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 News

  • Available Now – Sportfishing in America: An Economic Force for Conservation
  • Angler Numbers Rise 11 Percent Since 2006
  • Recreational Fishing – A Conservation Force to be Reckoned With
  • Did You Know? Facts about Recreational Fishing

ICAST 2013

  • ICAST 2013 Registration Opens January 23
  • Visit for Up to Date Info
  • Connect with ICAST 2013 on Linkedin

Policy Updates

  • House Passes Hurricane Sandy Relief Package
  • Secretary Salazar Leaving Interior
  • Tennessee Corps of Engineers Proposes Fishing Closures
  • ASMFC Approves Management Plan for Menhaden
  • Coalition Opposes Exempted Fishing Permits
  • Black Sea Bass Fishery to Re-Open in 2013
  • NOAA Proposes to Expand California Marine Sanctuaries
  • Gillnets Ban on Oregon’s Columbia River Approved
  • New NOAA and EPA Administrators for 2013


  • Keeping it Fun with “What’s This Fish?” Fridays
  • Like KeepAmericaFishing on Facebook

Available Now – Sportfishing in America: An Economic Force for Conservation

According to Sportfishing in America: An Economic Force for Conservation, America’s nearly 60 million anglers are estimated to spend $48 billion per year on fishing equipment, transportation, lodging and other expenses associated with their sport. With a total annual economic impact of $115 billion, recretional fishing supports more than 828,000 jobs and generates $35 billion in wages and $15 billion in federal and state taxes. Despite the economic difficulties facing the U.S. economy over the past five years; the total amount spent on sportfishing, which encompasses tackle, travel and other equipment, grew five percent. The National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, on which Sportfishing in America is based, is conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) every five years and provides a “snapshot in time” of recreational fishing, hunting and wildlife-associated recreation in the U.S. The survey results about recreational fishing were compiled for ASA by Southwick Associates.

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Angler Numbers Rise 11 Percent Since 2006

As reported in Sportfishing in America: An Economic Force for Conservation the number of anglers increased 11 percent over the past five years and fishing tackle sales grew more than 16 percent. When expenditures are multiplied by the nation’s 60 million anglers, their dollars have a significant impact on our nation’s economy.

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Recreational Fishing – A Conservation Force to be Reckoned With

Substantially more than any other groups, anglers support the nation’s conservation efforts through the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund Program. Special taxes on fishing gear and motorboat fuel channel more than $1 billion of anglers’ dollars to state fish and wildlife conservation and recreation programs each year.

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Did You Know? Facts about Recreational Fishing

There are approximately 60 million anglers in the U.S. of which 46 million are estimated to fish in a given year.  • One of every four anglers fishes in saltwater.  • Fishing tackle sales grew over 16 percent in the past five years.  • Since 2006, angler numbers grew 11 percent.  • More Americans fish than play golf (21 million) and tennis (13 million) combined.  • If fishing were a company, the amount spent by anglers to support fishing-related retail sales would rank number 51 on the Fortune 500™ list.  • Fishing generated more revenue ($48 billion) than Lockheed Martin ($47 billion), Intel ($44 billion), Chrysler ($42 billion) or Google ($38 billion).  • The economic activity generated by sportfishing is greater than the economy, measured in Gross State Product, of 17 states.  • At more than 46 million anglers, more than twice the number of people fished in 2011 than attended every NFL game combined. These statistics were provided by Southwick Associates and are available in Sportfishing in America: An Economic Force Conservation.

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ICAST 2013 Registration Opens January 23

ICAST 2013 is fast approaching. Online registration will open on Wednesday, January 23. You can register for the show and make hotel reservations through Please note that ICAST is open only to qualified members of the sportfishing trade.

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Visit for Up to Date Info

Please take a few minutes to explore the information available on the ICAST website for exhibitors, media and other show attendees. is an easy-to-navigate site that includes show registration, the current exhibitor list, floor plan, show schedule and much more.

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Connect with ICAST 2013 on Linkedin

You now have another way to stay connected with the latest news about the world largest sportfishing trade show and network with colleagues in the fishing industry: Linkedin. You can join by visiting our Linkedin page. Please note, you must be a verifiable member of the sportfishing industry in order to join this Linkedin group.

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House Passes Hurricane Sandy Relief Package

On January 15, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $50 billion legislative package to aid recovery efforts related to Hurricane Sandy. The measure includes funding for a variety of programs to assist homeowners, small businesses and communities in rebuilding and becoming more resilient to future disasters. The bill now moves to the Senate. ASA will work with legislators to include more fishery disaster relief funding specifically for the recovery of recreational fishing-dependent businesses and associated infrastructure. The House-passed bill provided just $5 million for this purpose, and estimates of damages to the recreational fishing community in New Jersey alone are over $160 million. In addition to advocating on behalf of the industry during the legislative process, ASA and ASA member Big Rock Sports are working with federal officials in their efforts to assess the damages Hurricane Sandy caused to recreational fishing-dependent businesses.

