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.
- 2011 Sportfishing Summit Overview
- Sportfishing Industry Recognizes Leaders During Summit
- Thank You 2011 Sportfishing Summit Supporters
- Mark Your Calendar for 2012
- Park Service Plans to Shut Anglers Out of Biscayne National Park
- ASMFC Takes Steps to Rebuild Menhaden Fishery
- RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act Introduced in the House
- ASA Member Speaks Before Congress on National Ocean Policy
- Consideration of Alaskan Halibut Allocation Rule Postponed
- Reauthorization of Sport Fish and Boating Safety Trust Fund
- Mark Your Calendar for ICAST 2012 and 2013
- Visit the Online ICAST Buyers' Guide
- Fishing is #2 Outdoor Activity for Americans Six and Older
- Fishing, Outdoor Recreation and Conservation Create Jobs
- Anglers' Legacy Positively Impacts Fishing Industry
- FY 2012 RBFF Foundation Grants Available
- Federal Employees Support FishAmerica
- Improving Sportfish Habitat in California
- Improving Florida Fish Habitat and Foraging Grounds
2011 Sportfishing Summit Overview
From October 12-14, the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the city of New Orleans hosted the 2011 Sportfishing Summit where industry leaders representing more than 100 companies and organizations from the United States, Canada and around the globe met to discuss the issues impacting recreational fishing. The 2011 Summit focused on the global economy and China in particular; the Gulf Coast restoration efforts; getting Americans outside through the administration’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative; and the ever-evolving role of social media in business. On Thursday, October 13, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal gave a keynote address in which he emphasized Louisiana’s resilience in the face of overcoming the almost impossible challenges of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster. The governor’s enthusiasm for recreational fishing and his pleasure of being with us at the Summit was felt by everyone in the audience. During his Thursday keynote address, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Director Dan Ashe outlined what the USFWS is doing to engage people in the great outdoors while also conserving our nation’s natural resources. Ashe also met with the Government Affairs Committee to discuss recreational fishing issues.
Sportfishing Industry Recognizes Leaders During Summit
Two leaders in the sportfishing community who exemplify leadership ability and advancing recreational fishing participation were presented with the American Sportfishing Association’s (ASA) top awards during the 2011 Sportfishing Summit held October 12-14, in New Orleans, La. The association’s prestigious Norville Prosser Lifetime Achievement Award, named after ASA’s former Vice President for Government Affairs, was presented to Randy Lemcke, senior vice president for Plano Molding Company, for the extraordinary leadership he has shown throughout his career in promoting the values of sportfishing and advancing cooperative approaches to addressing the issues facing the sportfishing industry. Governor Jindal also presented ASA’s Future of Fishing award to Jack Lawton, founder of the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana and the Center for Coastal Conservation, for his decades of service to ensure recreational fishing’s future. During the Summit’s General Membership meeting Bert Kaplan, president of Kaplan Associates and a long-time sportfishing representative, was recognized with a Lifetime Honorary ASA Membership.
ASA wants to thank the following companies, organizations and agencies for their support of the 2011 Sportfishing Summit: Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies; Cabela’s; Frabill, Inc.; Gemini Sport Marketing; Maui Jim; NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service; Take Me Fishing™; U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U. S. Geological Survey; and the USDA-Forest Service.
Mark Your Calendar for 2012
ASA invites you to mark your calendar for the 2012 Sportfishing Summit scheduled for October 9 – 11, at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort
in Hilton Head, South Carolina. More information on the program for the 2012 Summit will be available in mid-2012. If you have questions, contact Mary Jane Williamson, x227.
Park Service Plans to Shut Anglers Out of Biscayne National Park
Located adjacent to Miami, Fla., Biscayne National Park (BNP) is the largest marine park in the national park system and one of the country's largest urban recreational fishing areas hosting approximately 10 million angler trips per year. In August, National Park Service officials at BNP released a draft General Management Plan (GMP) that proposes to close over 20 percent of the park's public waters to recreational fishing and other activities despite opposition from numerous stakeholders and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.. The current preferred alternative endorsed by park managers would establish a 10,522 acre marine reserve, or no fishing zone, and several “no combustion engine zones,” which act as de facto no-fishing zones because their large size makes most of the waters inaccessible. The American Sportfishing Association, as part of a broad coalition of recreational fishing and boating organizations, submitted comments to the National Park Service outlining the community’s many concerns with the draft GMP.
ASMFC Takes Steps to Rebuild Menhaden Fishery
In August, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) voted overwhelmingly to move forward with a draft Menhaden Fishery Management Plan Addendum that will include a range of management options to more conservatively manage commercial harvest of menhaden, which are a key food source for many popular sportfish such as striped bass. Over the past three decades, menhaden abundance has declined continuously from an estimated 186 billion fish to 18 billion while continuously subject to intensive commercial harvest. ASA’s comments recommended that the ASMFC adopt a conservation target of 40 percent of the menhaden maximum spawning potential, which is in line with national standards for other forage species.
RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act Introduced in the House
On October 5, a bi-partisan group of House of Representatives members from the five Gulf Coast states introduced legislation to direct much-needed funding to the Gulf of Mexico region for economic and environmental recovery in the aftermath of the April 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster. Similar to a companion bill introduced in the Senate this past July, the RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act, H.R. 3096, directs 80 percent of Clean Water Act penalties charged to BP to the restoration of the Gulf Coast environment and economy. ASA strongly supports this legislation and the benefits it will provide for the thousands of recreational-fishing dependent businesses who continue to try and rebound from the oil spill’s economic and environmental impacts.
