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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.


A Message from ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman

ICAST Update

  • Reserve Your Seat for the Industry Breakfast with Coach Bobby Knight
  • June 8 ICAST Pre-Registration and Housing Deadline
  • Thank you ICAST 2012 Sponsors
  • “You Are Here” With the New ICAST App and Show Floor Kiosks
  • ICAST 2012 New Product Showcase and the “Best of Show” Awards
  • ICAST 2012 Show Highlights, Events and Business Education Seminars

KeepAmericaFishing Update

  • Cast Away in Costa Rica Sweepstakes Winners

Industry News Update

  • Mark Your Calendar for the 2012 Sportfishing Summit on Hilton Head Island!
  • National Fish and Wildlife Service Survey Data to be Released Late Summer
  • Celebrate National Fishing and Boating Week
  • Coming Soon: The 2012 Special Report on Boating and Fishing
  • Fishing Tackle Imports Decline in the First Quarter of 2012

Government Affairs Update

  • Severe Bottom Fishing Closure in the South Atlantic Lifted
  • EPA Releases Draft Study on Bristol Bay Resources and Proposed Mining Efforts
  • North Carolina Eliminates Purse Seining for Menhaden
  • Congressional Appropriations Update for NOAA
  • New Hampshire Shelves Legislation to Expand Ban on Lead Fishing Tackle
  • Legislation Introduced to Expedite Efforts to Stop the Spread of Asian Carp
  • Congress Passes Legislation to Reauthorize the U.S. Import-Export Bank
  • Ohio Legislature Passes Harmful Legislation

Reserve Your Seat for the Industry Breakfast with Coach Bobby Knight
Get the inside information on the state of our industry during the State of the Industry Breakfast being held Wednesday, July 11, 7:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m., at the Orange County Convention Center. In addition, legendary basketball coach, Bobby Knight, is this year’s guest keynote speaker. Knight was one of college basketball's most successful and innovative coaches, having won 902 NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball games. Knight remains “the object of near fanatical devotion” from his former players and Indiana University fans. Knight is also a studio analyst for ESPN during Championship Week and for coverage of the NCAA Tournament. The breakfast is being held in the convention center, Hall B, Third Floor, Room W311. Tickets are required. Tickets can be purchased online; by calling (301) 694-5243; or onsite at the ICAST Registration Desk. Only registered exhibitors and attendees may purchase tickets.

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Don’t Miss the June 8 Show Events Request Form Deadline
June 8 is the final deadline to have your Show Special listed and receive a “Show Special” sign for your ICAST booth. June 8, is also the deadline to submit your New Product Showcase entry form; Press Conference room request; Casting Pond reservation form; and Lure Tank reservation form. To access this information, go to the Exhibitor section on the ICAST website – www.ICASTfishing.org.

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Thank you ICAST 2012 Sponsors
ASA would like to thank its generous members who have already 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; and Columbia Sportswear. This list is current as of June 5, 2012.

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“You Are Here” With the New ICAST App and Show Floor Kiosks
ICAST and Outdoor Channel have partnered with the You Are Here system to provide a mobile app and show floor touch-screen kiosks that make it easy for buyers and media to locate and connect with exhibitors. The You Are Here system is also usable on laptops through the Internet. According to ICAST Director Kenneth Andres this new exhibitor locator makes it easy to plan a day’s activities or quickly make it to a show floor meeting on time. The new app icon is available on the ICAST website main page. Check it out now!

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ICAST 2012 New Product Showcase and the “Best of Show” Awards
More fishing products are unveiled during the ICAST New Product Showcase than anywhere else in the world. The New Product Showcase is the premier venue where established manufacturers and entrepreneurs alike debut their latest innovations in fishing gear, apparel and accessories. Buyers and Media-Editorial badge holders evaluate each new product and vote for the prestigious “Best of Show” awards in 21 product categories and the overall “Best of Show.” Voting begins at 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, July 10, during the New Product Showcase Preview Reception, sponsored by Fishing Tackle Retailer, and ends at 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 11. The awards are presented during the Chairman’s Industry Awards Reception, sponsored by Frabill, Inc., being held Wednesday, July 11, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., at the Orange County Convention Center. All badged ICAST exhibitors and attendees are welcome to attend the Chairman’s Reception.

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ICAST 2012 Show Highlights, Events and Business Education Seminars
Other exciting highlights at ICAST 2012 are the Casting Area, Casting Pond and Lure Tank. These spaces on the show floor allow exhibitors to demonstrate their latest innovations in lures, reels and rods. ICAST also offers a wide-range of free business seminars for attendees and exhibitors that cover a wide-range of topics from human resources for small businesses to staying current with the IRS’ fishing tackle excise tax requirements.

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Cast Away in Costa Rica Sweepstakes Winners
In February, KeepAmericaFishing launched the Cast Away in Costa Rica sweepstakes to generate interest in our advocacy efforts. The Grand Prize winner from Ashburn, Va. and his guest are now on their way to Crocodile Bay Resort in Costa Rica for five full days of lodging, meals and fishing in Peninsula de Osa. Their $4,000 in fishing gear and accessories from Abu Garcia, Gulp!, PENN and Sebile will surely keep them fishing when they return home. The first prize winners, from Bluffton, S.C. and Lake Mary, Fla., are also enjoying their fishing gear worth $1,000 each. Stay tuned on how to enter the next KeepAmericaFishing™ sweepstakes at www.KeepAmericaFishing.org.

