Sen. Ritchie urges stepped up enforcement to prevent walleye poaching in Rossie
Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - 5:25 pm

State Senator Patty Ritchie called on environmental officials to step up enforcement efforts to protect the historic walleye spawning run in the Rossie area.

Senator Ritchie reached out to Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens in the wake of five poaching arrests at the historic walleye run. She urged him to restore the surveillance program that insured the survival of the vital part of the greater Indian Lakes, Black Lake and Oswegatchie River ecosystem.

"Black Lake is one of America's top fishing destinations, and these two weeks are critical to the continued survival of the walleye population," Senator Ritchie said. "With St. Lawrence County and Jefferson County promoting our region's sport fishing opportunities, we need to protect natural treasures like the walleye spawning run that keeps tourists coming to our region."

Senator Ritchie was contacted by the St. Lawrence Fish Advisory Board and the St. Lawrence Federated Sportsmen's Clubs and asked to intercede with DEC. She and her staff contacted regional and Albany-based DEC officials.

"DEC needs to protect the spawning run. The department needs to call in its rangers if necessary," she said.