Border issues for boaters on St. Lawrence River

CANTON, N.Y. — Canadian Border Officials were within their rights when they threatened to seize an American fisherman’s boat and fined him $1,000 in May, according to the U.S. State Department.

The fisherman, Roy Anderson, was caught in Canadian waters on the St. Lawrence River without checking in with Canadian customs agents. The law permits non-Canadian citizens to use the water, provided they are near the border and “in transit,” said Canadian Border Security Agency’s Chris Keeley in an interview with North Country Public Radio.

Anderson contends his family has fished that particular spot for many years without issue, even during prior checks by the Canadian authorities. He was carrying a Canadian fishing license.

Two elected officials, U.S. Congressman Bill Owens and State Senator Patty Ritchie, contend that most boaters are unaware of the law and enforcement could harm fishing and tourism industries along the St. Lawrence.

On the Canadian side, Ottawa Senator Bob Runciman said in a press release that he “deplores” the treatment of Anderson, and said that “Requiring fishermen to check into customs every time they stray across the border simply means they’ll stay as far away from Canada as they can.”

To read the full article and hear the interview, go to: As politicians line up against Canada boat fine, border agency looks to clarify rules

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