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Archive for May, 2015

A New Report Demonstrates that banning lead tackle would increase the cost of fishing and reduce funds available for fisheries conservation and habitat restoration.

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A report  by the California Coastal Conservation Association and the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) demonstrates that banning traditional fishing tackle will have a negative impact on fishing participation, which generates millions of dollars for fisheries conservation in the state.

The report, “Effects on the Ban on Traditional-Based Tackle for Fishing in California on Angler Participation and Associated Economic Measures,” was produced for ASA by Southwick Associates. By surveying anglers and manufactures, the report outlines the economic issues associated with requiring California anglers to switch to non-lead tackle, such as tungsten and tin.  Lead is by far the most prevalent, economical and arguably the best performing option for terminal tackle.

Bill Shedd, chairman of the California Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association and President of AFTCO, said, “While California ranks fifth in the nation in number of anglers, we are dead last in terms of per capita participation. However, sportfishing is an important economic generator for our state, and banning lead tackle, as currently being considered by the State of California, is another burden that would increase the cost of fishing, hurt anglers and cost our economy millions of dollars in lost revenue and almost 2,600 jobs.”

Some of the key findings include:

A ban on lead fishing tackle would likely reduce angler activity in California, which would in turn negatively impact the recreational fishing industry and those whose livelihoods depend on it.
A survey of tackle manufacturers indicated that the price impact of producing lures, flies and terminal tackle with lead substitutes would double costs on average.
Only 25 percent of manufacturers surveyed indicated that it was even technically feasible to currently switch to non-lead substitutes.
If a lead ban were to cause prices to double for lures, flies and terminal tackle, the report says that approximately 5 percent of anglers would leave the sport or nearly 80,000 anglers.
The surveys used in the report also suggest that anglers who continue to fish, 18 percent would fish fewer days, each fishing 21 percent fewer days on average.
Combined with anglers leaving the sport, this would reduce total California angler days and expenditures in recreational fishing by two million fewer angler days, and $173 million in lost revenues.
The $173 million in recreational fishing revenues currently supports:
2,582 jobs
$113.6 million in salaries and wages
$24.2 million in state and local tax revenue
$26.4 million in federal tax revenues.
Scott Gudes, ASA’s vice president for Government Affairs stated, “This report shows that, in addition to the direct economic losses to recreational fishing-dependent businesses, fish and wildlife conservation programs in California would suffer as prices for tackle increase and overall fishing expenditures suffer. Not many people realize that it is anglers who pay for California’s fishery conservation programs through fishing tackle excise taxes and license fees.  A ban on lead tackle is not based on science. Anglers and conservation programs would be the losers.”

Shedd concluded, “Fishing our Pacific coastal waters from San Diego to the Oregon border is part of what makes this state great. It is part of our heritage. We need to start adopting angler-friendly policies in California and not start regulating what’s in an angler’s tackle box.”

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The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association committed to representing the interests of the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry a unified voice, speaking out on behalf of sportfishing and boating industries, state and federal natural resource agencies, conservation organizations, angler advocacy groups and outdoor journalists 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 social, economic and conservation values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America’s 60 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation’s waterways through KeepAmericaFishing™, our angler advocacy campaign. America’s anglers generate over $48 billion in retail sales with a $115 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for more than 828,000 people.

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife is offering a free fishing clinic Saturday, June 6 at Quail Lake in south Colorado Springs. The event begins at 8 a.m. and runs until noon. Free fishing poles will be provided for the first 400 children who arrive.  

Photo by Lew Carpenter

 

All ages are welcome to attend. The clinic will feature four stations where District Wildlife Managers will educate anglers on fish identification and anatomy, knot tying, regulations and casting. Everything you need to fish for the day will be provided.  

June 6 and 7 marks Colorado’s Free Fishing Weekend. Anglers of all ages can fish without a license anywhere in the state for this weekend only.

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CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 42 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado. 

