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.

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  • Midterm Elections Provide Opportunities for 2015 and Beyond
  • Condolences to the Powell Family
  • Gulf Red Snapper Sector Separation for At Least Three Years
  • States Take Positive Action to Conserve Atlantic Striped Bass Fishery

Association Updates

  • Sign On to Receive KeepAmericaFishing Info and Updates
  • BOD Elects New Executive Committee
  • Recognizing Our Industry Leaders
  • ASA’s West Coast Consumer Shows Have New Ownership
  • ASA Welcomes a New Staff Member
  • AFTCO Partners With KeepAmericaFishing on November Promotion

Recreational Fishing and Conservation Policy Updates

  • BP Gulf Restoration Money Helps Recreational Anglers and Industry
  • Proposed California Lead Ban Draws Angler Opposition
  • Florida Passes Water and Land Conservation Amendment
  • Rigs to Reefs Program Protected by Louisiana Amendment 8
  • North Carolina Legislature Will Assess ORV Plans at Cape Lookout
  • California Drought Legislation Could Jeopardize Endangered Salmon

Data and Statistics Updates

  • 2014 Third Quarter Fishing Participation Unchanged from 2013

Check Out These News Items

  • An Article about First Impressions
  • Nationwide Awards Conservation Grants

Join Twitter’s Largest Fishing Party – EVER!

You’re invited to join KeepAmericaFishing, BD Outdoors, The Billfish Foundation, AFTCO, Share A Fishing Charter and Island Routes for a world-wide event with special appearances by Guy Harvey, Pro Angler Florida App, GAFF Magazine & Sandals Resorts! Follow #CharteredRoutes today, November 13, from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., EST, for giveaways and to chat with fishing fans worldwide!

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Midterm Elections Provide Opportunities for 2015 and Beyond

The results of the 2014 midterm election provide an opportunity to build new relationships with incoming Members of Congress and strengthen relationships with our current Congressional champions. ASA will continue to work with supporters on both sides of the aisle on pending legislation that will provide for enhanced recreational fishing access in both fresh and saltwater; insert some commonsense solutions into saltwater fisheries management; and reauthorize the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, the iconic legislation that provides the bulk of fisheries conservation funding in the U.S. In addition, ASA’s Government Affairs committee also designated the following as priorities for the recreational fishing industry and the ASA staff:

  • Create a proactive plan for angler education and product labeling on soft baits.
  • Work with the states and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on both short and long term solutions for maintaining a federal fish hatcheries program.
  • Engage in opposing California’s proposal to ban fishing gear containing lead, zinc and copper.
  • Continue to advocate for conservation of California salmon.
  • Develop a strategic plan for Florida to stop any loss of fishing access and to advance the interests of recreational fishing.


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Condolences to the Powell Family

The American Sportfishing Association extends its condolences to the family of Dan Powell who passed away this month in Grand Blanc, Mich. In 1973, Dan purchased his first fishing tackle company, Mason Tackle Company. In 1978, he purchased Ed Cummings Inc. and the Fishing Tackle Grab Bag in 1980. Mason Tackle Company, and the Powells, are active and valued association members, exhibiting at ICAST as well as being active board of directors and committee members. Dan is survived by his wife, Doris and his three children, sons Jeff and Chip and daughter Nancy, along with his grandchildren and other family members. For more information, please go to the Sharp Funeral Home’s website.

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Gulf Red Snapper Sector Separation for At Least Three Years

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Council recently voted 10-7 to approve Amendment 40, also known as sector separation, which would divide the recreational red snapper quota between individual recreational fishermen and charter/for-hire captains. ASA is strongly opposed to sector separation and is deeply troubled that this poorly conceived and detrimental plan was passed by the Gulf Council. ASA believes that sector separation will create serious conflicts between private anglers and charter/for-hire captains, and further diminish recreational fishing opportunities for red snapper. A small glimmer of hope for the future of recreational management of Gulf red snapper was provided by a last minute attachment to Amendment 40 that requires a three year “sunset,” which means that unless the Council takes action to continue sector separation it will expire after three years.