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Mark Your Calendar for 2012 Sportfishing Summit on Hilton Head Island!
ASA invites its members and partners to the 2012 Sportfishing Summit scheduled for October 9 – 11, at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort on Hilton Head Island, S.C. Mark your calendar today for the Sportfishing Summit, ASA’s annual membership meeting and premier networking event. If you are interested in being a sponsor for this year’s Summit, please contact Membership Director Jill Calabria, 234. Summit registration and housing and program information will be available on the ASA website in August.

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National Fish and Wildlife Service Survey Data to be Released Late Summer
The new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation will be released by late summer. This survey is the primary source for measuring the number of licensed anglers in the U.S. during the survey period and their total fishing-related expenditures at the national and state levels. Once the data are available, ASA will quantify the economic impacts of fishing, and generate other important participation and expenditure information for ASA members. Initial results and highlights will be presented during the Sportfishing Summit being held October 9 – 11 at the Westin Hilton Head Resort in Hilton Head, S.C.

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Celebrate National Fishing and Boating Week
The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s (RBFF) Take Me Fishing campaign is encouraging families, kids and outdoor adventurers alike to experience the joys of fishing and boating right in their own back yard during National Fishing and Boating Week, June 2 – 10. Learn more about state free fishing days, fishing and boating events, and a Facebook promotion to encourage fishing and boating participation at State Parks at TakeMeFishing.org.

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Coming Soon: The 2012 Special Report on Boating and Fishing
Results soon to be released, RBFF and the Outdoor Foundation have conducted their 2012 Special Report on Boating and Fishing. A few highlights: more than 46 million Americans, or 16.2 percent of the population, fished in 2011. That is a slight increase over the 16 percent in 2010. Of those that participated, 800,000 were new or returning participants, thus for the first time in the history of this report, more participants joined or returned to fishing than left the activity.

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Fishing Tackle Imports Decline in the First Quarter of 2012
Tackle imports values decreased slightly in the first quarter of 2012 from the same quarter in 2011. Fishing leaders, line, hooks, artificial baits, rods, and rod parts and accessories showed increases, while nets, all reels and snelled hooks showed decreases from the same quarter, last year. Overall, imports were down 2.4 percent compared to the same quarter last year, but up 21 percent from last quarter.

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Severe Bottom Fishing Closure in the South Atlantic Lifted
Effective May 10, a ban on recreational and commercial fishing for deep water snapper-grouper in depths greater than 240 feet in the South Atlantic is no longer in effect. Since going into effect on January 31, 2011, the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and several of its individual members impacted by the ban, made it known to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service that the deep water recreational fishing ban was having a severe economic impact and strongly urged federal managers to lift the ban. The 240 foot closure was put in place to reduce bycatch of speckled hind and warsaw grouper, two species subject to overfishing. After taking into consideration the high economic cost of the ban to the sportfishing industry, and a new analysis of fisheries data, the South Atlantic Council determined that the ban was not necessary to achieve the goal of ending overfishing for speckled hind and warsaw grouper.

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EPA Releases Draft Study on Bristol Bay Resources and Proposed Mining Efforts
On May 18, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released for public comment a draft scientific study of the Bristol Bay watershed and its natural resources. The assessment recognizes the watershed as the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery and estimates that Bristol Bay’s sportfishing industry alone generates $60 million annually. The report details the imminent threats that a large-scale mining project, namely the proposed Pebble Mine, would pose to this world class fishery. This assessment overwhelmingly supports what the sportfishing community has been advocating for – denial of Pebble Mine permits under the Clean Water Act. ASA, alongside the sportsmen’s community, has requested that the EPA to use its power under the Clean Water Act’s section 404(c) to protect Bristol Bay from the proposed Pebble Mine, which, if permitted, would become North America’s largest open-pit mine and produce up to 10 billion tons of toxic mine waste that must be treated and stored in perpetuity. ASA will be submitting extensive comments on the draft study and encourages all members to do so as well.

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North Carolina Eliminates Purse Seining for Menhaden
On May 11, the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission voted to prohibit the use of purse seine vessels deployed from a mothership for the harvest of menhaden in state waters, effectively eliminating the practice by the reduction fishery in harvesting menhaden for fish meal and oil in North Carolina waters. As a result of substantial commercial fishing pressure, menhaden is currently experiencing large population declines and is at its lowest point in recorded history. This may ultimately result in the collapse of some of the East Coast's most prized recreational fisheries.

