Alexandria, VA – March 13, 2019 – The recreational fishing industry today expressed its appreciation to Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and Reps. Marc Veasey (D-Texas) and Rob Wittman (R-Va.), for introducing the National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships Act. This legislation will authorize a national program to conserve, restore and enhance fish habitat across the country for the benefit of recreational fishing.

Mike Leonard, ASA's vice president of Government Affairs, speaks at a Congressional breakfast briefing this morning. Photo courtesy of Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.

“Addressing the challenges affecting fisheries habitat is critical to the future of fish populations and recreational fishing opportunities throughout the country,” said Mike Leonard, vice president of Government Affairs for the American Sportfishing Association.

Leonard further said, “The sportfishing industry is grateful to Sens. Crapo and Cardin, and Reps. Veasey and Wittman, for their commitment to fisheries conservation by introducing the National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships Act. This legislation will authorize and improve upon a successful partnership-based program that unites anglers, industry, state and federal agencies and other partners to help restore fish habitat.”

Leonard presented the sportfishing industry’s support for the bill at a Congressional breakfast briefing this morning hosted by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.

The foundation for the National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships Act is the National Fish Habitat Partnership, a voluntary, non-regulatory and locally-driven program housed within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The National Fish Habitat Partnership program is currently comprised of 20 individual Fish Habitat Partnerships that focus on specific regions or habitat types. These partnerships include representatives of federal, state and local agencies, conservation and sportsmen's organizations, private landowners and the business sector.

To date, more than 800 successful conservation projects have been carried out through these partnerships, benefitting fish habitat and anglers throughout the country.