March 2016

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In the News

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.


ICAST 2016

  • Thank You ICAST 2016 Sponsors
  • TAKE ACTION - Register Now for ICAST 2016
  • TAKE ACTION - Make Your Plans for ICAST Super Tuesday
  • TAKE ACTION - The Opening Night Concert with Cole Swindell
  • TAKE ACTION - Get Your State of the Industry Breakfast Tickets
  • Visioning Your Brand with Industry Breakfast Keynoter Ken Schmidt
  • The FLW ICAST Cup Bass Fishing Tournament
  • ICAST and Florida Sportsman Bass & Birdies Classic
  • ICASTfishing.org is Your Information Hub
  • Experient, Inc. is the Official Housing Partner of ICAST 2016
  • Now is the Time to Get on the ICAST Social Media Bandwagon
  • ICAST 2016 Show Dates and Hours

Industry and Association News

  • TAKE ACTION - Pledge to Pitch It
  • Mark Your Calendar for the 2016 Sportfishing Summit
  • ASA Welcomes New and Reinstated Members
  • ASA Supports the American Boating Congress
  • Gordon Robertson Recognized for Exceptional Service
  • RBFF Introduces New and Improved TakeMeFishing.org
  • America’s Top Family Fishing and Boating Spots Sweepstakes

Recreational Fishing and Conservation Policy Updates

  • Conservation and Business Leaders Call for $1.3 Billion Annual Investment for States
  • Sportsmen’s Act Approved by the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Sportfishing Industry Members Featured at Capitol Hill Small Business Hearing
  • Anglers Need to Weigh In to Restore Access to Cape Hatteras
  • ASA Presses Presidential Candidates on Pebble Mine
  • Sportfishing Industry Encourages Long-term Solutions for Everglades Restoration
  • Water Resources Development Act Moves Toward Reauthorization
  • West Coast Sportfishing Groups Support Drift Gillnet Alternative
  • Legislation to Benefit Great Lakes Research Introduced in Congress
  • Renewable Fuel Standard Faced Challenge at Senate Hearing
  • Senate Hearing Focuses on State-Federal Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Congress Looks at Federal Drought Legislation to Relieve California

Thank You ICAST 2016 Sponsors

ASA would like to thank its generous members who signed on as ICAST sponsors. Our 2016 sponsors are: Gold - Costa; Crocodile Bay Resort; Florida Sportsmen; FLW, LLC; FTR Media, LLC: Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and Under Armour, Inc.; SilverAmerican Tackle Company; FishHunter;  GoPro; Huk Performance Fishing and LIVETARGET LuresBronzeBuck Knives; Classic Fishing Products, Inc. and Sunsect – World-Class Insect Repellent + Sunscreen. The list is current as of March 16, 2016.

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TAKE ACTION - Register Now for ICAST 2016

Don’t miss the opportunity to attend the world’s largest fishing trade show! Registration is open for ICAST 2016 taking place July 12 – 15, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. You can register for the show and make your hotel reservations by going to www.ICASTfishing.org and clicking on the Registration button. Please note that ICAST is open only to qualified members of the sportfishing trade. If you attended ICAST 2015, 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 2016 registration process. If you did not receive this email, contact Experient at ICAST-IFTDEXH@experient-inc.com, or call 800 424-5249. International registrants, please call 847 996-5829.

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TAKE ACTION - Make Your Plans for ICAST Super Tuesday

Tuesday, July 12, will be packed with events that will only add to your amazing ICAST experience. On Tuesday morning, ICAST is hosting On the Water at Lake Toho, located just a short shuttle ride away from the convention center. The events include the second annual product demonstration day with more than 50 ICAST exhibitors. ICAST is also partnering with FLW to host the ICAST Cup - Industry Bass Fishing Tournament, with weigh-in during the product demonstrations. Also on Tuesday morning, Florida Sportsman is partnering with ICAST to host the second annual Bass & Birdies Classic golf tournament of which a portion of the proceeds will go to support KeepAmericaFishing. On Tuesday evening, July 12, after the New Product Showcase preview reception, there is the Opening Night Concert with country music star, Cole Swindell.

