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ASA News is the monthly e-newsletter from the American Sportfishing Association. Please scroll down for the complete document. Use the links in the right hand navigation under the specific topic area to access additional information.

For more information contact Communications Director Mary Jane Williamson, (703) 519-9691, x227.

Association News

  • ASA Board of Directors Election Results
  • FishAmerica Foundation Partners with B.A.S.S. LLC

ICAST Updates

  • Thank You ICAST 2013 Sponsors
  • Online Show Registration is Now Closed
  • Online Housing Reservations is Now Closed
  • We Have a Fantastic Slate of Speakers and Business Seminars
  • KeepAmericaFishing™ Has News for You!
  • Mark Your Calendar for ICAST 2014 and 2015

Sportfishing Policy and Government Affairs

  • Florida Gasoline No Longer Requires Ethanol
  • Supreme Court Backs EPA on E15
  • Hatteras Public Access Bill Moves Forward in the Senate
  • Artificial Reef Act Introduced into Senate
  • NY Governor Announces Grants for Recovery to Fishing Industry
  • Columbia River Gillnet Update
  • Recreational Boating is an Economic Force
  • Tarpon and Bonefish Approved as Catch-and-Release Only
  • Angler Action Program Awarded NOAA Funding

Fishing Facts and Figures

  • Fishing Tackle Imports Increase Slightly in the First Quarter of 2013

ASA Board of Directors Election Results

Seven members of the American Sportfishing Association’s (ASA) board of directors were elected or re-elected to fill three regional seats and three at-large seats. Regional seats went to Jeff Pontius, president, ZEBCO Brands, Tulsa, Okla., and Martin MacDonald, director of Conservation, Bass Pro Shops, Springfield, Mo., (re-elected) who will both serve the South Central Region; Aledia Hunt Tush, president, CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, Sarasota, Fla., (re-elected) will serve the Southeast Region; and Terry Pederson, vice president of Sales, Daiwa Corporation, Cypress Calif., who will represent the West Region. At-Large seats went to Paul Schluter, president, St. Croix Rods, Park Falls, Wis., (re-elected); K.C. Walsh, president, Simms Fishing Products, Bozeman, Mont.; and Gary Zurn, senior vice president, Marketing and Dealer Services, Big Rock Sports, Newport, N.C. (re-elected).Their terms begin October 1, 2013, and they will serve two-year terms. ASA’s board members may serve three, consecutive two-year terms. Click here for the press release regarding the election results.

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FishAmerica Foundation Partners with B.A.S.S. LLC

In June, the FishAmerica Foundation and B.A.S.S. LLC announced a partnership to form the B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation Fund. The B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation Fund will fund activities, projects and programs related to fisheries and aquatic resource conservation and research. The fund will be used exclusively by B.A.S.S. Nation state clubs to implement specifically targeted projects which benefit black bass species and their habitats while enhancing fisheries conservation on the grassroots level. The B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation Fund is seeking proposals for new grant projects from B.A.S.S. Nation clubs beginning July 2013, the deadline being October 1, 2013. The call for proposals will be sent from B.A.S.S. LLC to B.A.S.S. Nation clubs the first week of July 2013. The awardees will be announced at the February 2014 Bassmaster Classic in Birmingham, Ala.

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Thank You ICAST 2013 Sponsors

ASA would like to thank its generous members who have already signed on as ICAST sponsors. Our ICAST 2013 sponsors are: Gold – Crocodile Bay Resort; Fishing Tackle Retailer; NBC Sports Network; Rapala; and Take Me Fishing™. Silver – Dave Mercer’s Facts of Fishing; Gemini Custom Apparel; In-Fisherman; Koppers Fishing & Tackle Corp; and Pure Fishing. Bronze – Big Catch Tees; Buck Knives; Chums; Classic Fishing Products, Inc.; Columbia Sportswear; Holster Up; and L & L Outdoor Products. This list is current as of July 3, 2013.

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Online Show Registration is Now Closed

Online registration for ICAST 2013 is now closed. You can still register onsite at the ICAST Registration Desk located in the Las Vegas Convention Center starting at noon on Monday, July 8. You can pick up your badges onsite at the Scan and Go Kiosk. We also have dedicated Attendee counters at the registration desk. If you have any questions about ICAST registration, you may still contact Experient/ICAST Registration at 301-694-5243.

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Online Housing Reservations is Now Closed

Experient, our show registration and housing reservations partner, is no longer accepting ICAST hotel reservations. If you are interested in staying at one of the official ICAST hotels you will need to contact the hotel directly. The list of hotels is on the ICAST website in the Exhibitor, Attendee and Media section.

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We Have a Fantastic Slate of Speakers and Business Seminars

This year’s business sessions schedule is better than ever with experts in their fields coming to Las Vegas to help you improve your business. The ICAST/IFTD business seminars cover a wide range of topics that will help you increase your business knowledge and improve your employees’ and customers’ experiences: New Markets and New Audiences; Boosting the Retail Experience, and Business to Business issues. All seminars are held in room N253, in the Las Vegas Convention Center. All seminars are complimentary for badged ICAST and IFTD attendees and exhibitors. To make planning easier, here are the topic areas and the seminar titles. For all the details about the business seminars, go to http://icastfishing.org/show-schedule/seminars/.

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KeepAmericaFishing™ Has News for You!

