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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.

Important Angler News

  • TAKE ACTION NOW – Support Reallocation of the Gulf’s Red Snapper

ICAST 2014

  • TAKE ACTION – Register Now for ICAST 2014
  • Experient, Inc. is the Official Housing Partner of ICAST 2014
  • Thank You ICAST 2014 Sponsors
  • Follow ICAST on Twitter and Facebook

Recreational Fishing and Conservation Policy Updates

  • National Fish Habitat Conservation Act Introduced in Senate
  • EPA to Prevent Alaska Pebble Mine Complex
  • ASA Comments on Biscayne National Park Plan
  • NOAA Fisheries Allocates Funds for Fisheries Disasters
  • FishAmerica and B.A.S.S. Nation Congratulate N.H. Bass Club
  • Nationwide Insurance Contributes to Conservation Fund

Data and Statistics

  • 2013 Fishing Participation Virtually Unchanged from 2012
  • Learn More About Anglers and Their Spending

TAKE ACTION NOW
Support Reallocation of the Gulf’s Red Snapper

A landmark rule currently being considered by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council would shift a larger allocation of future red snapper quotas to the recreational sector. However, commercial fishermen and environmental organizations are mobilizing to oppose this long-overdue effort, claiming that the current allocation, which is based on 30-year-old criteria, is somehow still relevant. The recreational fishing industry and anglers throughout the Gulf of Mexico region and the nation need to send a message to the Gulf Council that the current inequitable allocation must be fixed now. Go to the Take Action page on KeepAmericaFishing.org and send a message to the Gulf Council members or attend one of the public hearings.

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TAKE ACTION – Register Now for ICAST 2014

Don’t miss the opportunity to attend the world’s largest fishing trade show! Registration is open for ICAST 2014 taking place July 15 – 18, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. You can register for the show and make your hotel reservations at the same time. You can register online by going to www.ICASTfishing.org and click on the Registration button. Please note that ICAST is open only to qualified members of the sportfishing trade. If you attended ICAST 2013, you should have received an email from Experient, our registration company, with your user name and password which you’ll need to start the ICAST 2014 registration process. If you did not receive this email, contact Experient at ICAST-IFTD@experient-inc.com, or call 301-694-5243.

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Experient, Inc. is the Official Housing Partner of ICAST 2014

Please be aware that there are a number of housing companies who may contact you and misrepresent themselves as agents for ICAST 2014 offering discounted rates at various Orlando hotels. Experient, Inc. is the only company authorized by the American Sportfishing Association and the ICAST team to make hotel reservations for ICAST 2014. ASA has negotiated with a wide selection of hotels in Orlando to obtain the best price possible at the hotels nearest to the convention center. Booking with businesses unaffiliated with ICAST makes it impossible for the ICAST team to assist you should there be a problem with your reservations.

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Thank You ICAST 2014 Sponsors

ASA would like to thank its generous members who have already signed on as ICAST sponsors. Our ICAST 2014 sponsors are: GoldCrocodile Bay Resort; Fishing Tackle Retailer; Rapala; and Take Me Fishing™. SilverColumbia Sportswear; Dave Mercer’s Facts of Fishing; Gemini Sports Marketing; In-Fisherman; and Koppers Fishing & Tackle Corp. BronzeBuck Knives; Classic Fishing Products, Inc.L & L Outdoor Products; Nu-Canoe and Sunsect, Inc. This list is current as of March 12, 2014.

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Follow ICAST on Twitter and Facebook

Our Facebook and Twitter followers are growing by the day. Share your thoughts about why you attend ICAST on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ICASTfishing and on Twitter by following us @ICASTshow.

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National Fish Habitat Conservation Act Introduced in Senate

In February, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) introduced the National Fish Habitat Conservation Act (NFHCA). The bipartisan legislation authorizes the National Fish Habitat Action Plan (NFHAP) – an unprecedented national partnership effort aimed at protecting, restoring and enhancing the nation’s fishery resources and fish habitat. The language in the bill includes modifications to language in earlier versions of NFHCA that were made in consultation with several senators and their staffs from both sides of the aisle.