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TAKE ACTION - The Opening Night Concert with Cole Swindell

We are kicking up the energy level this year with the Tuesday night concert featuring country music star, Cole Swindell. You can purchase tickets for $30 when you register for badges. Only registered attendees and exhibitors can purchase tickets. A portion of the proceeds will go to support KeepAmericaFishing, the sportfishing industry’s angler advocacy program. This incredible young artist will perform Tuesday, July 12, beginning at 8:00 p.m. at the Orange County Convention Center. Click here to read Cole’s story.

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TAKE ACTION - Get Your State of the Industry Breakfast Tickets

The State of the Industry Breakfast is one of the most important business events for our industry. This is your opportunity to hear information that can impact your business. The breakfast is being held 7:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. on Wednesday, July 13, in the Valencia Room, 4th Floor, in the convention center. Tickets are $40 per ticket and $400 for a table of ten. Tickets are available for purchase when you register for the show.

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Visioning Your Brand with Industry Breakfast Keynote Speaker Ken Schmidt

Ken Schmidt, the former Director of Communications Strategy for Harley-Davidson Motor Company, is this year’s State of the Industry Breakfast keynote speaker. Ken, one of the most in-demand speakers and communications consultants in America, has lived a life that most can only dream about. He has toured the world on two wheels, meeting presidents and royalty alike and has appeared numerous times on network news. Our keynote speaker during the 2015 Sportfishing Summit, Ken got more “thumbs up” than any speaker we have had over the past decade. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear the wealth of information he has about turning customers into your brand “disciples!” Tickets are $40 per ticket and $400 for a table of ten. Tickets are available for purchase when you register for the show.

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TAKE ACTION - The ICAST Cup – the Industry Bass Fishing Tournament

This FLW event pairs professional anglers with media representatives and other industry professionals. It is being held at Big Toho Marina located on Lake Toho, in Kissimmee, Fla. beginning at 6:00 a.m. The tournament’s 9:00 a.m. weigh-in coincides with the opening of On the Water product demonstrations. FLW will create fishing teams to compete side-by-side in this exciting tournament in support of KeepAmericaFishing. Shuttle service is available. Register Now!

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ICAST and Florida Sportsman Bass & Birdies Classic

The Bass & Birdies Classic, the third, annual golf/fishing tournament, is held the day before the show floor opens. This is a Scramble-Best Ball format, meaning teams of four players hit each shot and the best shot is selected. The three other players retrieve their balls and hit from the best position, and the same until the ball is holed out. This unique golf-and-fishing event is open to ASA members and registered ICAST attendees. A portion of the proceeds goes to support KeepAmericaFishing. The event begins at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 12, location to be determined. For more details contact Rick Ryals at Rick@FloridaSportsman.com.

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ICASTfishing.org is Your Information Hub

ICASTfishing.org is your resource for all the information you need to help ensure that you have a successful show experience. Please check back often. We are adding more information each week for exhibitors and attendees.

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Experient, Inc. is the Official Housing Partner of ICAST 2016

Please be aware that there are a number of housing companies who may contact you and misrepresent themselves as agents for ICAST 2016 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 2016. We have 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. If you are contacted by another housing company trying to sell hotel rooms, please notify the ICAST/IFTD Housing Bureau Experient at ICAST-IFTDEXH@experient-inc.com.

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Now is the Time to Get on the ICAST Social Media Bandwagon

Hop on the social media bandwagon and make ICAST 2016 the most social and productive show you’ve ever had using our social media platforms. We invite you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest news on the show and live updates from the show. Use #ICASTshow and @ICASTshow for the deepest reach into our social media community. For more information, email icast@asafishing.org.

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ICAST 2016 Show Dates and Hours

All events are being held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, July 12 Times and locations vary by event
Wednesday, July 13 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, July 14 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Friday, July 15 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

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TAKE ACTION - Pledge to Pitch It

We all want to start our fishing season with the latest gear, a fishing license, a few new tricks up our sleeve – and a renewed commitment to taking care of the resource. It’s the perfect time to remember to properly dispose of worn out soft plastic lures and Pledge to Pitch It on www.KeepAmericaFishing.org. KeepAmericaFishing has prepared a toolkit of marketing assets to make sharing this message easy. Download these free resources for use on your website, in your social media and in any of your communications.