Join KeepAmericaFishing™, industry professionals and pro anglers in the ASA Resource Center, Booth 2419, at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 11 to the kick-off of the new KeepAmericaFishing website and membership program. Just $20 gets you a lot of great news, deals and opportunities. Help us raise a glass to this important program that helps keep you in business.

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Mark Your Calendar for ICAST 2014 and 2015

Please mark your calendar for ICAST 2014 and 2015 being held in Orlando, Fla.
ICAST 2014 – July 15 – 18, 2014, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida
ICAST 2015 – July 14 – 17, 2015, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida

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Florida Gasoline No Longer Requires Ethanol

In late May, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a law that repeals the state’s ethanol mandate. The five year old mandate previously stated that all gasoline in the state of Florida had to contain a percentage of ethanol. With the passage of the new law, businesses can now sell ethanol-free gasoline for automobiles, boat engines and other small engines. Ethanol can cause damage to motorboat engines, small engines and automobile engines. Most engines are not designed to run on higher blends of ethanol, which can cause them to overheat and cause engine failure.

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Supreme Court Backs EPA on E15

On June 24, the Supreme Court declined to review a previous court ruling upholding the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s approval of allowing blends of 15 percent ethanol in gasoline (E15) to be sold on the market. In 2012, the EPA approved the first applications for registration of ethanol for use in making E15 gasoline, which is a significant step toward its production, sale, and use. Most marine and other small gasoline-powered engines are designed, calibrated and certified to run on not more than 10 percent ethanol, and higher concentrations of ethanol in fuel pose serious mechanical problems for these engines.

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Hatteras Public Access Bill Moves Forward in the Senate

On June 18, the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources unanimously advanced a bill to reexamine the onerous beach access closures at Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area in North Carolina. The bill calls for a review and adjustment of the various public access closures that were enacted in the National Park Service’s 2012 Final Rule. While ASA believes the bill is a step in the right direction, it fails to provide immediate relief to businesses and individuals negatively affected by the restrictions.

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Artificial Reef Act Introduced into Senate

On May 23, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) introduced the Artificial Reef Promotion Act of 2013, S. 1079, which will streamline the process for oil rigs to remain in the ocean as artificial reefs. Non-producing oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico are being removed at an increasing rate, and while programs are in place to transfer these structures into artificial reef programs, a variety of bureaucratic obstacles often prohibit such transfers. The bill also requires that at least twenty new artificial reef planning sites, ten located in waters of 100 – 200 feet and the rest in waters no greater than 200 feet deep, be created. S. 1079 also decreases the distances between sites from five miles to two miles.

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NY Governor Announces Grants for Recovery to Fishing Industry

In late May, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that fishing businesses that were affected by Hurricanes Sandy and Irene or Tropical Storm Lee are eligible for recovery funding from New York State’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Action Plan. Under this program, commercial, recreational fishing and related businesses may be eligible for an award of up to $50,000 to cover eligible losses to enable the affected business recovery from the impacts of these disasters. To apply for funding or for more information, click here or call 1-855-NYS-SANDY.

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Columbia River Gillnet Update

In January 2013, the states of Washington and Oregon both voted to phase gillnets out of the mainstream of the Columbia River and into the bay and slough areas over a four year time period. However, the proponents of gillnets obtained a stay by the court of appeals in Oregon allowing this phase out to be put on hold. Recreational angling outfits in Oregon have filed an amicus brief regarding the stay. ASA staff will continue to monitor this situation.

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Recreational Boating is an Economic Force

In early June, the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA) released its 2011 Recreational Boating Statistical Report, which found that recreational boating is a $121 billion economic driver for the U.S. economy. Recreational boating supports a million jobs in the U.S. as well as 34,833 businesses, $40 billion in annual labor income and $83 billion in annual spending. Boating participation was up six percent since 2011, and boating sales were also up 10.7 percent. To purchase and read NMMA’s entire economic report, please click here.

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Tarpon and Bonefish Approved as Catch-and-Release Only

On June 12, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved a proposal to designate the tarpon and bonefish fisheries as catch-and-release only. This change will go into effect September 2013. Those who catch tarpon will be able to photograph and measure the fish for length, girth and scientific sampling only when it is less than 40 inches. All tarpon longer than 40 inches must remain in the water. The catch-and-release decision was based on a determination that the economic value of these species as sport fish exceeds their food value.

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Angler Action Program Awarded NOAA Funding

On June 25, NOAA announced a total of 14 projects that will receive funding through the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) to improve the counting and reporting of marine recreational catch and effort. One project of particular note is an examination of the Angler Action Program to augment MRIP data and estimates. Data from the Angler Action Program, a voluntary angler logbook app that records trip and catch information, has been used by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in its recent Snook stock assessment and holds the potential to substantially increase the quantity and quality of recreational harvest data for use in other species' stock assessments and research projects. The Angler Action Program was developed by the Snook and Gamefish Foundation.

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Fishing Tackle Imports Increase Slightly in the First Quarter of 2013

Tackle imports values increased slightly in the first quarter of 2013 from the same quarter in 2012. Line, all hooks, nets, reels valued at $8.45 and under, rods, rod parts and accessories and artificial baits showed increases and fishing leaders were unchanged. Reels valued over $8.45 and reel parts and accessories showed decreases from the same quarter last year. Overall, imports were up 10 percent compared to the same quarter last year, and up 26 percent from last quarter. For details on imports by product category, visit the ASA website. For more information, contact Rob Southwick or call (904) 277-9765.

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