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States Take Positive Action to Conserve Atlantic Striped Bass Fishery

In a move overwhelmingly supported by the recreational fishing industry, last month the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission approved implementing a 25 percent striped bass harvest reduction for coastal states for both the commercial and recreational fishing sectors within one year. The Chesapeake Bay jurisdictions' percentage is set at 20.5 percent. ASA strongly supports this harvest reduction, which will help to safeguard the striped bass fishery and increase its abundance before the stock were to reach overfished levels and drastic reductions would be needed. To achieve the 25 percent reduction, the commission supported reducing the coast-wide recreational bag limit from two fish to one fish while keeping the size limit at 28 inches. However, through conservation equivalency measures, individual states can meet the 25 percent reduction by implementing alternative regulations, including bag limits, size limits, slot limits and/or trophy regulations.

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Sign On to Receive KeepAmericaFishing Info and Updates

As ASA’s Government Affairs staff works to reach out to new Members of Congress and introduce them to our industry and our issues, we also need your help. If you have not signed up to receive information and updates from KeepAmericaFishing, please go to, and sign on to the Angler Bill of Rights. Together we can address our industry’s priorities in 2015.

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BOD Elects New Executive Committee

During the Summit, ASA’s board of directors elected its new Executive Committee as well as appointed three ex-officio members to the board. Along with board Chairman Dave Bulthuis, vice president, Sales, Costa; and Immediate Past Chairman Gregg Wollner, executive vice president, Rapala, the new officers are: Vice Chairman – Kirk Immens, president, Sportco Marketing, Inc.; Secretary – Louis Chemi, executive vice president and managing director, Navico: Recreational Marine Division; Treasurer – Donn Schaible, president, Wright & McGill, Co.; and At-Large – Terry Pederson, vice president, of Sales, Daiwa Corporation. Also appointed to the board are the following Ex-Officio members: Ken Hammond, CEO, The Hammond Group; Peter Foley, president, Boone Bait Company; and Tom Rolls, senior director of merchandizing- Fishing/Powersports for Cabela’s.

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Recognizing Our Industry Leaders

During the 2014 Sportfishing Summit, ASA recognized several individuals who have given generously of their time and company resources in support of the industry and fisheries conservation.

– Lifetime Achievement Award – Jeffrey Marble – President – Marble, LLC
ASA’s most prestigious award, the Lifetime Achievement Award, was presented to Jeffrey Marble, president, Marble, LLC, and the former president of Frabill, Inc., for his extraordinary leadership and lifelong commitment to recreational fishing and the sportfishing industry.

– Future of Fishing Award – Gary Zurn – Senior Vice President, Industry Relations, Big Rock Sports, LLC
The Future of Fishing Award was presented to Gary Zurn, senior vice president, Industry Relations, Big Rock Sports, LLC, for his commitment to the sportfishing industry and his leadership in ensuring recreational fishing’s future.

– Outstanding Industry Leader Award – Clem Dippel – Senior Consultant- Fishing Tackle Retailer
The Outstanding Industry Leader Award was presented to long-time member Clem Dippel, the founder and Publisher of Fishing Tackle Retailer. for his more than 50 years of service to the industry and recreational fishing.

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ASA’s West Coast Consumer Shows Have New Ownership

During the 2014 Sportfishing Summit, ASA’s board of directors announced the sale and transition of the West coast consumer shows, known as the ASA/Fred Hall Shows, to a new partnership between Bart Hall, whose family had owned and managed the shows for several decades, and Duncan McIntosh, Duncan McIntosh Company, Inc. The sale was announced during the association’s annual dinner. ASA and Bart Hall and his team successfully produced the West coast shows for many years. However, Bart told the board of directors that he wanted to bring his father’s legacy of the West coast’s largest and most popular shows back into his family and the board of directors agreed. ASA wishes Bart, Duncan and General Manager Mike Lum all our best for future success.

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ASA Welcomes a New Staff Member

John Stillwagon has joined the ASA staff as the new KeepAmericaFishing Online Community Manager. John will focus on developing advocacy campaigns and communications for our anglers around the industry’s advocacy issues. He has an advocacy campaign development background working with both for- and non-profits. Some of his former clients were Home Depot, State Farm and Ducks Unlimited. We welcome John to the team.