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Mark Your Calendar for the 2016 Sportfishing Summit

The 2016 Sportfishing Summit is scheduled for Tuesday, October 4, through Friday, October 7, at the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans, La. Information about the program and hotel reservations for the 2016 Summit are available on the ASA website. Please feel free to make your hotel reservations now. Rooms are $209 per night for a single or a double. Click here to go to the Summit page on ASA’s website. For more information, contact Communications Director Mary Jane Williamson, x227. If your company is interested in sponsoring this event, please contact Membership Director, Jill Calabria.

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ASA Welcomes New and Reinstated Members

ASA welcomes the following companies that are new to the association or have reinstated their membership for F Y 2016: 8knots, LLC; Badfish Brand & Media; Bait Cloud, Inc.; Bait Mavericks, Inc.; Bait N' Hook; Bayou Rattler Products, LLC; BIC Sport North America; Cal Coast Fishing; Crank Canvas; Eye Ojo Corporation; Formex Manufacturing, Inc.; Hidden Bay Graphics/Sports; Hunters Specialties; Landum Outdoors, LLC; Lucky John Asia; Molded Link Systems LLC; Roundabout Watercrafts, LLC; Screw-It Tackle, Co.; Sea Lime Fishing Lures, LLC; SeaMule USA, LLC. Solo Skiff; Squidnation; Take A Vet Fishing; and Venom Outdoors.

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ASA Supports the American Boating Congress

On May 9-11, 2016, in Washington D.C., ASA will join a broad group of co-hosts to support the American Boating Congress. This year, numerous industry partners have agreed to co-host ABC, joining the rallying-cry to strengthen the industry’s collective advocacy impact. Assembling from a wide variety of industry segments, these groups provide ongoing counsel and insight into what issues are of the most pressing interest to stakeholders and advocates, ensuring that ABC’s agenda will be packed with timely and relevant policy matters. Co-hosts will be attending ABC with representatives from their respective organizations, contributing to a dynamic dialogue during the event.

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Gordon Robertson Recognized for Exceptional Service

Gordon Robertson

ASA's former Vice President of Government Affairs, Gordon Robertson (left), received NFHP's Exceptional Vision In Support of Fish Habitat Conservation award

On March 9, ASA’s former Vice President of Government Affairs, Gordon Robertson, received the Exceptional Vision In Support of Fish Habitat Conservation award from the National Fish Habitat Partnership’s (NFHP) board of directors. Gordon was very involved in NFHP from its inception, serving on its board of directors for many years. He played an integral role in drafting the National Fish Habitat Conservation Act and helping to lead the legislative team. He was responsible for much of the evolution of the legislation over the years. Congratulations, Gordon!  

 

 

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RBFF Introduces New and Improved TakeMeFishing.org

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) recently announced a new and improved TakeMeFishing.org to help meet its mission of growing participation in recreational fishing and boating, and generating awareness of aquatic conservation. Designed to act as a mentor, guide and tool that breaks down initial barriers to getting involved in fishing or boating, the new TakeMeFishing.org is geared towards less experienced anglers and boaters that need help understanding all it takes to have a successful day out on the water. The site also provides information more avid participants find useful. Some of the site improvements include responsive design, streamlined content, an enhanced Places to Boat & Fish Map and State Info section, new advertising options and new corporate information and resources. Check it out!

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America’s Top Family Fishing and Boating Spots Sweepstakes

RBFF announced the return of its popular America’s Top Family Fishing and Boating Spots Instant Win and Sweepstakes. Now through March 27, 2016, anglers are being asked to vote for their favorite family-friendly fishing and boating spots across the country and will be entered to win one of hundreds of instant prizes or the grand prize trip to Walt Disney World® Resort, including a Guided Fishing Excursion. Back for its third consecutive year, the Sweepstakes includes new features, such as a Spanish-language version, mobile-friendly components and a broadened list of locations to vote for. As part of RBFF’s Take Me Fishing™ and Vamos A Pescar™ campaigns, the Sweepstakes ultimate goal is to increase awareness of the great family-friendly places across the country and get more families out on the water fishing and boating. Learn more.

