Weekly Policy Watch Updates From The ASA

Your weekly look at how ASA’s government affairs team is hard at work supporting sound fisheries policies throughout the country.

ASA Member Takes Center Stage at Congressional Hearing on Youth Fishing

Mike Lum, Southwest Regional Manager at Morton & Associates, and Fundraising Coordinator for Captain Rollo’s Kids at Sea, testified during the House Committee on Natural Resource’s legislative hearing on January 18th in support of the Youth Coastal Fishing Program Act of 2023 (H.R. 3925).

The proposed legislation, introduced by Reps. Maria Salazar, R-FL, and Sydney Kamlager-Dove, D-CA (pictured above with Lum, right, and ASA’s Mike Leonard, left), would establish a $2 million grant program to support projects that take kids fishing, with priority given to programs that target underserved communities.

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ASA Leads Inaugural Fish & Feds Gathering

On January 18th, ASA spearheaded a first-of-its-kind gathering of federal agencies and the sportfishing community to discuss shared priorities and improve dialogue on resource and fisheries management. More than 30 representatives from federal agencies and the angling community were in attendance.

The goals of the group include improving dialogue and relationships, sharing information on policy priorities, and contributing to the betterment of recreational fishing. The next meeting is scheduled for later this year.

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EXPLORE Act Passes House Committee

Last week, the House Natural Resources Committee unanimously passed the EXPLORE Act, propelling this priority ASA legislation one step closer to becoming law.

“Well managed and accessible federal lands are vital to recreational fishing and boating, which is the largest contributor to the outdoor recreation economy,” said Glenn Hughes, President of the American Sportfishing Association. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. outdoor recreation industry is valued at $1.1 trillion.

If passed, the EXPLORE Act would improve access to, and facilities in, national parks, national forests, wildlife refuges, and more.

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The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association committed to representing the interests of the sportfishing and boating industries as well as the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry and anglers a unified voice 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 economic, conservation and social values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America’s 55 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation’s waterways through Keep America Fishing, our national angler advocacy campaign. America’s anglers generate nearly $50 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for 800,000 people.