An Amagansett family whose fishing provides clams for its roadside stand as well as its own dinner table is fighting the state over the right to fish. And the Lesters insist that a 1686 royal decree give them that right.

According to the Post, the Lesters, who have been fishing for centuries, have "been fined thousands of dollars and raided four times this summer alone" by the Department of Environmental Conservation. The DEC wants them to get a state license, but Kelly Lester said, "My grandfather always told me that we had a right to fish our waters here."

The Dongan Patent of 1686 "conferred responsibility for town land and waterways on locally elected trustees." The Town of Brookhaven's website explains that it "[grants] the rights to all waterways, ponds, streams, brooks, wetlands, rivers and other estuaries, as trustees for the early settlers and for residents today." But that doesn't mean towns like it: When a man challenged East Hampton for the right to ride a water scooter, a Town Board lawyer told the NY Times in 2006, "The Dongan Patent is not inviolate. It’s ridiculous. We no longer owe our allegiance to King James or any other British crown."