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.

ICAST 2013

  • ICAST Connects the Global Sportfishing Industry
  • Register Now for ICAST 2013
  • Thank You ICAST 2013 Sponsors
  • New Product Showcase – ICAST's Flagship Feature
  • Make Plans to Attend the State of the Industry Breakfast

Participation and Conservation

  • FishSmart Tackle Program Gaining Steam
  • RBFF Helps Improve Anglers’ Online License Purchase Experience

Policy and Government Affairs

  • Jewell Sworn in as Secretary of the Interior
  • NOAA Releases New Fisheries Economic Data
  • President Signs Federal Spending Bill for Remainder of FY13
  • NOAA Releases Coastal Trends Report
  • Klamath River EIS Released
  • Compromise on New Jersey Artificial Reef Commercial Fishing
  • Maryland Access Bill Moves Closer to Passage
  • Water Woes in California’s San Joaquin River
  • Maine Planning to Ban Lead Tackle
  • New Hampshire’s Senate Passes Lead Tackle Ban
  • Public Comments Needed for Bristol Bay
  • National Park Releases Everglades Draft Management Plan
  • Turmoil Abounds in Gulf Red Snapper Fishery

ICAST Connects the Global Sportfishing Industry

ICAST is the only event that connects the global sportfishing industry and where you can see the latest innovations in fishing gear and accessories all under one roof. What can you expect at ICAST? Networking with individuals who share your interest in sportfishing’s future; the excitement and competition of the New Product Showcase; saving money through ICAST-only specials; winning cash prizes or the grand prize of a trip for two to Crocodile Bay Resort in Costa Rica by writing orders and entering in the buyer raffles; trying out new tackle at the Lure Tank; hearing about the state of the industry during the Industry Breakfast; and much more. For more information, go to Show Highlights and Events on

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Register Now for ICAST 2013

Registration is open for ICAST 2013, the world's largest sportfishing trade show, being held July 9-12, 2013, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Online registration is available on All attendees must be badged in order to access the show floor. Pre-registration rates are valid until June 7, 2013. After that date, higher on-site registration rates apply. ASA has also arranged special discounts for ICAST attendees with partner hotels that are conveniently located near the Las Vegas Convention Center. When registering for the show, you may also make reservations at the official ICAST hotels. For more information about registration and housing, please contact Experient customer service at or (301) 694-5243.

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Thank You ICAST 2013 Sponsors

ASA would like to thank its generous members who have already signed on as ICAST sponsors. Our ICAST 2013 sponsors are: Gold – Crocodile Bay Resort; Fishing Tackle Retailer; NBC Sports Network; Rapala; and Take Me Fishing™. Silver – Dave Mercer’s Facts of Fishing; Gemini Sport Marketing; In-Fisherman; Koppers Fishing & Tackle Corp; and Pure Fishing. Bronze – Big Catch Tees; Buck Knives; Chums; Classic Fishing Products, Inc.; Columbia; Holster Up; and L & L Outdoor Products. This list is current as of April 15, 2013.

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New Product Showcase – ICAST's Flagship Feature

More fishing products are unveiled during the ICAST New Product Showcase than anywhere else in the world. The New Product Showcase is the premier venue where established manufacturers and entrepreneurs alike debut their latest innovations in fishing gear and accessories. Buyers and Media-Editorial badge holders can evaluate each new product and vote for the prestigious “Best of Show” awards. Voting occurs between 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 9, and 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 10. The awards are presented during the Chairman’s Industry Awards Reception, sponsored by Rapala, being held Wednesday, July 10, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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Make Plans to Attend the State of the Industry Breakfast

Get the inside information on the state of our industry during the Industry Breakfast being held Wednesday, July 9, 7:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m., at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Tickets are required and can be purchased when registering for the show.