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Secretary Salazar Leaving Interior

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced on January 16, that he will return to his home state of Colorado, having served four years as Secretary. Secretary Salazar has informed the White House that he intends to leave the Department by the end of March. Salazar, a fifth-generation Coloradoan, has served for 14 continuous years as Colorado Attorney General, United States Senator and as the 50th Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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Tennessee Corps of Engineers Proposes Fishing Closures

Last December the Nashville Tennessee division of the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) finalized plans to close recreational access around ten dam facilities. ACOE considers the waters surrounding these facilities to be hazardous, and all forms of recreation would be prohibited in these areas, including boating and fishing. These closures would affect tailwaters, both upstream and downstream of all ACOE owned facilities along the Cumberland River and its tributaries. Included would be Cheatham Dam, Old Hickory, Percy Priest and Center Hill fishing areas, which are popular with Tennessee’s almost one million anglers. Enforcement of these plans and closures are set to take effect in April of 2013. Public information meetings are being held this month in Kentucky and Tennessee. Go to for specific dates and locations.

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ASMFC Approves Management Plan for Menhaden

This past December the Atlantic States Marines Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) approved the Interstate Fishery Management Plan’s Amendment 2 for Atlantic Menhaden, which will reduce menhaden harvest in both the reduction and bait fisheries by 20 percent beginning in 2013. Menhaden, a key forage species for striped bass, bluefish, Atlantic tuna and other important saltwater species, have declined to their lowest recorded levels. While ASA requested a minimum of 25 percent reduction, the action by the ASMFC is a significant positive step towards restoring menhaden abundance. The 20 percent reduction in harvest is an interim measure that will be in place until the results of the next benchmark stock assessment are known in 2014.

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Coalition Opposes Exempted Fishing Permits

The National Marine Fisheries Service is proposing to issue exempted fishing permits (EFP) to longline vessels for commercial take in conservation zones created in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. Proposed under the guise of scientific data collection and public display purposes, EFP holders would be allowed to take tuna, swordfish, billfish and sharks in the Charleston Bump and Florida East Coast marine conservation zones where the use of surface longline gear has been prohibited for more than a decade, resulting in a much improved recreational fishery for billfish and other species. The American Sportfishing Association, the Coastal Conservation Association, Center for Coastal Conservation, International Game Fish Association and the National Marine Manufacturers have submitted comments in opposition to the issuance of any EFP’s that allow longline gear to harvest highly migratory species and other species within these conservation zones.

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Black Sea Bass Fishery to Re-Open in 2013

Last December the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council met jointly with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Board to consider 2013 recreational management measures for black sea bass along the East coast. States included are Mass., R.I., Conn., N.Y., N.J., Del., Md., Va. and N.C. The Board voted to develop an addendum to allow for state-specific or regional recreational approaches in 2013, and the Council recommended measures for federal waters. If the addendum is adopted, federal management measures would be a 20 fish possession limit, a 12.5 inch minimum size limit, and an open season from January 1 through February 28, May 19 through October 14, and November 1, through December 31. For state-specific regulations, anglers should contact their state marine resources agency.

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NOAA Proposing to Expand California Marine Sanctuaries

Last December the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries of NOAA announced it is considering expanding the boundaries of both the Cordell Bank and the Gulf of the Farallones national marine sanctuaries. The proposal would expand these sanctuaries by 2,700 square miles extending up the coast of northern California. The sanctuaries allow for recreational fishing, and the primary intent of the expansion is to prohibit oil and gas development in these waters. NOAA will hold public review meetings in January and February, and will receive public comments until March 1, 2013, to determine if an expansion is beneficial. For more information, please go to NOAA’s website.

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Gillnets Ban throughout Columbia River Approved

Last December the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to ban gillnets from the main stem of the Columbia River based on the recommendations of a joint Oregon-Washington fisheries work group. On January 20, after receiving a thousand public comments, the Washington state commission unanimously voted to approve new salmon fishery management. The Washington management plan would phase gillnets out by 2017.  This rule limits commercial gillnetting to safe zones in the Columbia River that contain mostly hatchery-raised fish and subjects commercial gill-netting to regulations and oversight by both states’ fish and wildlife commissions. ASA, on behalf of the sportfishing industry, sent a letter of support to Oregon’s Governor Kitzhaber in support of curtailing non-tribal gillnetting in the Columbia River and thanking him for his leadership role in this effort.

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New NOAA and EPA Administrators for 2013

Last December Dr. Jane Lubchenco announced her resignation as head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) effective at the end of February 2013. Lisa Jackson also announced she will be leaving the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in late January/early February. ASA looks forward to working with the individuals appointed to take their places.

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Keeping it Fun with “What’s This Fish?” Fridays

KeepAmericaFishing™ continues to roll out new and exciting ways to engage supporters via social media. We will provide you with new concepts and campaigns as the year progresses. For now, we have launched “What’s This Fish?” Fridays on Facebook. It is no surprise that this has been wildly popular with KeepAmericaFishing’s Facebook fans. Please help spread the word through your social media channels and ask people to join in on “What’s This Fish” Fridays.

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Like KeepAmericaFishing on Facebook

The Keep America Fishing page on Facebook has more than 12,000 “likes!” But with 60 million anglers in the United States, we have a long way to go. Become a fan today and let your friends and family know that they, too, can be a sportfishing fan and do their part to stay informed and help keep our nation's fish and their habitats healthy and accessible now and for the future.

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