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Please scroll down to find all the latest news from the American Sportfishing Association including:

  • 2012 Sportfishing Summit – Registration, Housing and Much More
  • Important ICAST Information
  • Information About Our New Consumer Show
  • Government Affairs
  • Data & Statistics

Join Us for the 2012 Sportfishing Summit
The American Sportfishing Association’s (ASA) 2012 Sportfishing Summit will be held October 9-11, at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort in Hilton Head, S.C. We know that attending the Summit is a commitment, but it is one of the best business investments that an ASA member can make. We make every effort to ensure that the 2012 Sportfishing Summit will provides you with both a great networking venue and information you may not hear anywhere else from experts in their fields, both inside and outside the industry. We encourage you to attend the Summit as well as ASA’s Committee meetings and Board of Directors meetings in order to gain a better understanding the role that ASA plays in ensuring our industry’s future.

2012 Sportfishing Summit General Agenda
We have an outstanding agenda this year planned for this year, with several distinguished speakers, who will focus on three key areas:

  • Knowing more about our economy and our industry through a wealth of new data including the new U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s survey data as well as a unique study of the millennial generation and what “turns them on” about outdoor recreation.
  • Delving into how to use digital technology and social media to increase the bottom line. We’re all very familiar with the what, e.g. Internet, smart phones and Facebook. The Minneapolis-based Colle+McVoy Group is going to walk us through the why and how of this ever-changing subject.
  • How the association’s member benefits bring value to you as a member. We have a number of new member benefits that every ASA member will find useful in day-to-day business issues.

2012 Summit Meeting Registration
The Sportfishing Summit housing and pre-registration deadlines are Friday, September 21, 2012. Please take advantage of the pre-registration and room block rates and reserve your spot now for the sportfishing industry’s annual business meeting. After September 21, on-site rates apply. Summit registrations may be faxed, mailed or emailed to ASA. Please see the instructions on the registration form. For more information about Summit registration, please contact Membership Director Jill Calabria, (703) 519-9691, x234, or jcalabria@asafishing.org.

2012 Summit Housing Reservations
You can make your reservations directly with the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort by using the online Summit reservation link. Please make your reservations no later than 1:00 p.m., EDT, on Friday, September 21, 2012. Request the group rate for the ASA/Sportfishing Summit. Rates are guaranteed until Friday, September 21, 2012. Housing requests received after the deadline will be assigned based upon room and rate availability. The room rate is $125 plus tax for both a single and double room. Check-in time is 4:00 p.m. Check-out time is Noon. You may also call 1-800-937-8461 and request the group rate for the ASA/Sportfishing Summit. The Westin will send you an electronic confirmation by email within three (3) days of your reservation.

October ASA Committee and Board of Directors Meetings
During the 2012 Sportfishing Summit, the ASA Board of Directors will meet on Monday, October 8, from 2:30 – 5:30 p.m. They will also meet on Thursday, October 11, from 7:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. The committees will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Please check the new committee schedule for the day and time of your committee meeting. Government Affairs will meet both Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.

The 2012 Lifetime Achievement and Future of Fishing Award Nominations
The American Sportfishing Association has two awards – the Norville Prosser Lifetime Achievement Award and the Future of Fishing Award – to recognize significant contributions to sportfishing. Nomination forms are available on ASA’s website under the Sportfishing Summit. Nominations are due by Friday, September 21, to Policy Fellow Libby Yranski, x244.

Summit Fishing, Golfing and Other Attractions
Hilton Head offers a wide-range of activities for everyone who visits the island and the local area. See the visitors’ bureau’s website for more information about attractions, shopping and outdoor activities. Please feel free to contact the ones listed on ASA’s website under Travel and Lodging to set up some great fishing and golfing.

2012 Sportfishing Summit Sponsorship Opportunities
Build name recognition and make a statement to the leaders of the sportfishing industry by sponsoring an event at ASA’s premier business and networking event. Please email Membership Director Jill Calabria for more information or call (703) 519-9691, x234.

ICAST 2012 – A Great Show
From exhibitors to buyers to outdoor media, 9,000 representatives from the global sportfishing community converged on the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., July 11-13, for the world's largest sportfishing trade show. The 55th International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST, saw an overall attendance increase of 23 percent and buyer attendance was up 25 percent. ASA’s commitment to our member exhibitors, media and all show attendees is to listen and improve this show in any and every way we can. We look forward to seeing everyone next year for ICAST 2013 being held July 10-12, at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas.

ICAST 2012 New Product Showcase Best of Show Winners
The New Product Showcase is ICAST’s flagship feature in which exhibiting companies debut their newest innovations. Sponsored by Fishing Tackle Retailer, the 2012 New Product Showcase embodied the sportfishing industry's innovative and entrepreneurial spirit through the “Best of Show” new product awards competition. The ICAST 2012 “Best of Show” awards were presented on Wednesday, July 11, during the Chairman’s Industry Awards Reception. This year the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 by Hobie Cat, was voted by buyers and media as the best product in both the Boat category and the overall “Best of Show.”

