|Keep America Fishing|
The past 10 years have seen a dramatic increase in actions to restrict or ban recreational ﬁshing in areas across the United States. California has designated hundreds of miles of the state’s salt water as no-take marine reserves, leaving more than 760,000 saltwater anglers without access to some of the best ﬁshing spots on the Paciﬁc Coast. Along the South Atlantic coast from North Carolina to Florida, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued a temporary ban on red snapper ﬁshing, a ban that could become permanent for the thousands of anglers who ﬁsh these waters. And in other areas, such as the Great Lakes, invasive species—including Asian carp and zebra mussels—are crowding out native species as they ﬁght for food and other resources.
Across the country, preventing or limiting recreational anglers from accessing public ﬁsheries’ resources are being touted as new ways to manage ﬁsh populations, undermining the achievements of proven ﬁsheries management methods that focus on conservation. Banning or limiting sportﬁshing access, absent a science-based reason, is an unprecedented concept that runs counter to the proven methods of ﬁsheries conservation management in the United States—models that have well-served ﬁsheries and recreational anglers for decades.
“If this alarming trend continues, anglers in the Great Lakes and the Midwest may risk similar restrictions being implemented on their favorite lakes, rivers and streams,” said American Sportﬁshing Association (ASA) Vice President Gordon Robertson. “This country’s 60 million recreational anglers want reasonable access to our nation’s waterways. Anglers must make sure their voices are heard by state and federal agencies responsible for ﬁshery management. We are giving anglers that voice. We are working to maintain the right to access and sustainably ﬁsh our nation’s waterways.”
The ASA is the trade association that represents not just the sportﬁshing industry, but the broader sportﬁshing community, including individual anglers.
The Voice of the American Angler
In 2006, looking for an easy-to-remember and easy-to-use outlet for California’s anglers and boaters to stay informed and motivated to speak out to policy makers, the ASA launched the web site, www.KeepAmericaFishing.org. Over time, the nation’s sportﬁshing industry trade association knew it needed to give voice to not just California’s anglers but to the millions of American recreational anglers who share one thing in common—a passion for ﬁshing.
Since then, the ASA has established KeepAmericaFishing™ as the voice of the American angler. Through sound policy, science and conservation, its mission is to keep all of our nation’s oceans, lakes, rivers, and streams open for recreational ﬁshing and abundant with ﬁsh. With its government and conservation partners, the organization works to limit science-based closures to areas in which they are clearly beneﬁcial to the health of the ﬁshery.
To learn more about restrictions to recreational ﬁshing and what you can do to keep America ﬁshing in your community, visit www.KeepAmericaFishing.org.
Why should I care about ﬁshing restrictions outside of the Great Lakes?
Your right to ﬁsh is under attack. The past 10 years have seen a dramatic increase in unnecessary bans on recreational ﬁshing from California to Florida, from Texas to Minnesota. If allowed to continue, these efforts could impact every recreational angler’s ability to ﬁsh in his or her community.
How can I ﬁnd out if my favorite place to ﬁsh is at risk of closure?
Visit the web site and sign up for action alerts. KeepAmericaFishing™ will send you the latest news and alerts about actions that may impact the Great Lakes region and other areas of interest.
How can I help prevent closures in the Great Lakes?