Albany – A state senator has introduced a legislative bill that
would allow New York anglers to use a maximum of three rods while
fishing instead of the current two.
The proposal is geared toward boating anglers who would be able
to run the extra rod off their boat while fishing places such as
Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes and other popular New
State Sen. Thomas Libous, R-C-I_Binghamton, crafted the
legislation after hearing from charter operators and guides who
pushed for a three-rod rule.
“(The bill) is designed to favorably impact a fisherman’s
experience by increasing his probability of catching a fish,”
Libous wrote in his proposal, S6453. “Catching a fish enhances
angler satisfaction more than any other factor and is the prime
determinant in deciding whether or not to make return visits to the
fisheries of New York.”
Those return trips, Libous added, could fuel local economies and
potentially boost business for charter operators.
“The small-crewed boats, the ‘weekend warrior,’ the
recreationalist, the vacationer, the retired couple who have saved
up for a boat and now have the time and health to use it will all
benefit from this,”_Libous said.
Dick Dennie of Landing Zone Charters in Wilson (Niagara County)
said the majority of charter operators are in favor of a three-rod
“I feel it will be very well-received by those who troll alone
or with one other angler aboard,” Dennie said. “It won’t increase
the number of rods deployed on most charter boats because they are
already running all the rods they can handle.”
Dennie added that since creel limits won’t change, a three-rod
rule wouldn’t have a negative impact on the fishery. “Many
current-day fishermen – especially non-charter anglers – don’t keep
many fish anyway,” he said.
While the three-rod proposal is tailored mostly to boat anglers,
those fishing from shore would also be allowed to use a trio of
rods under the bill.
Libous said New Jersey and Michigan currently allow a maximum of
three rods per angler and those states “have continued to see a
favorable impact to their recreational fishermen.”
Dennie sees a three-rod regulation as another tool in boosting
interest in fishing and increasing license sales and associated
revenue in New York.
“It’s all about increasing the fun of more frequent hookups and
being able to run productive ‘spreads’ with a limited number of
anglers onboard,” he said. “It also seems likely that more success
for novice trollers will bring and keep more fishermen – and
licenses – in the sport.”
The bill has been forwarded to the Senate Environmental
Conservation Committee, but Libous has indicated to supporters that
it’s unlikely the legislation will be addressed until at least
after the state finalizes its 2010-11 budget.
At press time, an Assembly version of the bill had not been