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AFTCO Partners With KeepAmericaFishing on November Promotion

AFTCO and KeepAmericaFishing are partnering on a fundraising effort during November. A limited edition Let Us Fish hat, plus an AFTCO koozie and decal is a thank you gift to anyone who donates $25 or more. Such partnerships are vital to help KeepAmericaFishing advocate for, and with, our recreational anglers. Please feel free to share this fundraising information with your colleagues, friends, staff and customers.

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BP Gulf Restoration Money Helps Recreational Anglers and Industry

In the most recent wave of funding for environmental and economic restoration in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, 44 new restoration projects encompassing $627 million were announced through the Natural Resource Damage Assessment Early Restoration process. Many of these projects are specific to recreational fishing and align with the types of projects for which ASA and its partners have advocated, including the establishment of fisheries research facilities, creation of dozens of near shore artificial reefs and improvements to boating access facilities. The sportfishing industry would like to acknowledge the Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees for developing project plans that will aid the recreational fishing community.

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Proposed California Lead Ban Draws Angler Opposition

In September, the California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) released its draft Priority Product Work Plan proposing to ban lead, zinc and copper in fishing gear. In a letter to the DTSC, ASA strongly opposed this effort. In addition, through KeepAmericaFishing, more than 650 letters were submitted asking the DTSC to remove fishing weights and gear from the list. Because lead is inexpensive and out performs alternative metals, such as tin and tungsten, in a variety of fishing equipment, prohibiting its manufacturing and sale could significantly impact fishing participation and recreational fishing-dependent businesses. California’s 1.7 million anglers have a $2.4 billion economic impact in the state. During the public comment period, more than 1,300 people spoke out against lead’s inclusion in the draft plan.

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Florida Passes Water and Land Conservation Amendment

On November 4, Florida’s Amendment 1, or the Land and Water Conservation Amendment, passed with 75 percent of the vote. The amendment was a ballot initiative to conserve Florida’s water resources and recreation lands. It was backed by a large-scale campaign effort and received wide-ranging endorsement from civic organizations, government entities, individuals and businesses. Its goals are three-pronged: to ensure the state’s water resources are kept vibrant and healthy, direct 33 percent of existing real estate fees to preserve water quality and continue Florida’s legacy of sound natural resource stewardship. KeepAmericaFishing took a role in promoting Amendment 1 to its Florida members because of the overlap with recreational fishing interests in achieving clean waterways and fish habitat.

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Rigs to Reefs Program Protected by Louisiana Amendment 8

With a 14-point margin, Louisiana’s Amendment 8 was approved by ballot creating the Artificial Reef Development Fund and protecting funding for fish habitat conservation. In Louisiana from 2009 to 2011, $44.6 million intended for the Rigs to Reefs program, which converts decommissioned offshore oil platforms into productive fishing reefs, was funneled towards other unrelated purposes. Now, the funds would be used to enhance inshore fisheries habitat and ensure Rigs to Reefs continues to maintain idle oil rigs in the Gulf that foster diverse populations of reef fish with no additional cost to taxpayers.

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North Carolina Legislature Will Assess ORV Plans at Cape Lookout

Restrictions could be placed on off road vehicle (ORV) access at Cape Lookout National Seashore. In May, the National Park Service released its Draft ORV Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement. The Draft Plan considers five alternatives to manage ORV use. In October, the North Carolina House of Representatives established a committee to measure the effect ORV restrictions would have on the economy and tourism. A public meeting was held October 29, in Morehead City, N.C. The committee has until June 2015, to report their findings to the state’s General Assembly.

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California Drought Legislation Could Jeopardize Endangered Salmon

Earlier this year, Congress passed legislation – S. 2198 and H.R. 3964 – that attempts to address the impacts of California’s severe drought. Provisions in the bills to waive the Endangered Species Act would allow increased water for agricultural purposes which could have a detrimental impact on California’s and Oregon’s salmon fisheries by removing protections for salmon in the river system. ASA is opposed to these bills and is working with our California-based partners to amend this language. You can send a message through

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2014 Third Quarter Fishing Participation Unchanged from 2013

In a license index run cooperatively by ASA and the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, license sales remained unchanged through the third quarter of 2014 compared to 2013. Of the 13 states included in the report, seven showed license sales increases through the third quarter of 2014, primarily in the West, Midwest and Southeast regions. The Northeast region had fewer license sales when compared to 2013.

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