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FishSmart Tackle Program Gaining Steam

Last year, ASA rolled out the FishSmart Tackle Program to recognize and inspire development of products that improve the survival of released fish. Even small increases in survival of fish that anglers choose or are required to release can make a significant difference in future fishing opportunities. FishSmart is a comprehensive program to address this “next step” in conservation. Over the past year, working with NOAA and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, FishSmart conducted 4 workshops in communities across the U.S. to identify products, information gaps and opportunities to manage fisheries with high release mortality. FishSmart is now partnering with the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation to enhance communications to anglers. An industry-based FishSmart Tackle committee is in development to expand the program among manufactures. For more information, visit

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RBFF Helps Improve Anglers’ Online License Purchase Experience

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) recently announced the findings of a new report that assesses the current state of the online fishing license purchase process, and a white paper that offers six ways to improve anglers’ experience. These two new reports – the RBFF Online Fishing License Assessment: 2012 and The Connected Angler: Six Ways to Improve Anglers’ Online License Purchase Experience – are the first step in RBFF’s efforts to better understand the customer experience and assist state agency partners in improving it. Learn about the changing demographics and consumer trends that are driving this important project which aims to establish an informed, engaged and satisfied group of anglers in this country and to keep the fishing community vibrant and growing. View and download the reports at

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Jewell Sworn in as Secretary of the Interior

Sally Jewell, former CEO of REI, Inc., was officially sworn in on Friday, April 12, as the Secretary, Department of the Interior. As Secretary of the Interior, Jewell leads an agency with more than 70,000 employees. Interior oversees approximately 20 percent of the nation’s lands, including national parks, national wildlife refuges, and other public lands; oversees the responsible development of conventional and renewable energy supplies on public lands and waters; is the largest supplier and manager of water in the 17 Western states; and upholds trust responsibilities to the 566 federally recognized American Indian tribes and Alaska Natives.

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NOAA Releases New Fisheries Economic Data

On March 7, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released the 2011 Fisheries Economics of the United States report, which provides economic data for commercial and recreational fishing activities and related industries from 2002-2011. According to NOAA, 11 million saltwater anglers took 70 million saltwater fishing trips throughout the country in 2011, and spent $70 billion in sales which supported 455,000 jobs.  The most caught species by saltwater recreational anglers were seatrout, Atlantic croaker and spot. To read the entire report, please click here.

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President Signs Federal Spending Bill for Remainder of FY13

In March, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) that allows the federal government to be funded throughout FY 2013. The measure leaves in place $85 billion in automatic budget cuts, AKA – The Sequester. This sequester still includes a 4.9 percent cut for the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund. 

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NOAA Releases Coastal Trends Report

In March, NOAA released their “State of the Coast” report which presents demographic status and trends information for the U.S. population from 1970 – 2020.  This report projects that the coastal population nationally will grow to 134 million people by 2020, up from 123 million people currently. According to the report, 39 percent of the nation’s population lives in counties directly on the shoreline, and 52 percent of the total population lives in counties that drain into coastal watersheds.  To read the full report, click here.

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Klamath River EIS Released

On April 4, the Department of the Interior released their Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) evaluating the Klamath River hydroelectric facilities and their potential removal. This Final EIS recommended the preferred alternative was to remove all four facilities. This EIS analysis took into consideration the ecological, aesthetic, historic, cultural, economic, sociological and health impacts and benefits. The EIS described significant environmental impacts if all or some of the facilities were kept in place and these negative impacts could not be avoided. The Final EIS is available at

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Compromise on New Jersey Artificial Reef Commercial Fishing

On March 21, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s administration proposed a plan for recreational and commercial fishing on artificial reefs in state waters. The state’s 15 artificial reefs were funded by anglers through the Sport Fish Restoration Program, but recreational fishing access has been blocked by large amounts of commercial gear on the reefs. The plan would eliminate commercial fishing on 13 artificial reefs in federal waters, but would allow it on two existing reefs in state waters at certain times of the year. A new reef will be constructed in state waters exclusively for recreational fishing. This new reef will take about three to seven years to design and build.

