lifting of the cap on state fuel taxes also appear in the governor’s budget, according to the RFA.

A new coalition called Save Boating and Fishing Jobs in New York aims at repealing the new taxes. Members of the group include the Recreational Fishing Alliance, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, New York Fishing Tackle Trade Association, United Boatmen of New York and the New York Marine Trades Association.

Coalition leaders believe that efforts by the state government to levy increased fees on regional fishing and boating could seriously affect New York’s marine tourism industry.

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Fishing, wildlife access funds top $740 million

More than $740 million will be distributed to fish and wildlife agencies nationwide to fund fish and wildlife conservation, boater access to public waters, and hunter and aquatic education.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program funds come from excise taxes and import duties on sporting firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, sportfishing equipment, electric outboard motors and fuel taxes attributable to motorboats and small engines, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Sport Fish Restoration apportionment for 2009 totals more than $404 million. Sport Fish Restoration funds are apportioned to the states based on a formula that includes the land and water area, inland waters, the Great Lakes, marine coastal areas and the number of paid fishing license holders.

The Sport Fish Restoration funds are used to pay for stocking fish; acquiring and improving fish habitat; providing aquatic resource education opportunities; conducting fisheries research; maintaining public access; and the construction of boat ramps, fishing piers and other facilities for recreational boating access.

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This article originally appeared in the Connecticut and New York Home Waters Section of the June 2009 issue.