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 Launches Vessel Speed Restriction Toolkit

Since NOAA first announced its proposal to effectively shut down the Atlantic Ocean to recreational vessels 35 feet and longer for over half the year, ASA and partners have been hard at work fighting back against this well-intentioned but poorly developed rule. While we’ve had some success, we still need your help spreading the message and fighting this misguided proposal. Check out our new online toolkit that gives you the ability to connect with your members of Congress, share social media posts and more! Learn more

Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Bolster the Voluntary Public Access

Last week, U.S. Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) introduced the Voluntary Public Access Improvement Act, which would reauthorize and strengthen the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP). The VPA-HIP is a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that provides grants to states and tribes for private landowners to open their lands for public recreational use. ASA applauds Representatives Dingell and Johnson for supporting VPA-HIP through legislation that would expand this successful program and open new waters to America’s 54.5 million anglers. Learn more

Support Traditional Fishing Tackle

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) recently published a proposed rule that would arbitrarily ban lead fishing tackle on certain National Wildlife Refuges. This proposal provides no evidence that lead fishing tackle is harming any specific wildlife populations in the proposed areas. Tell the USFWS that anglers should continue to be allowed to use traditional fishing tackle as we have safely done for generations. Send a message

The Politics of Fish Update

Josh Phillips, Owner and President of Spawn Fly Fish, joins host Mike Leonard to talk about his background, his experience starting a fly shop in the small town in coastal Washington of Ilwaco, and recently testifying before the Small Business Committee in the US House of Representatives. The hearing focused on the challenges of small business entrepreneurs in rural areas, and Josh provided some insightful testimony on issues that people in more populated areas may take for granted, like broadband access, local banking options and the high cost of essential services. He was also able to make the connection of the importance of sustainable natural resources and fishing businesses like his. LISTEN HERE


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.