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EPA to Prevent Alaskan Pebble Mine Complex

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on February 28, that it is identifying options to protect the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery in Bristol Bay, Alaska, from the potentially destructive impacts of the proposed Pebble Mine. Pebble Mine has the potential to be one of the largest open pit metal mines ever developed and could threaten a salmon resource rare in its quality and productivity and one of the world’s last prolific wild salmon resources. The EPA is initiating this process through provisions in the Clean Water Act based on extensive scientific study to identify what impact the proposed Pebble Mine would have on Bristol Bay. Bristol Bay produces nearly 50 percent of the world’s wild sockeye salmon with runs averaging 37.5 million fish each year and has the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery and one of the largest king salmon runs.

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ASA Comments on Biscayne National Park Plan

Biscayne National Park recently accepted public comments regarding their new preferred management plan which eliminates the previously proposed marine reserve and instead proposes a special recreation zone (SRZ) along a portion of the park’s reef tract in which fishing would be allowed year round under a permit system. ASA is generally supportive of the SRZ concept as an alternative to a marine reserve; however, permits to fish in the SRZ should be short-term, such as daily, rather than annual permits. Short term permits would provide the opportunity to fish in the SRZ to a larger pool of anglers than an annual permit. ASA's full comments are available here.

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NOAA Fisheries Allocates Funds for Fisheries Disasters

Congress approved $75 million in fishery disaster funds as part of this year’s federal budget. However, despite a survey conducted by NOAA that estimated that the recreational fishing sector in New Jersey alone sustained up to $105 million in losses due to Hurricane Sandy, both New Jersey and New York will only receive $3 million combined for both commercial and recreational fishing damages. The majority of the fishery disaster funds will go to commercial fisheries damages. For example, $33 million will go to the New England groundfish fishery which was considered a fishery disaster due to significant quota cuts during the 2013 fishing year.

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FishAmerica and B.A.S.S. Nation Congratulate N.H. Bass Club

The New Hampshire B.A.S.S. Nation won the FishAmerica Foundation/B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation Fund Award. The group will receive a grant for $5,000 for its bass research project. Jamie Doughty, Conservation director, accepted the award on the New Hampshire chapter’s behalf. The funds came from a 2012 donation by Simms Fishing. It is a competitive grant award. The project involves radio tagging smallmouth and largemouth bass released into Little Squam Lake after tournaments. The fish are monitored for 1.5 years to determine the percentage of bass that return to where they were likely caught which would be Big Squam Lake.

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Nationwide Insurance Contributes to Conservation Fund

During the 2014 Bassmaster Classic, Nationwide Insurance contributed $5,000 to the FishAmerica Foundation/B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation Fund. These funds will be distributed as future grants to B.A.S.S. Nation clubs and chapters based on project merit. Nationwide ran a Quote-for-a-Cause promotion in 2013 in which the company earmarked $10 for this fund for each B.A.S.S. member who got an insurance quote from Nationwide. For more information on the B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation Fund, please visit the FishAmerica Foundation website.

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2013 Fishing Participation Virtually Unchanged from 2012

In a license index run cooperatively by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF), license sales are estimated to have decreased an estimated 0.3 percent in 2013 compared to 2012. Poor weather in the peak license sales months of March and April proved too much to overcome in later months. These weather factors also hampered fishing promotion efforts conducted in the same months. Of the thirteen states included in the index, seven showed license sales decreases through the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to 2012. For more information, contact Rob Southwick, (904) 277-9765.

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Learn More about Anglers and their Spending

Visit the Facts and Figures pages on www.ASAfishing.org to learn more about anglers’ spending and participation. New information is being added regularly to help explain the characteristics of U.S. anglers and the trends and factors driving the trade.

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