Consideration of Alaskan Halibut Allocation Rule Postponed
Due to overwhelming public comment, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) has postponed consideration of a rule that would give 30 percent of the halibut charter fishing allocation to commercial fishermen in southeastern Alaska. If implemented, the regulation would cut the daily bag limit for charter recreational fishing anglers from two to just one fish per day, reducing demand for these charter businesses and hurting the economies on Alaska’s small communities. NOAA Fisheries is delaying consideration of the rule until more information is gathered on its potential impacts.
Reauthorization of Sport Fish and Boating Safety Trust Fund
On October 5th, Senator Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced the Sport Fish Restoration and Recreational Boating Safety Act (S. 1657) to reauthorize the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund. The Trust Fund is funded through the federal manufacturers excise tax on fishing tackle and the motorboat and small engine fuel tax and supports state programs for sport fish restoration, boating safety and outreach. S. 1657 includes administrative changes to the statute that were requested by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Coast Guard. ASA supports reauthorization of the Trust Fund as the current statute is written with continued full funding for the programs that it supports.
- ICAST 2012 – July 11 – 13, 2012, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla.
- ICAST 2013 – July 10 – 12, 2013, Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nev.
Visit the ICAST Online Buyers’ Guide for the “who’s who” in the sportfishing industry and what each industry member offers.
A recent study conducted by the Outdoor Foundation ranks fishing as the number two outdoor activity among Americans ages six and older, second only to running, jogging and trail running. The Outdoor Recreation Participation Report 2011 details the most popular activities with the number of participants:
- Running, jogging and trail running: 50.2 million participants
- Freshwater, saltwater and fly fishing: 45.4 million participants
- Road biking, mountain biking and BMX: 42.4 million participants
- Car, backyard and RV camping: 42.3 million participants
- Hiking: 32.4 million participants
Other key findings include:
- Almost half of Americans ages six and older participated in outdoor recreation in 2010. That’s almost the same participation rate as 2009 and equates to a total of 137.9 million Americans.
- Outdoor enthusiasts use technology to connect to the outdoors. More than 60 percent of outdoor enthusiasts ages 18 to 44 use technology to search for information about outdoor recreation.
Fishing, Outdoor Recreation and Conservation Create Jobs
Washington continues to look for ways to increase jobs and cut the federal deficit. A new study released by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation shows that conservation, outdoor recreation and historic preservation currently support 9.4 million jobs and generate over $1 trillion in economic activity annually. Obtain a copy of this new economic study to learn how fishing, other recreational activities and smart conservation helps U.S. job creation efforts.
Anglers' Legacy Positively Impacts Fishing Industry
The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s (RBFF) Anglers’ Legacy program continues to have a positive impact on the fishing and boating industry, according to a new survey released in October. The annual survey shows that program participants, known as “Ambassadors,” introduce an average of 64 percent more newcomers to the sport than non-Ambassadors. They also spend on average $650 more annually than non-Ambassadors on fishing and boating related products, travel and services.
FY 2012 RBFF Grants Available
The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) has boating and fishing education grants available for FY 2012. Youth-focused organizations are encouraged to apply for RBFF's National Youth Fishing & Boating Initiative, which expands on the organization's boating and fishing education outreach efforts. The application deadline is December 30, 2011. A key requirement of the grant guidelines includes introducing boating and fishing to minorities and underserved communities. Special consideration will be given to programs that offer multiple on-the-water learning opportunities, encourage long-term involvement of participants, foster multi-generational participation, promote conservation education, support existing RBFF partnerships and are inclusive in their programming. Since 2007, RBFF education grants have reached more than 680,000 children. For more information, contact RBFF at (703) 519-0013 1 or go to www.rbff.org.
Federal Employees Support FishAmerica
Federal employees support FishAmerica by pledging their 2011 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) donation to FishAmerica (CFC #12295) to help keep our sportfish and waters healthy. Since 2007, federal employees have pledged more than $80,000 for community-based fisheries and habitat restoration projects that improve recreational fishing.
Improving Sportfish Habitat in California
A $45,000 FishAmerica Foundation grant, in partnership with the NOAA Restoration Center, awarded to the Mattole Salmon Group improved 250 acres of sportfish habitat in the Mattole Estuary, at the mouth of Northern California’s Mattole River. The project constructed seven large wooden structures as part of an ongoing effort to restore rearing habitat conditions for local Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, and steelhead trout. Volunteers from the AmeriCorps Watershed Stewards Project and the California Conservation Corps worked 550 hours creating the structures, while also providing educational tours and project monitoring.
Improving Florida Fish Habitat and Foraging Grounds
The FishAmerica Foundation, in partnership with the NOAA Restoration Center, awarded a $50,000 grant to the Florida Department of Environment Protection to improve sportfish nursery habitat in St. Andrews Bay, Fla., home to one of the only remaining pristine seagrass habitats in the Florida Panhandle. More than 600 volunteers installed recycled oyster shells and more than 21,000 plants to help improve essential nursery habitat and foraging grounds for over 70 percent of commercial and recreational finfish and shellfish species. The month-long process was made possible with volunteer help from school students in Santa Rosa, Escambia, and Bay Counties, local non-profit groups, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops and numerous military and civilian volunteers. Following the completion of the project, photo stations were installed along the three sites to measure the progress and an increase in juvenile fish counts have already been documented.