Thank you ICAST 2012 Sponsors
ASA would like to thank its generous members who signed on as ICAST sponsors. Our ICAST 2012 sponsors are: Gold sponsors – Crocodile Bay Resort; Fishing Tackle Retailer; Frabill, Inc.; NBC Sports Network; Outdoor Channel; Take Me Fishing™; and WFN: World Fishing Network. Silver sponsors – Dave Mercer's Facts of Fishing; Gemini Custom Apparel; In-Fisherman; Koppers Fishing & Tackle Corp.; North American Fisherman; and Simms Fishing Products. Bronze sponsors – Bass Minder; Classic Fishing Products; Columbia Sportswear; Tackle Webs; and Stormr.

ICAST 2012 Surveys Emailed on August 14
On Monday, August 14, you should have received an email from Southwick Associates asking you to answer some questions about your ICAST experience. Your answers will be held in confidence unless you allow us to use your comments as testimonials. Please take a few minutes of your time to help us better meet your tradeshow needs.

Exhibiting at ICAST 2013
Now is the time to reserve your booth space for ICAST 2013, being held July 10-12, at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev. Booths will be assigned in early October. Contracts and booth assignments will not be processed until a deposit is received. For more information about reserving your booth space, contact ICAST Director Kenneth Andres, (703) 519-9691, x231.

Mark Your Calendar for ICAST 2013, 2014 and 2015
Please mark your calendars for ICAST 2012 and 2013. We look forward to seeing you there.
ICAST 2013 – July 10 – 12, 2013, Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nev.
ICAST 2014 – July 11 – 13, 2014, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla.
ICAST 2015 – July 13 – 15, 2015, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla.

The New Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo
ASA’s new Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo will deliver to the Chicago and the Great Lakes market a “sportfishing spectacular.” Scheduled for January 24-27, 2013, at the Schaumburg Convention Center, the Expo will cover over 100,000 square feet. Fishing tackle manufacturers already signed on to exhibit include Shimano, Daiwa, Okuma, St. Croix, TFO, Rapala, Plano, G. Loomis, Frabill, Ardent, Garmin, PowerPro, Stick Jacket and many more. To reserve exhibit space, contact Tod Alberto at tod@sportshows.com or (603) 431-4315. Visit the website at www.sportshows.com. View the Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/ChicagoSportshow.

Pro Anglers Support KeepAmericaFishing™
Professional anglers from across the nation gathered at the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST and the world's largest Sportfishing trade show, to show their support for KeepAmericaFishing™. ICAST attendees had the opportunity to meet the anglers, hear firsthand what fishing means to them and how supporting KeepAmericaFishing helps ensure our nation's waters remain open, clean and abundant with fish. See more about these Legends in Sportfishing.

ASA Welcomes New Policy Fellow
Libby Yranski is ASA’s new Policy Fellow. Libby recently completed her B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Marine Biology at Northeastern University. For the next two years, as Policy Fellow, she will work closely with ASA’s Government Affairs staff on advocacy issues and KeepAmericaFishingTM. Libby’s contact information is lyranski@asafishing.org, (703) 519-9691, x244. Please welcome her to the ASA staff. ASA also thanks Alyssa Hausman for her work as Policy Fellow. Her excellent work and dedication added greatly to ASA’s efforts in government affairs and KeepAmericaFishing. Our thanks go to Alyssa and we wish her good luck in all her future endeavors.

Transportation Bill Addresses Key Sportfishing Community Issues
On July 6, President Obama signed into law an agreement on the U.S. Transportation Bill reauthorization, which includes several measures of importance to the sportfishing community. The bill included the RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act, which directs 80 percent of the Clean Water Act penalties charged to BP as a result of the April 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the restoration of the Gulf Coast environment and economy. Also reauthorized within the Transportation Bill is the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, commonly known as the Wallop-Breaux Act, which directs $650 million annually to state fish and wildlife agencies' fishing and boating programs. Funds for this important program are collected largely from the federal manufacturers excise taxes on fishing equipment and the motorboat fuel tax. A third measure included in the bill will expedite efforts to prevent the further spread of the invasive Asian carp, which poses a significant threat to the Great Lakes’ $7 billion sportfishing industry. For more information, read ASA’s press release or contact Ocean Resource Policy Director Mike Leonard, x230.