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Congressional Appropriations Update for NOAA
On May 11, the House of Representatives passed the fiscal year 2013 Commerce, Science and Justice Appropriations bill. Though the bill contained significant reductions to the President’s request for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), it also included several amendments supported by the sportfishing community. An amendment offered by Sen. Bill Flores (R-Texas) to prohibit the use of funds to be used for the implementation of the National Ocean Policy was also approved by the full House. Another amendment, offered by Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) would prohibit funding for new catch share programs along the East Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. The Senate appropriations bill restores funding to a host of NOAA ocean-based programs, including fish habitat conservation and coastal restoration trimmed in the administration’s budget. Overall funding for NOAA programs is similar in both the House and the Senate bills. Congress is not anticipated to pass a final Commerce appropriations bill before the end of this session, but these bills will serve as marks for negotiations over NOAA funding levels that would be agreed to for the expected Continuing Resolutions this fall and a final fiscal year 2013 legislative package.

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New Hampshire Shelves Legislation to Expand Ban on Lead Fishing Tackle
On May 9, the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted to send legislation seeking to expand the state’s lead fishing tackle restrictions to interim study. While the bill is not yet dead, the legislature will not act on it again until the 2013 session. Expanding New Hampshire's ban on lead sinkers, jigs and other traditional fishing tackle is neither reasonable nor warranted without the scientific data to support it. Current regulations have already had an impact on New Hampshire's anglers and an expansion of these regulations would only serve to deter more anglers. Hundreds of anglers sent messages to their members of Congress in opposition to SB 224 through KeepAmericaFishing.

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Legislation Introduced to Expedite Efforts to Stop the Spread of Asian Carp
The Stop Invasive Species Act (S. 2317 and H.R. 4406) was recently introduced into both chambers of Congress by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.). This legislation will require the Army Corps of Engineers to prepare and implement an action plan to prevent Asian carp and other invasive species from entering the Great Lakes, while protecting the Great Lakes’ shipping industry. Asian carp are voracious feeders and if allowed to enter the Great Lakes, they will quickly out-compete the forage base of valuable sportfish such as walleye, trout and salmon. This will cause a large-scale ecosystem impact and significant harm to the $7 billion annual sportfishing economy in the Great Lakes. ASA encourages all members of the sportfishing community to contact their members of Congress in support of the Stop Invasive Species Act.

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Congress Passes Legislation to Reauthorize the U.S. Import-Export Bank
On May 21, the Senate voted to pass legislation to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank (H.R. 2072), which earlier passed out of the House of Representatives on May 9. The Export-Import Bank is an important tool to growing U.S. exports and increasing American jobs. The Export-Import Bank assists in financing U.S. exports from thousands of American companies. Its authorization expired at the end of September 2011, and the Bank is currently operating under a short-term extension that ends on May 31, 2012. ASA supported this legislation through the National Association of Manufacturers. The President signed H.R. 2072 into law on May 30.

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Ohio Legislature Passes Harmful Legislation
On May 22, the Ohio General Assembly passed legislation to implement the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Compact (HB 473).
Despite swift action from Ohio’s sportfishing community, the legislation was passed with language that could be harmful to important fisheries in Ohio’s Lake Erie watershed by allowing large-scale water withdrawals and reducing the public’s right to challenge such withdrawals. Thanks to large angler outcry, two amendments were introduced that would have addressed some of anglers’ more serious concerns with the full legislation. These amendments were ultimately voted down. ASA continues to work with Ohio’s sportfishing community to minimize the negative impacts of the Great Lakes Compact on fishery resources and recreational fishing.

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A Message from ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman
As the American Sportfishing Association’s President and CEO, I do a lot of thinking about our industry and where our business is headed. One of the things that is always top-of-mind for me – particularly at this time of the year – is the status of our industry trade show. ICAST 2012, the 54th year the association has produced the industry trade show, is going to be an outstanding show.

I’m happy to report that we have a sold-out show floor. It’s clear that Florida was a good choice for us in 2009 and we’ve had a very strong response to the Orlando location for ICAST 2012. The sportfishing industry will converge on the Orange County Convention Center for ICAST 2012, July 11 – 13. We have more than 450 exhibitors, along with the New Product Showcase, the Casting Pond and Lure Tank, the Press Room, the Apparel Lounge and Tiki Bar, the ASA Resource Center and other venues, occupying 350,000 square feet in Halls B and C of the convention center. We’re expecting more than 7,000 people from the global sportfishing community to attend ICAST.

This year, we’re delighted to host legendary basketball coach, Bobby Knight, as our keynote speaker during Wednesday morning’s State of the Industry Breakfast. There is no better way to jump start the world’s largest sportfishing trade show than with a rousing message of teamwork and team spirit – Coach Knight style.

For millions of Americans, fishing is a way of life and a personal means to connect with the outdoors. For others, fishing means time with family and friends and an opportunity to pass on a family tradition. For many others, particularly young people, fishing often is their first experience with the outdoors. But for us, it’s our livelihood. It’s our connection to the sport we love. It’s why each year the global sportfishing industry travels to ICAST to see the latest in gear and accessories and to network with colleagues old and new.

Although the challenges we’ve grappled with for many decades are still with us – increasing participation in the sport – creating innovative new products to excite anglers – expanding business opportunities – and policy issues that could impact recreational fishing itself – it’s clear that ICAST is the place to be for the sportfishing community.

I’m looking forward to seeing you next month in Orlando.

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