Newhouse News Service
March 18, 2008

CLEVELAND — The fleet of Buckeye fishermen heading to the Canadian waters of Lake Erie to chase walleye and smallmouth bass is expected to shrink because of new homeland security rules.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is beefing up its armada of surveillance boats and officers on Lake Erie. They are enforcing homeland security rules that will be major headaches for Ohio’s fishing guides and pleasure boaters.

More than 200 Ohio fishing guides attending a recent Lake Erie Charter Boat Association conference in Huron were outraged to learn from CBP spokesman Tim Harmon that they face cumbersome new regulations in 2008. The legal department of CBP has mandated that charter boats join commercial vessels in filling out extra paperwork, as well as jump through federal hoops that include daily reporting requirements.

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