Senate Subcommittee Holds Hearing on National Park Access
On June 27, the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on National Parks held a hearing exploring several bills affecting the National Park System, including legislation to restore reasonable access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area. The Preserving Access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area Act (S. 2372) addresses the Park Service’s new off-road vehicle (ORV) management plan for the seashore that severely restricts access to the most popular areas of the seashore far beyond what is needed for fish and wildlife resource management. The plan not only threatens sportfishing in the park, but the seashore’s local economy, which is largely dependent upon tourism and recreation. The Preserving Access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area Act seeks to reinstate the Park Service’s Interim Protected Species Management Strategy governing ORV and pedestrian access. The bill will overturn the newly adopted ORV management plan, and a similarly onerous 2008 Consent Decree that has guided park management for the last three years. Similar legislation, H.R. 4094, was passed by the House of Representatives in early June. ASA encourages all members to send a message to their Senators in support of S. 2372. For more information, contact Ocean Resource Policy Director Mike Leonard, x230.

Legislation Addresses Ongoing Federal Fish Hatcheries Budget Issues
Legislation (H.R. 5931) was recently introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives that will address ongoing funding issues that threaten to close federal fish hatcheries within the Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Fish Hatchery System (NFHS). The NFHS is responsible for stocking many of our nation’s waters with fish, such as rainbow trout, to mitigate for the loss of native fisheries due to water development projects such as dams. With diminishing budgets, the Service can no longer afford to operate these hatcheries without reimbursement from the responsible water management agencies, including the Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and Tennessee Valley Authority. H.R. 5931 will require the responsible agencies to pay for their portion of mitigation hatchery operations and keep hatcheries across the U.S. in operation. ASA encourages all members to send a message to their Representative in support of H.R. 5931. For more information, contact Vice President, Gordon Robertson x237.

California Legislation Will Remove Anglers from Fishery Management
Two bills (SB 1148 and AB 2402) have been introduced in the California legislature that together could effectively remove recreational anglers from fisheries management and conservation discussions in the state. Among other things, these two bills authorize “nonprofit partnerships” between well-financed organizations and the Department Fish and Game (DFG), allowing special interest groups to further their agendas within the DFG, including those that influenced the Marine Life Protection Act process. The bills will also remove the Fish and Game Commission's regulatory power over marine protected areas and listing of threatened and endangered species and instead put these authorities in the hands of the DFG. This could result in “nonprofit partners” making important decisions that further limit fishing access to public waters without any public forum or transparency in the process. ASA encourages all California members to send a message to their state legislators opposing SB 1148 and AB 2402. For more information, contact Ocean Resource Policy Director Mike Leonard, x230.

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Update
During its June 11-15, meeting in Orlando, Fla., the South Atlantic Council requested an emergency rule be used to provide recreational and commercial fishermen the opportunity to harvest a limited number of red snapper later this year, perhaps by early fall. Pending approval, the emergency rule would allow recreational harvest of 9,399 fish during three-day weekend openings, on to-be-determined dates. To control this limited harvest, the council began developing an amendment to regulate red snapper harvest through a tagging program. The Council also continues to develop management alternatives to use marine protected areas (MPAs) as added protection for speckled hind and Warsaw grouper. These MPAs are being proposed as a less restrictive alternative to the previous ban on all bottom fishing in depths 240 feet or greater. For more information, contact Ocean Resource Policy Director Mike Leonard, x230.

Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council Update
Ken Haddad, ASA’s Marine Fisheries Advisor, attended the June 18-21, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting in Tampa, Fla. The Gulf Council continues to explore options for adjusting commercial and recreational allocations for gag, red grouper, and black grouper. The council also continues to explore options, including an accelerated rulemaking process, to allow for the use of devices to increase the survivability of caught and released fish through the use of barotrauma devices. For more information, contact Ocean Resource Policy Director Mike Leonard, x230.

California’s San Clemente Dam Approved for Removal
On June 21, the California Public Utilities Commission approved the removal of the San Clemente Dam on Carmel River. The dam, which is owned by the California-American Water Company, poses a seismic safety hazard and is an impediment to fish passage, notably steelhead. The project will consist of a permanent bypass around a portion of the Carmel River by cutting a channel between the Carmel River and San Clemente Creek, upstream of the dam. The bypassed portion of the Carmel River will be used as a disposal site for the accumulated sediment, and the Dam will be removed. The project, which is expected to begin in September 2012 and take three years to complete, will restore access to 25 miles of critical spawning and rearing habitat for steelhead. For more information, read the press releases from the California Public Utilities Commission and California-American Water.

Trade Data Available on ASA’s Website
The latest in sportfishing industry statistics are posted online by the American Sportfishing Association. Learn the latest about tackle imports, fishing participation, sales of retail brands, online tackle sales and more. Go to Facts & Figures on the website to access the latest trade data available. For additional information, contact Rob Southwick at (904) 277-9765.

Learn the Latest About Trends in Wholesale Tackle Shipments
ASA has launched a service to help member manufacturers compare their individual business performance to industry averages. Each month, participating companies complete a short, confidential survey regarding their previous month’s shipments. No information specific to any individual company will be released. Results will report the change in the previous month’s wholesale tackle shipments compared to 12 months earlier, and year-to-date changes. Participating companies receive the results each month. Top-line results will be released to all others later after a three to six month lag. For more information, contact Rob Southwick at (904) 277-9765.