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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 Community News

  • Remembering Florida Keys Fishing Pioneer George Hommell Jr.
  • ICAST 2013 New Product Showcase Best of Show Winners on ICAST.org

2013 Sportfishing Summit

  • We Have a Great October 2013 Sportfishing Summit Planned
  • Thank you 2013 Sportfishing Summit Sponsors
  • 2013 Sportfishing Summit Agenda Overview
  • Take Advantage of the Early Bird 2013 Summit Meeting Registration
  • Making Housing Reservations at the Resort
  • Traveling to the Resort – ASA Has Arranged Discounted Transportation
  • A Special National Wildlife Refuge Guided Boat Tour for Summit Attendees
  • Sanibel Area Fishing, Golfing and Other Attractions

Fisheries Management Policy Updates

  • Gulf Council Adopts Ecosystem and Economic Recovery Plan
  • September Regional Meetings for Florida Keys Sanctuary
  • NOAA Appeals to the Public Regarding South Atlantic Red Snapper Data
  • Lake Okeechobee Runoff Causing Significant Estuarine Damage
  • Judge Grants Klamath River Releases
  • Federal Fish Hatcheries to Close October 1, 2013
  • New Monument Designation Proposed in West Virginia
  • Government Affairs Committee Welcomes New Members

Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation

  • RBFF Market Research Studies on TakeMeFishing.org

ICAST 2014

  • Mark Your Calendar for ICAST 2014 and 2015

Remembering Florida Keys Fishing Pioneer George Hommell Jr.

George Hommell Jr., renowned as President George H.W. Bush's flats guide and co-founder of Islamorada's World Wide Sportsman store, died Saturday, September 1, 2013. He was 88. Born in New York State, Hommell moved to Islamorada in 1945 and played a large role in making the Keys the sportfishing capital of the world. He was a founding member of the Islamorada Fishing Guides Association that promoted release fishing. A military veteran of World War II and Korea, Hommell taught himself to fly fish the flats and then shared his techniques with others. He created the first bead-eye fly, named the Hommell Evil Eye. Hommell met and befriended Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, who purchased the World Wide Sportsman and hired Hommell to run it as general manager. The current location opened in October 1997. Memorial donations are suggested for the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (www.bonefishtarpontrust.org) or Florida Keys Wild Bird Center (www.fkwbc.org). Click here for the complete article about George Hommell Jr. on KeysNet.com.

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ICAST 2013 New Product Showcase Best of Show Winners on ICAST.org

The New Product Showcase is ICAST’s flagship feature in which exhibiting companies debut their newest innovations. Sponsored by Fishing Tackle Retailer, the 2013 New Product Showcase embodied the sportfishing industry's innovative and entrepreneurial spirit through the “Best of Show” new product awards competition. This year the JL Marine Systems' Power-Pole Micro Anchor was voted by buyers and media as the best product in both the Boating Accessory category and the overall “Best of Show.” To see the winning products, click here to go to the New Product Showcase winners’ page on the ICAST website.

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We Have a Great October 2013 Sportfishing Summit Planned

The American Sportfishing Association’s (ASA) 2013 Sportfishing Summit will be held October 16-18, at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa just outside Fort Myers, Fla. We know that attending the Summit is a commitment, but it is one of the best business investments that you, as an ASA member, can make. It’s the industry’s best networking venue and you’ll hear information during the Summit you may not hear anywhere else from experts in their fields, both inside and outside the industry. We encourage you to attend the board of directors and committee meetings in order to gain a better understanding the role that ASA plays in ensuring our industry’s future. Check out the Schedule-at-a-Glance. For all the 2013 Sportfishing Summit information, go to www.ASAfishing.org/summit2013.

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Thank You 2013 Sportfishing Summit Sponsors

The American Sportfishing Association extends its thanks to the following companies and agencies for their generous support of the 2013 Sportfishing Summit: GoldAllcoast Group; Bass Pro Shops; Cabela’s; NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service; Take Me Fishing™; and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. SilverSouthwick Associates and the U.S. Forest Service. BronzeAssociation of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Flambeau Products Corporation. The sponsor list is current as of September 5, 2013. For more information on sponsorships, contact Membership Director Jill Calabria, x234.

