Fishing Clinic for Service Members and Veterans Bill Advances in Assembly

Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I—Pulaski) is a sponsor of legislation that, if passed, will designate free fishing events for armed forces veterans and active duty members. Those who qualify for the events would not need to purchase a New York State fishing license.

The bill states to “allow the Department of Environmental Conservation to designate organized fishing events that provide physical and emotional rehabilitation for current and former Members of the Armed Services.”

This bill comes on the heels of a national effort organized by a group called Project Healing Waters. The non-profit organization has been successful in organizing fly fishing clinics for disabled veterans throughout the country. Events have been held in Central New York at the Salmon River in Oswego County. Participants and organizers say these events help build camaraderie among veterans. The bill proposed in the Assembly would make it so any veteran or active duty service member, however, would qualify for the free fishing events.

Barclay said he would like our state to show its gratitude for our service members. “In the grand scheme of what our service members have done and continue to do for our country, providing free fishing events doesn’t seem like much but, hopefully, by showing a small measure of appreciation like this, our service members know they are valued,” said Barclay.

This bill, A4263, has made its way out of the Environmental Conservation committee and was advanced to the floor earlier this week. Assemblyman Bill Magee is the author of this legislation. A similar bill last year passed the Senate but did not pass the Assembly.

Assemblyman Barclay serves on the Environmental Conservation Committee in the Assembly.