October 2015

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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.

Important News

  • Where Do You Find the Most Active Anglers? Not Where You Might Expect
  • Bill Benefiting Recreational Fishing Clears House Natural Resources Committee

It’s Time for the 2015 Sportfishing Summit!

  • 2015 Sportfishing Summit Overview
  • ASA Committee, Board of Directors and General Membership Meetings
  • Thank you 2015 Sportfishing Summit Partners!
  • Sportfishing Summit Agenda At-a-Glance
  • The Summit Features Two Outstanding Keynote Speakers

ICAST 2016

  • ASA Welcomes New Tradeshow Coordinator

Recreational Fishing and Conservation Policy Updates

  • Proposals for Two New Marine Sanctuaries to Advance Forward
  • South Atlantic Council Moves Forward on Special Management Zones
  • North Carolina Boaters Rally Against Fee Hike and Win
  • Great Lakes Invasive Sea Lamprey Decline is Good for Anglers
  • USDA Grants to Expand E15 Availability in 21 States
  • NOAA Hosts Meeting on Potential Marine Monument

Where Do You Find the Most Active Anglers? Not Where You Might Expect

A new report about recreational fishing in the U.S. found that anglers in the Midwest and Northeast had the lowest drop-out rate compared to anglers in other parts of the country. The report examined fishing license purchases in the Northeast, Midwest, Southeast and West. This, and other findings related to fishing participation, are explained in “A Snapshot of the U.S. Angler Population by Region,” the second in a series of studies produced for the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) by Southwick Associates that sheds new light on anglers’ fishing habits and loyalty to the sport.

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Bill Benefiting Recreational Fishing Clears House Natural Resources Committee

On October 8, the House Natural Resources Committee passed a bill that benefits recreational fishing and hunting and natural resource conservation. Introduced by Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) and Tim Walz (D-Minn.) and Vice Chairs Reps. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) and Gene Green (D-Texas), the Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act includes provisions to improve public access to federal lands and guard against new regulations that threaten to block or limit access to hunting and fishing. Additionally, an amendment was successfully included by Rep. Amata Radewagen (R-American Samoa) that will stop the marine reserve in Biscayne National Park and similar unwarranted fishing closures from occurring. The SHARE Act next moves to the House floor. Companion legislation in the Senate awaits action in committee.

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2015 Sportfishing Summit Overview

The American Sportfishing Association's (ASA) 2015 Sportfishing Summit, the sportfishing industry's premier networking and business management event, is being held October 20-22, at the historic Loews Don Cesar Hotel located in St. Pete Beach, Fla. This annual fall event underscores ASA’s desire to bring together our industry members with other sportfishing community members to provide everyone with a productive meeting that is timely, useful and a good business investment. For those attending the Summit, we encourage you to attend the board of directors, committee and General Membership meetings in order to gain a better understanding of how ASA staff and your colleagues work on your behalf. We have a full agenda planned beginning with the Keep Florida Fishing Steering Committee and the Board of Directors meeting on Monday, October 19, and ending with the association's General Membership meeting on Thursday morning, October 22. All the details about the Summit can be found on ASA’s website – www.ASAfishing.org.

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ASA Committee, Board of Directors and General Membership Meetings

During the 2015 Sportfishing Summit, the ASA Board of Directors will meet on Monday, October 19, from 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. They will also meet on Thursday, October 22, from 7:30 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. The association's committees will meet on Tuesday, October 20 and Wednesday, October 21, in the mornings. The Government Affairs, Communications, Consumer Shows and Membership committees meet Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. - Noon. The Government Affairs, Data and Statistics and Trade Show committees meet on Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. - Noon. The Advocacy Committee and Finance Committee meet on Wednesday, October 21, from 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. The General Membership Meeting will take place on Thursday, October 22, from 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Breakfast is served and all Summit attendees are encouraged to attend.

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Thank you 2015 Sportfishing Summit Partners!

The American Sportfishing Association extends its thanks to the following companies and agencies for their generous support of the 2015 Sportfishing Summit: Premium - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Pure Fishing, Inc. and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Gold - Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Inc., Costa, Southwick Associates, TakeMeFishing/Vamos A Pescar, USDA - Forest Service and Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A.. Silver - Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, Deloitte Tax LLP, Lopez Negrete Communications, Inc., National Marine Electronics Association, PointsNorth Search Group, and World Fishing Network. The list is current as of October 8, 2015.

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Sportfishing Summit Agenda At-a-Glance

Here is very brief overview of this year’s agenda. Click here for the full agenda including board and committee meetings. The agenda is current as of October 8, 2015.

  • Monday, October 19 - On Monday, we have the Keep Florida Fishing Steering Committee meeting and the ASA Board of Directors meeting. We’re also hosting an informal, outdoor meet and greet on Monday evening – a Party with a Purpose – to thank current ASA SportfishingPAC donors and provide some general info about the PAC. Everyone is welcome to attend this event which begins at 6:00 p.m. in the Beach Pavilion.
  • Tuesday, October 20 - On Tuesday, our members and guests meet for breakfast and then we break out into our committee meetings. We meet for lunch and then move onto our afternoon general business sessions with keynote speaker Ken Schmidt, former Communications Director for Harley-Davidson. The evening is capped off with a full-on welcome reception in the Sunsets’ Pavilion which all Summit attendees are welcome to attend.
  • Wednesday, October 21 - On Wednesday, we follow the same pattern as Tuesday with keynote speaker Cam Marston in the afternoon. The exception is the Sportfishing Summit Annual Dinner and Awards Presentations on Wednesday evening which begins with a reception at 6:00 p.m. on the South Terrace followed by dinner in the King Charles Ballroom.
  • Thursday, October 22 - On the last day of the Summit, the board of directors meets just before our General Membership meeting which begins at 9:30 a.m. in the King Charles Ballroom. At the conclusion of that meeting, the association’s members adjourn for another year. We are serving a full breakfast this year beginning at 9:00 a.m. in the ballroom. We encourage everyone to attend!


