WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – A battle brewing in Washington could mean big changes for Connecticut fishermen.

Block Island Sound is between New York and Rhode Island, but it is used by Connecticut fishermen all the time. When fishing boats head out for the day, the first three miles from shore is considered state waters, then the federal government takes over. So from 3 miles off the eastern end of Long Island, New York, there are several miles of federal water before you reach the 3 mile limit around Block Island, Rhode Island. That is important because Block Island Sound is a breeding ground for striped bass, a prized trophy fish, but it is illegal to fish for them in federal waters.

In a congressional hearing earlier this month, New York Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin testified that, “For recreational anglers or charter boat captains, this shift in jurisdiction can mean the difference between a nice day on the water and committing a federal offense.”

He introduced a bill to get rid of the federal area and divide Block Island Sound between New York and Rhode Island. Trouble is, that would shut out Connecticut’s commercial fishermen entirely.

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