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2013 Sportfishing Summit Agenda Overview

In addition to the board of directors and committee meetings, we have an outstanding agenda that will focus on:

  • The State of the Industry and Our Association
  • The Challenges and Opportunities in Fisheries Management
  • New Insights Into Your Current Customers
  • Engaging the Hispanic Audience: Insights to Action
  • Special Thursday Keynote Speaker – Business Strategist and Best-selling Author Kaihan Krippendorff
  • Free time on Thursday afternoon to do a little fishing, networking or taking a guided boat tour through the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.


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Take Advantage of the Early Bird 2013 Summit Meeting Registration

Please take advantage of the pre-registration and room block rates and reserve your spot now for the sportfishing industry’s annual business meeting. After September 20, on-site rates apply. Your Summit registration form may be faxed, mailed or emailed to ASA. Please see the instructions on the registration form. The Sportfishing Summit housing and pre-registration deadlines are Friday, September 20, 2013.

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Making Housing Reservations at the Resort

Please make your reservations directly with the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa either by phone or online. Rooms are $129.00 per night, single or double occupancy. Rates are guaranteed until Friday, September 20, 2013. Housing requests received after the deadline will be assigned based upon room and rate availability. You may extend your Summit room rate for check-out on Sunday, October 20, if you would like to stay and take advantage of the fishing, golfing and other activities.

  • By Phone – Call 800-767-7777 and request the group rate for the ASA/Sportfishing Summit.
  • Online Reservations – Use the ASA/Summit online registration link for the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort and Spa. The ASA/Summit group code – ASFASFA – is automatically entered into the Group Code field on the left hand navigation. Rates are guaranteed until Friday, September 20, 2013. Housing requests received after the deadline will be assigned based upon room and rate availability.


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Traveling to the Resort – ASA Has Arranged Discounted Transportation

The Fort Myers Airport (RSW) is located approximately 21 miles from the resort. ASA has arranged for discounted transportation to and from the Fort Myers Airport to the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa through Island Coast Transportation. The hotel does not offer its own shuttle service. Please call Island Coast Transportation at 888-490-0573 or 239-989-2658 to make arrangements. They accept all major credit cards. Please mention the Sportfishing Summit to receive the discounted transportation rate. The one-way rates – per person – are:

  • Luxury Sedan – 4 passenger maximum – $43.00 plus 20 percent gratuity
  • Executive Van – 8 passenger maximum – $80.00 plus 20 percent gratuity
  • Stretch Limousine – 6 passenger maximum with light luggage – $125.00 plus 20 percent gratuity


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A Special National Wildlife Refuge Guided Boat Tour for Summit Attendees

Join us for a special nature and sea life cruise on Thursday afternoon, October 17, and get a close-up look at the amazing scenery and wildlife that comprise the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge while cruising the tranquil waters of Tarpon Bay. There is a minimal fee of $10.00 per person – adults and children – to reserve a seat on the boat cruise. The covered, pontoon-style boat only holds 40 people so prior reservations are required on a first-come, first-served basis. Payment and reservation information is available on the 2013 Sportfishing Summit Registration Form. Transportation to and from the refuge will be provided. The bus will leave the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort at 2:30 p.m. The tour lasts approximately 1.5 hours.

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Sanibel Area Fishing, Golfing and Other Attractions

The Sanibel-Captiva Islands area offers a wide-range of activities for everyone including fishing, golfing, kayaking, canoeing and other family-oriented activities. Please feel free to contact the resources listed on ASA’s website under Recreation Opportunities in the Area to set up some great fishing and golfing.

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Gulf Council Adopts Ecosystem and Economic Recovery Plan

On August 28, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council voted to adopt the “Initial Comprehensive Plan: Restoring the Gulf Coast’s Ecosystem and Economy,” which outlines recovery efforts, both ecological and financial, for the Gulf region in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The plan establishes the general types of projects to be targeted by the Council, including approaches that can help repair habitat degradation and ensure the health and sustainability of recreational fishing throughout the Gulf for generations to come. Earlier this year, ASA, along with the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, the Center for Coastal Conservation and the Coastal Conservation Association, convened a series of five workshops in the Gulf region focusing on further identifying the recreational fishing community’s priorities for Gulf restoration.