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The Summit Features Two Outstanding Keynote Speakers

As usual, we have a full agenda planned for Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday afternoon, we’ll focus on building and sustaining vibrant, dominant, iconic brands. Ken Schmidt, a key player in one of the most celebrated turnarounds in corporate history – Harley-Davidson – will provide insight into how they transformed themselves into one of the world’s most dominant brands. On Wednesday afternoon, we’ll look at how our changing demographics will impact our sport and what we can do – as an industry – to reach the goal of engaging 60 million anglers each year and get them out on the water. Cam Marston, president of Generational Insight, is a leading expert on generational change and will explain the impact of generation change on the marketplace.

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ASA Welcomes New Tradeshow Coordinator

Please welcome Koyrn Cramer to the ASA staff as the new Tradeshow Coordinator. She will have primary responsibility for exhibitor relations. Koryn started her tenure on October 5. She is originally from Ann Arbor, Mich., but studied at San Diego State University where she received a B.S. in Meetings and Events Operations & Management from the School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. Koyrn can be reached at kcramer@asafishing.org, x240. Welcome, Koyrn!

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Proposals for Two New Marine Sanctuaries to Advance Forward

At the October “Our Ocean” international conference in Chile, President Obama announced that two areas – one in Lake Michigan and the other in the Potomac River – will be considered as U.S. marine sanctuaries. These sanctuaries, together comprising 900 square miles, were nominated through the Sanctuary Nomination Process which was reopened in 2014. The proposed sanctuary sites will be open for an initial round of public comment now through January 15, 2016. The formal designation process for these proposals will includes numerous opportunities for public input and take several years.

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South Atlantic Council Moves Forward on Special Management Zones

During its September meeting, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council decided to advance three of the original 11 proposed designated areas to protect spawning fish and associated habitat. After reviewing a second round of written and public comment, the Council narrowed their preferred alternatives to three Spawning Special Management Zones (SMZs) as proposed in Amendment 36 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan. Fishing and anchoring would be prohibited but trolling would be allowed for pelagic species such as dolphin, tuna and billfish in the SMZs. While targeting spawning areas and protecting natural habitat are vital, ASA’s comments to the Council emphasized that the process by which SMZs are removed and added should be well designed and any fishing closures should be based on solid scientific evidence. The Council will review the management alternatives again during its December meeting. If approved by the Council, Amendment 36 must also be approved by the Secretary of Commerce before measures are implemented, possibly before the end of 2016.

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North Carolina Boaters Rally Against Fee Hike and Win

A controversial and expensive “coastal waters permit” was removed from the final version of the budget passed by North Carolina legislators, a relief to the many boaters and marine manufacturers who opposed the fee. Legislators planned to use revenue from the fee that ranged from $75 for a 24-foot boat to $1,300 for the largest of vessels to increase maintenance dredging funds that have proved to be inadequate to address the needs of the many inlets and other key areas that have silted in as federal funds for dredging have dried up. Boaters and manufacturers opposed the fee not only because it was believed to be exorbitant, but also because registration fees already were increased in 2013 to raise funds to pay for dredging projects. The final state budget instead sets aside other state funds to pay for dredging maintenance operations.

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Great Lakes Invasive Sea Lamprey Decline is Good for Anglers

In September, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission reported that high levels of destructive, invasive sea lampreys are now at a 30-year low in Lake Huron, a twenty-year low in Lake Michigan and below the target level in Lake Ontario. The commission also reported that although sea lampreys are above the target levels in Lakes Erie and Superior, the trends in both lakes follow a steady five-year decline. Sea lampreys are and always will be a constant battle in the Great Lakes. Today, the Great Lakes fishery is worth $7 billion to the people of Canada and the United States. Without sea lamprey control, the fishery would suffer significant ecological and economic harm.

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USDA Grants to Expand E15 Availability in 21 States

In a move that concerns ASA and the boating community, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the $100 million Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) will provide funding to 21 states for E15 infrastructure for 5,000 pumps at 1,400 gasoline retail stations. Just in Iowa, the USDA anticipates that 187 new E15 pumps will be installed in the state as the result of this program. This investment will more than double the number of stations that offer intermediate blends of ethanol, mainly E15, nationwide. ASA continues to work to repeal or reform the Renewable Fuel Standard so mandates for increasing use of ethanol are dialed back.

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NOAA Hosts Meeting on Potential Marine Monument

On September 3, the Obama Administration announced that it is considering a new marine national monument in New England waters. The monument would include several deep sea canyons and seamounts, a network of deep water corals which are approximately 100 miles east of Cape Cod, Mass. NOAA hosted a town hall meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, and written public input was also accepted. ASA and industry members attended the meeting, expressing the industry’s view that if a monument is designated it should allow for recreational fishing to continue.

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NOAA Grants $1 Million to Restore Great Lakes Habitat

Three projects in Michigan and Ohio were selected through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to restore habitat in severely degraded areas of the Great Lakes. The nearly $1 million will benefit a variety of important local fish stock, including important spawning and nursery grounds for muskellunge, northern pike, pumpkinseed sunfish, largemouth bass, yellow perch, channel catfish and bullhead. This funding builds on years of investment in the Great Lakes to restore waterways threatened by poor water quality, contaminated fish and other environmental concerns. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was launched in 2010 to accelerate efforts to protect and restore the largest system of fresh surface water in the world — the Great Lakes.

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