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Maryland Access Bill Moves Closer to Passage

On April 9, Maryland’s Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law HB 797 which promotes safe recreational fishing, canoe and kayak access to waterways along Maryland’s bridges and roads. By requiring that transportation projects consider the feasibility of waterway access – which can be achieved at minimal or no additional cost – HB 797 will support increased fishing opportunities while improving the safety of recreationalists and motorists through thoughtful planning. This bill could be used as model legislation for other states to adopt. For more information, visit

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Water Woes in California’s San Joaquin River

The California State Water Resources Control Board is currently considering adopting a policy that 35 percent of the San Joaquin River’s springtime flows would be unimpaired which could significantly boost the upstream migrations of salmon. Currently, close to 70 percent of the waters are diverted for city and agricultural severely affecting fish stocks, especially steelhead and salmon that call this river system home. With the current flows, this historic salmon fishery, which once numbered in the hundreds of thousands, has dwindled to 14,000 salmon that return each year to spawn. This is significantly lower than the 78,000 salmon required under the 1992 Central Valley Project Improvement Act. For more information, visit

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Maine Planning to Ban Lead Tackle

On February 28, legislation was introduced in Maine to ban lead sinkers and jigs (LD 730 / SP 268). This bill would make it illegal for a person to sell, advertise or use lead sinkers or jigs that contain any lead and weighs one ounce or less or measures 2.5 inches or less. Violations to this bill would be a civil violation carrying a fine for each violation of between $100 – $500. If a person violates this three times or more in a five year period then they will have committed a Class E crime, which in Maine is punishable by up to six months incarceration and a $1,000 fine. The bill was referred to the Joint Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.  ASA submitted testimony to the Committee and has been working with the Maine BASS federation on this issue. 

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New Hampshire’s Senate Passes Lead Tackle Ban

On March 14, the New Hampshire Senate passed a bill banning lead sinkers and jigs of less than one ounce. The bill will now be referred to the House Fish and Wildlife and Marine Resources Committee.  ASA submitted testimony to both the Senate and the House Committees regarding the detrimental effects this bill could have on the industry and the average angler.

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Public Comments Needed for Bristol Bay

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is asking for addition public comments and scientific review regarding potential Pebble Mine impacts in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The EPA will release their watershed assessment later this spring and will request comments after that.  The previous assessment by the EPA overwhelmingly supported what the sportfishing community advocated for – denial of Pebble Mine permits under the Clean Water Act. ASA, alongside the sportsmen’s community, had requested that the EPA use its power under the Clean Water Act’s section 404(c) to protect Bristol Bay from the proposed Pebble Mine.  Pebble Mine if permitted, would become North America’s largest open-pit mine and produce up to 10 billion tons of toxic mine waste that must be treated and stored in perpetuity.

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National Park Releases Everglades Draft Management Plan

A recently released draft General Management Plan (GMP) for Everglades National Park includes extensive non-combustion engine zones, covering 33 percent of Florida Bay that may act as de facto fishing closures. Boaters would be allowed to use push poles or trolling motors in these areas, but because many of these areas are several miles wide and lack channels or corridors for motorized access, many popular fishing areas would become virtually inaccessible. ASA and its partners are working with local fishing groups to develop recommendations to improve the GMP to better accommodate recreational fishing and boating access in the park.

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Turmoil Abounds in Gulf Red Snapper Fishery

While the Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper population continues to increase in abundance and size, anglers are facing the shortest fishing season in federal waters on record – just 27 days. In response, Louisiana, Texas and Florida have all announced their plans to go non-compliant with federal regulations and allow for longer fishing seasons in state waters, which prompted NOAA Fisheries to announce even shorter seasons in federal waters off the coasts of the non-compliant states. Several state and federal legislative efforts have been proposed to extend state authority over the red snapper fishery.

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