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Conservation and Business Leaders Call for $1.3 Billion Annual Investment for States

In March, a group of energy, business and conservation leaders released their recommendations on how to avert the growing endangered species crisis in this country. The Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish & Wildlife Resources recommended that $1.3 billion each year from the more than $10 billion in revenues from energy development (both renewable and traditional) and mineral development on federal lands and waters be redirected and dedicated to fund state-based conservation to address conservation needs for thousands of species. An annual investment of $1.3 billion from these development revenues into the currently unfunded Wildlife Conservation Restoration Program would allow state fish and wildlife agencies to proactively manage these species reducing taxpayer costs and the regulatory red tape that comes when species are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. The number of species petitioned for listing under the Act has increased by 1,000 percent in less than a decade. The panel produced recommendations and policy options on the most sustainable and equitable model to fund conservation of the full array of fish and wildlife species. The panel was co-chaired by former Wyoming Governor David Freudenthal and John L. Morris, noted conservationist and founder of Bass Pro Shops.

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Sportsmen’s Act Approved by the U.S. House of Representatives

A package of legislative provisions that will benefit recreational fishing and hunting, and have a positive impact on natural resource conservation, passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 242-161. Passage of H.R. 2406, the Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act, represents another major milestone for the recreational fishing community. The SHARE Act, also known as the Sportsmen’s Act, contains numerous provisions to improve public access to federal lands and guard against new regulations that threaten to limit access to fishing and hunting. With the Sportsmen’s Act having now passed the House of Representatives, the recreational fishing community turns its full attention to the Senate, where companion bills have cleared all committees of jurisdiction and now await action on the Senate floor.

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Sportfishing Industry Members Featured at Capitol Hill Small Business Hearing

The Senate Small Business Committee, under the chairmanship of Louisiana Senator David Vitter, held a hearing on March 3 to discuss the effect federal saltwater fisheries management has on small businesses. Five witnesses testified, including Pam Anderson, Operations manager for Capt. Anderson's Marina and Hughes Andry, Regional manager for Sportco Marketing. Hughes highlighted the importance of having reliable fisheries data well in advance of the fishing season to make better business decisions. He also spoke about mismanagement of Gulf of Mexico red snapper.

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Anglers Need to Weigh In to Restore Access to Cape Hatteras

A current proposal could result in significant improvements to recreational fishing access at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, N.C. Excessive public access restrictions in recent years have limited fishing opportunities at Cape Hatteras, causing significant economic harm to the local community. Fortunately, due to a law passed by Congress in 2014, the National Park Service is required to review its management plan and make modifications to better facilitate public access to the seashore. While some of the proposed changes are positive, others don’t go far enough to provide the access needed to enjoy many areas of the seashore at critical times of the year. Public comment on the Environmental Assessment for the Consideration of Modifications to the Final Rule for Off Road Vehicle Management will be accepted until March 18. Information on how to comment, along with a sample letter, is available at KeepAmericaFishing.org.

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ASA Presses Presidential Candidates on Pebble Mine

In March, ASA joined with more than 40 organizations and companies representing millions of sportsmen and women and outdoor enthusiasts to ask the 2016 Presidential candidates where he or she stands on the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska. In the letter, the groups urged the candidates to oppose the Pebble Mine project. This mining issue hit the national stage several years ago when EPA studies showed that the scale and scope of the proposed mineral mine would significantly damage one of the world’s premier salmon fisheries. If developed, Pebble Mine would be devastating for the region’s recreational, subsistence, and commercial fishing industries, which are collectively worth hundreds of billions of dollars each year.

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Sportfishing Industry Encourages Long-term Solutions for Everglades Restoration

ASA supports efforts being made on the federal and state levels to address Florida’s water quality issues that can have an impact on fisheries habitat and management. Due to record rainfall, in January the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released water from Lake Okeechobee sending fresh water west and east to coastal areas that were adversely impacted by the influx of water. In February, the Corps of Engineers acting on an emergency request from the Governor’s office, in coordination with other state agencies, allowed the water to move south on its historic path through Everglades National Park into Florida Bay. ASA sees this as a positive step towards correcting the problem and a good example of coming together to conserve natural resources, but much more is needed to address this challenge in the long-term. In early February, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in both the U.S. House and Senate, led by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Reps. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) introduced legislation to expedite all Corps-lead Everglades restoration projects ready to begin in the next five years including increasing water flow south into the Everglades.