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September Regional Meetings for Florida Keys Sanctuary

During its August 20, meeting, the Florida Keys Sanctuary Advisory Council agreed to postpone finalizing recommendations regarding significant changes to recreational fishing within the sanctuary. This decision was prompted by considerable opposition voiced at recent public meetings by local recreational and commercial fishermen. The Sanctuary will hold four regional public hearings on Sept. 23, 24, 25 and 26 to gather more comments and better explain recommendations previously developed by its working groups. The results of these regional meetings will be discussed at the working-group’s September 30 meeting.

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NOAA Appeals to the Public Regarding South Atlantic Red Snapper Data

On August 15, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and state partners from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida requested help from commercial and recreational fishermen with red snapper data collection in the South Atlantic. Data collected will provide much needed information for the 2014 red snapper population assessment. A summary of data collection efforts, and information on how to contribute to the data collection process, is available from NOAA.

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Lake Okeechobee Runoff Causing Significant Estuarine Damage

On August 20, Florida Governor Rick Scott held the Army Corps of Engineers responsible for the billions of gallons of polluted water discharged from Lake Okeechobee which has damaged the estuary systems surrounding the lake. To date, over one hundred and twenty billion gallons of polluted water has run into the estuary and destroyed oyster reefs and sea grasses, and allowed toxic algae blooms and bacteria to thrive. Residents have been warned to stay away from the water system. The state had previously allocated $20 million for clean-up efforts and Gov. Scott has pledged to support an additional $40 million.

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Judge Grants Klamath River Releases

On August 22, a U.S. District Court judge granted the Klamath River water releases that were previously halted due to a temporary restraining order granted on behalf of the agricultural community. The water releases were scheduled in order to avert a potential fish kill along the lower Klamath River, similar to the 2002 fish kill that amounted to the death of tens of thousands of salmon. The judge concluded that the damages of a major fish kill outweighed damages to the agricultural community which would not be felt until 2014.

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Federal Fish Hatcheries to Close October 1, 2013

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service budget cuts are threatening to close federal fish hatcheries within the National Fish Hatchery System. ASA expects an announcement within the next 30 days for specific hatcheries slated for closure when the FWS releases its hatchery review report. Hatcheries provide recreational fishing opportunities throughout the country, as well as support thousands of jobs. For example, the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery in Spearfish, South Dakota is one such hatchery that will be closing October 1, 2013. As a result of this particular closure thirty local jobs will be lost, as well as $141,393 loss collected through local and state taxes and fees.

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New Monument Designation Proposed in West Virginia

There is a proposal to establish a National Monument in the Monongahela National Forest West Virginia called Birthplace of Rivers. The area would include 72,000 acres surrounding the current Cranberry Wilderness area, totaling over 100,000 acres of land within the monument designation. Multiple sportsmen’s groups are opposed to this designation due to the potential to restrict fishing and hunting access within these areas. The Monument designation could also jeopardize trout stocking and both wildlife and stream management by the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources. ASA is concerned about new Monument Designations proposed under the Antiquities Act because they do not include a public process. Designations are made by decree of the President of the United States. ASA staff will continue to monitor this process and look for opportunities to influence the proposal, especially the manner in which it may be created.

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RBFF Market Research Studies on TakeMeFishing.org

In order to better understand recreational boating and fishing and aquatic resource stewardship, the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) works with a variety of market research and consulting firms. The final reports for a number of market research studies commissioned by RBFF can be found on www.TakeMeFishing.org under Research and Evaluations including: 2013 First-Time Anglers Analysis National Summary Report; Engaging the Hispanic Audience: Insights to Actions; and the June 2013 Special Report on Fishing & Boating conducted by RBFF and the Outdoor Foundation.

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Mark Your Calendar for ICAST 2014 and 2015

Please mark your calendars for ICAST 2014 and 2015. As of August 2013, ASA’s board of directors has not made a decision about ICAST 2016 and beyond.
ICAST 2014 – July 15-18, 2014: Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla.
ICAST 2015 – July 14-17, 2015: Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla.

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