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Washington, D.C. – May 1, 2015 –Leaders in the recreational fishing and boating community yesterday highlighted the

Lew Carpenter with 6.5-pound flounder. Access and habitat rely on re authorization of Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

Lew Carpenter with 6.5-pound flounder. Access and habitat rely on re authorization of Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

progress in elevating the importance of saltwater recreational fishing in the nation’s primary law governing marine fisheries management. The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources yesterday approved a bill sponsored by Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), H.R. 1335, to reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), which addresses top priorities of the recreational fishing community.

These priorities were identified by the Commission on Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management, also known as the Morris-Deal Commission after co-chairs Johnny Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops, and Scott Deal, president of Maverick Boats. In 2014, the Morris-Deal Commission released “A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries,” which includes six key policy changes to produce the full range of saltwater recreational fishing’s social, economic and conservation benefits to the nation.

“The recreational fishing community owes a debt of gratitude to Chairman Rob Bishop and Congressman Don Young for incorporating meaningful changes to recreational fisheries management into the reauthorization of the nation’s marine fisheries law,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Coastal Conservation. “The Morris-Deal Report set forth a vision for the future of saltwater recreational fishing, and this bill would help to achieve that vision.”

“The nation’s 11 million saltwater recreational anglers have a $70 billion economic impact annually and support 450,000 jobs,” said Mike Nussman, president and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association. “However, federal marine fisheries management has never sufficiently acknowledged the importance of recreational fishing to the nation. H.R. 1335 would enact many of the necessary changes to elevate saltwater recreational fishing to the level it deserves.”

The recommendations of the Morris-Deal Commission include:

– Establishing a national policy for recreational fishing
– Adopting a revised approach to saltwater recreational fisheries management
– Allocating marine fisheries for the greatest benefit to the nation
– Creating reasonable latitude in stock rebuilding timelines
– Codifying a process for cooperative management
Managing for the forage base

“Management that emphasizes conservation and abundance, and allows for consistent access to public resources for saltwater anglers, was at the heart of the recommendations made by the Morris-Deal Commission,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Including those recommendations into legislation aimed at improving our nation’s fisheries management means Congress is recognizing the importance of angling to American culture and our economy.”

“The broad coalition of leading recreational fishing and boating organizations that has come together to support our community’s priorities should be pleased with this bill,” said Jim Donofrio, executive director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance. “RFA is proud to have participated as part of this coalition.”

One of the recommendations of the Morris-Deal Commission was addressed by an amendment offered by Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) that would prompt a review of quota allocations in fisheries in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico with both a commercial and recreational component. Despite the tremendous importance that allocation decisions have in maximizing the benefits that our fisheries provide to the nation, federal fisheries managers have not revisited allocations – most of which were determined decades ago – primarily because of a lack of clear guidance on how decisions should be made and because these decisions are inherently difficult.

“Congressman Duncan’s amendment is a significant achievement for ensuring that the benefits of our nation’s fisheries are maximized,” said Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. “For far too long, allocations have been rusted shut, and we applaud Congressman Duncan for his leadership on this critically important issue.”

A separate amendment offered by Congressman Garret Graves (R-La.) that would transfer management Gulf of Mexico red snapper to the five Gulf states failed to be included. However, there was widespread agreement expressed by committee members that Gulf red snapper management is broken and in need of significant changes.

“Rep. Graves is a great leader for sportsmen and women in the Gulf Coast,” said Angers. “He understands the challenges of sound resource management and is working to get anglers back on the water.”

“We hope that as MSA moves forward there will be additional opportunities to enact the Gulf states’ plan,” said Patrick Murray, president of the Coastal Conservation Association. “MSA’s reauthorization surely has a long road ahead, but H.R. 1335 provides the recreational fishing community with a very solid first step.”

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The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association committed to representing the interests of the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry a unified voice, speaking out on behalf of sportfishing and boating industries, state and federal natural resource agencies, conservation organizations, angler advocacy groups and outdoor journalists 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 social, economic and conservation values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America’s 60 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation’s waterways through KeepAmericaFishing™, our angler advocacy campaign. America’s anglers generate over $48 billion in retail sales with a $115 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for more than 828,000 people.

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