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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.



Sportfishing Industry's Statement on the Passing of Malcolm Wallop
The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) extends its heartfelt sympathies to the family of Malcolm Wallop, who died on September 14 at the age of 78. Mr. Wallop, who served in the U.S. Senate from 1977 to 1995, was a champion of the sportfishing community. His political career was marked by years of commitment to the nation’s natural resources, most specifically for the 1984 Act that carries his name, the Wallop-Breaux Act. The law, which combined both the Sport Fish Restoration Act and the Recreational Boating Safety Program, provides over $600 million annually to state fishing and boating programs. The recreational fishing and boating community has lost a true champion and friend in Malcolm Wallop. His accomplishments were many and his leadership will be missed. In 1987, ASA recognized Senator Wallop and former Senator John Breaux as Fishermen of the Year.

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ASA Receives AGLOW's Excellence in Public Relations Award
The Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW) has awarded the American Sportfishing Association its 2011 Excellence in Public Relations Award. ASA was nominated and ultimately received the award due to its success in raising the visibility of issues that affect recreational fishing and for the success of the highly-visible and successful KeepAmericaFishing™ national angler advocacy campaign that works to preserve anglers’ rights to fish on public waters. The award was presented during AGLOW’s 55th annual conference, which took place September 19-22, at the Honey Creek Resort State Park in Moravia, Iowa.

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2011 Sportfishing Summit Overview
The American Sportfishing Association’s 2011 Sportfishing Summit, the sportfishing industry’s premier networking and business management event, is scheduled for October 12 – 14, at the Loews New Orleans Hotel in New Orleans, La. This annual fall event brings together American Sportfishing Association (ASA) members with other sportfishing community representatives to provide everyone with a productive meeting that addresses issues facing the industry and recreational fishing. We have a full agenda planned beginning with the Board of Directors meeting on Tuesday, October 12, and ending with the association’s General Membership meeting on Friday morning, October 14.

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There's Still Time to Register for the 2011 Sportfishing Summit
There is still time to register for the 2011 Sportfishing Summit. For information regarding registration or ASA membership, please contact Membership Director Jill Calabria. For questions about the program, contact Communications Director Mary Jane Williamson.

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Special Summit Shuttle Service Discount
ASA has arranged a discount rate of $35.00 round-trip for Summit attendees between the airport and the Loews New Orleans with Airport Shuttle. In order to take advantage of the discount, you must make your arrangements online at 2011 Sportfishing Summit Discounted Airport Shuttle.

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2011 Sportfishing Summit Featured Speakers
This year’s Summit is host to an outstanding group of keynote speakers who will address issues on everyone’s minds – the global economy and China in particular; the Gulf Coast restoration efforts; getting Americans outside and America’s Great Outdoors Initiative; and that ever-evolving, somewhat fickle, beast known as social media. Our speakers include China and Asian economic expert Michael Colopy; Brian Solis, a leading thinker on the impact of social media on business and culture; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe; and Geir Robinson, VP of Claims for BP’s Gulf Coast Restoration Organization. Please click here to read more about our featured speakers.

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Thank You 2011 Sportfishing Summit Sponsors
Our thanks go to the 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 for their generous support. Please email Membership Director Jill Calabria for more information or call (703) 519-9691, x234.

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Have You Heard About KeepAmericaFishing™?
Last year, the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) launched KeepAmericaFishing™ – its angler advocacy campaign – as a way for anglers to get involved in protecting the future of their sport. The website – www.KeepAmericaFishing.org – is the vehicle through which you can engage in advocacy, sign up to receive news and alerts and show your support by contributing to the campaign. To ensure the future of our sport, we need to be represented at every table where decisions are made about the future of recreational fishing. And that takes time, people and funding. ASA's members and staff are passionate about maintaining healthy fisheries and your right to sustainably fish on our nation's public waterways.

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Rigs to Reefs Habitat Protection Act Introduced in the Senate
On September 14, Senator David Vitter (D-LA) introduced the Rigs to Reefs Habitat Protection Act of 2011 (S. 1555), which seeks to stop the unnecessary removal of non-producing offshore oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, which also serve as productive artificial reefs that are home to a variety of important sportfish. In September 2010, the U.S. Department of the Interior issued guidance for decommissioning and removing non-producing offshore oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico within the next five years. The Rigs to Reefs Habitat Protection Act would require the Secretary of the Interior to conduct an assessment of each of the platforms to determine whether there are coral populations or other protected species in the vicinity and identify any species in the vicinity of the platform that have recreational or commercial value. Platforms with substantial reef ecosystem in the vicinity would be allowed to remain in the Gulf as artificial reefs.