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Water Resources Development Act Moves Toward Reauthorization

Congress has demonstrated interest in passing a Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) reauthorization bill this year. To elevate priorities of the sportfishing, hunting, and conservation groups in the reauthorization, ASA joined a letter that was sent to the U.S. Senate and House committees of jurisdiction, requesting improvements to existing operations that would be cost-effective, facilitate project delivery, empower state and local governments, and help meet the many needs associated with our waters and waterways. Both committees held oversight hearings on WRDA in the past month.

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West Coast Sportfishing Groups Support Drift Gillnet Alternative

A group of 100 dedicated west coast sportfishing businesses, including several dozen ASA members, penned a letter to the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) requesting the authorization process of deep-set buoy gear to begin for the commercial swordfish fishery. This gear is an effective alternative to drift gillnets with much lower rates of bycatch and discard mortality. Scientists and cooperating fishermen have tested the gear extensively for nearly five years and it maintains a 94 percent marketable catch rate. The PFMC develops federal fishery regulations. The letter was presented at the March 8-14 PFMC meeting in Sacramento, Calif.

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Legislation to Benefit Great Lakes Research Introduced in Congress

Bipartisan legislation was introduced this month that would guarantee funding for science-based initiatives to improve Great Lakes fisheries and recreational opportunities. The Great Lakes Fishery Research Authorization Act of 2016 – S. 2569 and H.R. 4595 – was led by Congressman Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) and Congressman Dan Benishek (R-Mich.) along with 10 other cosponsors in the House and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) in the Senate. The companion bills would authorize the work of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Great Lakes Science Center Despite its many achievements, the Center has never been authorized by Congress, which has left the Great Lakes at a significant disadvantage in funding for the essential operations and in the application of new technology.

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Renewable Fuel Standard Faced Challenge at Senate Hearing

In February, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on the Renewable Fuel Standard. Testifying for the EPA were Janet McCabe and Howard Gruenspect from the Energy Information Administration. During the hearing, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) asked what the EPA is doing to protect anglers and boaters from the dangers of increased ethanol blends and the availability of safe fuels for marine engines. Also, Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Senator David Vitter (R-La.) both called into question the EPA’s questionable assumption that demand for ethanol-free gasoline has declined. McCabe said the agency would follow-up with information for the senators and repeatedly committed that the EPA would meet its statutory deadline for proposing and finalizing renewable fuel volume requirements for 2017.

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Senate Hearing Focuses on State-Federal Fish and Wildlife Management

In February, the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife held an oversight hearing entitled, “Federal Interactions with State Management of Fish and Wildlife.” Panelists included Ron Regan, executive director of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies; Doug Vincent-Lang, Former Director of the Alaska Division of Wildlife Conservation, testifying on behalf of Safari Club International; and Donald Barry, Senior Vice President/Conservation Program, of the Defenders of Wildlife. The hearing highlighted the interconnected relationship between states and the federal government in managing the nation’s habitat and fish and wildlife and some of the difficulties. For example, the National Park Service’s recent proposed General Management Plan would usurp state fisheries management authority in Biscayne National Park.

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Congress Looks at Federal Drought Legislation to Relieve California

Dick Pool

Dick Pool, owner of Pro-Troll Fishing Products (left), discusses water issues with U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) on the dias. 

In February, Sen. Feinstein (D-Calif.) to address the ongoing issues with water infrastructure and allocation arising from four years of drought in California. ASA wrote a letter to the senator opposing S. 2533. ASA believes the bill goes too far in compromising environmental protections for Chinook salmon and seeks to eliminate other important bass species that are a boon to the state economy. The House of Representatives, which passed its version of drought legislation in July 2015, which ASA strongly opposed, recently held two hearings in the Natural Resources subcommittee on Water, Power, and Oceans in February. One addressed the impacts of predation on native and endangered fish species and the second looked at the outlook of the California water supply during three years of restricted water deliveries and dry conditions. Dick Pool, owner of Pro-Troll Fishing Products, Golden Gate Salmon Association board member and member of ASA’s Government Affairs committee, testified at the latter meeting, educating Congress about the blow fishing businesses have been dealt because of the seasonal closures of the salmon fishery and very low population levels. ASA continues to work with its California partners to find a workable solution.

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