Alexandria, Va. – March 20, 2017 – During its spring meeting, the American Sportfishing Association’s (ASA) Government Affairs Committee discussed a variety of pressing policy issues that impact the recreational fishing industry. Over the course of the two-day meeting held March 14-15, the committee held briefings with three federal agencies, hosted a panel of key Congressional staff and met with more than two dozen Congressional offices.

Kellie Ralston, ASA; Terry Robinson, Bass Pro Shops; Phil Lillo, Don Coffey Company; Carl Liederman, Capt. Harry's Fishing Supply; Dave Bulthuis, Costa Sunglasses; Kirk Immens, Sportco Marketing; Scott Salyers, Bonnier Corporation; Gary Jennings, ASA

Kellie Ralston, ASA; Terry Robinson, Bass Pro Shops; Phil Lillo, Don Coffey Company; Carl Liederman, Capt. Harry's Fishing Supply; Dave Bulthuis, Costa Sunglasses; Kirk Immens, Sportco Marketing; Scott Salyers, Bonnier Corporation; Gary Jennings, ASA

“Our Government Affairs Committee meeting is an important opportunity for the industry to meet face-to-face with decision makers who impact fisheries conservation and access throughout the country,” said Gary Zurn, senior vice president, Industry Relations, for Big Rock Sports headquartered in Morehead City, N.C., and ASA’s Government Affairs Committee Chairman. “Despite a snowstorm that impacted some travel plans, we still had more than 30 people attend the meeting.”

ASA’s Government Affairs Committee is comprised of individuals representing a wide array of sportfishing businesses and associations from across the country. The committee meets face-to-face twice a year to discuss key legislative and regulatory issues that impact recreational fishing as well as helping to guide ASA’s positions and activities regarding these issues.

Some of the top issues discussed with Congressional offices were:  passage of the Sportsmen’s Act and modernization of saltwater recreational fisheries management; the importance of the Everglades restoration to Florida’s fisheries; invasive species control in the Great Lakes; and public access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

“As an industry, we face numerous federal and state legislative challenges, so it’s vitally important for members of Congress and federal agency leaders to hear firsthand from our members about the importance of recreational fishing to the nation’s economy and wellbeing,” said ASA’s Government Affairs Vice President Scott Gudes. “Thankfully, our industry is well represented by our Government Affairs Committee members who dedicate their time and energy to tackling these challenges.”

Alan Gnann, REC Components and Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.)

Alan Gnann, REC Components and Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.)

Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.); Kara Eakes, Red Drum Tackle Shop; Bobby Eakes, Jr.; Bob Eakes, Sr., Red Drum Tackle Shop; Josh Bowlen, Chief of Staff to Rep. Jones

Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.); Kara Eakes, Red Drum Tackle Shop; Bobby Eakes, Jr.; Bob Eakes, Sr., Red Drum Tackle Shop; Josh Bowlen, Chief of Staff to Rep. Jones

Left to right: Ricky Gease, Kenai River Sportfishing Association, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Martin Peters, Yamaha Marine

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The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association committed to representing the interests of the sportfishing and boating industries as well as the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry and anglers a unified voice when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. ASA invests in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous, as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic, conservation and social values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America’s 46 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation’s waterways through Keep America Fishing®, our national angler advocacy campaign. America’s anglers generate more than $48 billion in retail sales with a $115 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for more than 828,000 people.