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RESTORE Gulf Act Passed Out of Committee with Harmful Provision Added
On September 21, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee approved the RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act of 2011 (S. 1400) and reported the bill to the full Senate for consideration. The RESTORE Act directs 80 percent of the Clean Water Act penalties charged to BP for its April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster to help revitalize coastal communities and improve fisheries habitat and data collection. The bill that passed out of the committee, however, also included an amendment that would fund a National Endowment for the Oceans, which directs revenues generated from funding from offshore energy development towards a variety of conservation grants programs. A portion of those funds would be directed towards the regional planning bodies established in the President’s new National Ocean Policy for development of coastal and marine spatial planning. Prior to the committee’s vote, ASA sent a letter to the committee members asking them to oppose the addition of any provisions that would move beyond the scope of the original RESTORE Act. ASA believes the addition of the contentious National Endowment for the Oceans only stands to jeopardize the passage of S. 1400 and the eventual delivery of the much needed funding to the Gulf for environmental and economic restoration.


Congress Extends Sport Fish and Boating Safety Trust Fund through January 2012
On September 15, Congress passed a bill extending the nation’s transportation and aviation programs through January 31, 2012. This legislation included an extension of the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Safety Trust Fund (Wallop-Breaux). While Congress continues to deliberate over a long term Surface Transportation Bill, which includes Wallop-Breaux, ASA supports reauthorization of the Trust Fund as the current statute is written with continued full funding for the programs that it supports, including boating safety, sportfish restoration and outreach. The federal manufacturers excise tax on fishing tackle, along with the motorboat and small engine fuel tax, is the funding source for the Trust Fund. For more information, review the Angling and Boating Alliance’s position on the Trust Fund.

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Legislation Introduced to Increase Recreational Fishing Access on Public Lands
On September 2, Representatives Dan Benishek (R-MI) and Dan Boren (D-OK), introduced the Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act (H.R. 2834), which will ensure that recreational fishing, hunting and shooting sports are supported as public activities on federal lands. This bipartisan legislation directs federal land management agencies, such as the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to apply the multi-use mandates in their management plans to support public access to our nation’s public lands. Additionally, the bill directs managers to evaluate how traditional outdoor activities will be impacted by the implementation of new regulations, management plans or land use initiatives. While the bill does not directly open federal land to recreational fishing and hunting, by directing managers to operate federal lands as “open until closed,” overall access will increase significantly.

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Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Seeks Management Input
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council is developing a vision for how the fisheries under its management will be managed in the coming years. The council is currently seeking angler input through surveys and small group meetings throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Topics of interest include what is working effectively; current management concerns; and how fisheries should be managed in the future. For more information and to fill out a survey, go to www.mafmc.org/vision.

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New England No-Fishing Zone Shelved by NOAA
NOAA officials recently tabled a proposal to create a large no-fishing zone in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, located west of Gloucester, Mass. The 89 square nautical mile “ecological research area” was approved by the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary advisory committee and threatens 123 jobs. The Administration decided to shelve the proposal while NOAA and the regional fishery management council complete studies on the social and economic impacts of several fishery management changes.

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Mark Your Calendar for ICAST 2012 and 2013
Please mark your calendars for ICAST 2012 and 2013. Check out the ICAST 2012 video available on www.ICASTfishing.org. We look forward to seeing you there!

  • 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.

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Mark Your Calendar for the 2012 Sportfishing Summit
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. For more information, contact Mary Jane Williamson, x227.

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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. If you are a federal employee or know someone employed by the federal government, please make your pledge to FishAmerica – CFC #12295.

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Sportfish Benefit from FishAmerica Habitat Restoration Projects
In partnership with the NOAA Restoration Center and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the FishAmerica Foundation is celebrating the completion of three sportfish habitat restoration projects in Georgia, Mississippi and West Virginia. Project partners:

  • Created oyster reef habitat for spotted seatrout, snapper, grouper, and red drum along coastal Georgia
  • Restored more than six acres of tidal marsh habitat in Biloxi, Mississippi for Atlantic croaker, spotted seatrout, southern flounder and red and black drum.
  • Restored 1,000 feet of stream in Lewis County, West Virginia, restoring habitat and water quality for smallmouth bass and rainbow trout.

Nearly 150 volunteers from the local communities participated in these projects and partners leveraged FishAmerica funds nearly two to one, doubling our investment.

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FishAmerica to Launch New Website
In the next few weeks, FishAmerica will launch a new streamlined and easy to navigate website for donors, applicants, grantees and site visitors. Site visitors can see the foundation’s partnership opportunities, projects that illustrate the foundation’s community-based funds-in-action projects and donate through the site’s secure online process. Grant applicants can find out about grant opportunities and find other resources for their project. Grantees will also be able to upload their documents through the website, reducing paper and reporting costs. Look for an official announcement soon.

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RBFF Launches New Opportunities to ‘Explore the Blue'
The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and Discovery Education are kicking off year two of Explore the Blue – a resource for K-5 teachers and parents to engage students in a dialogue about the importance of outdoor recreational activities, such as fishing and boating, and the value of clean and healthy natural resources. Learn more.

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