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Monday
Jun022014

Bass to Angler: 'See You in Court'

Visualize a PETA lawyer taking you to court on behalf of a bass. That’s what is coming.

If you fish and/or hunt and are not paying attention to the growing animal rights movement, you are ignoring reality and the threat that zealots pose to these American traditions.

Here is what animal rights advocates want:

  • No fishing
  • No hunting
  • No use of animals in medical research
  • No livestock in agriculture
  • No consumption of beef, pork, and poultry
  • No zoos
  • No circuses
  • And, oh yes, the same legal rights that humans have 

Check out this recent commentary at Powerline

“I managed to provoke fury in a graduate student earlier this semester when I expressed skepticism about animal rights by observing that I’d take the idea more seriously when we entered into labor contracts with our horses and livestock, and asked our pets for informed consent statements before subjecting them to the ministrations of a veterinarian. 

“Expressing such distinctions between human beings and other animal species is nearly as politically incorrect as questioning gender theory, gay marriage, climate change orthodoxy, etc.”

It goes without saying that animal abuse in any form should not be tolerated, and, sadly, too much of it continues to occur. But the most radical--- and active--- of the animal rights advocates are campaigning for far more than that. They want to deny use of animals in any way, and they want them to have the same rights as you and me, with their lawyers representing them in courts.

And here’s more: Legislature worries more about animal misery than human misery. 

Monday
Jun022014

Free Family Fun at BASSfest

Thousands of fishing fans are expected to gather in Dayton, Tenn., to celebrate summer during the first BASSfest June 11-15.

In addition to cheering on their favorite professional anglers competing in the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on Chickamauga Lake, BASSfest visitors will be able to enjoy an outdoors expo, in which the newest boats, motors, fishing tackle, lures and other sporting goods will be on display and for sale. On Friday, June 13, Bassmaster University presented by Nationwide will be in full swing, offering more than 20 must-attend seminars taught by Bassmaster Elite Series pros and B.A.S.S. staff.

Fishing fans and their families are invited to discover everything BASSfest — all free and open to the public. Following are 25 things to see and do at BASSfest in Dayton.

Go here for the 25 things.

“Other than the Bassmaster Classic, this could be the biggest tournament there has ever been,” said B.A.S.S. co-owner Jerry McKinnis in the Rhea Review. “It is truly a festival around our sport.”

Friday
May302014

Going Fishing Always Better Than Staying Home

“Creeps and idiots cannot conceal themselves for long on a fishing trip.” John Gierach

“There will be days when the fishing is better than one’s most optimistic forecast, others when it is far worse. Either is a gain over just staying home.” Roderick Haig-Brown

Why We Fish --- Reel Wisdom from Real Fishermen

“The trout do not rise in the cemetery, so you better do your fishing while you are still able.” Sparse Grey Hackle

“Those who think that we go fishing for the fish probably also think that teenage boys read Playboy for the articles.” Robert Montgomery 

Friday
May302014

Magnuson-Stevens Needs to Address Goals, Needs of Recreational Anglers

Photo by Robert Montgomery

As Congress considers changes in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), a coalition of angling advocate groups says that not enough consideration is being given to recreational fishing.

“Since its inception, the Magnuson-Stevens Act has focused primarily on commercial fisheries to the detriment of the nation’s 11 million recreational fishermen and the nearly half a million jobs they support,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Coastal Conservation.

“Revising the law in a way that incorporates the goals and needs of anglers is long overdue. Our community has put forward the policy changes that will set the foundation for an effective saltwater fisheries management system, but we need Congress’ help by enacting these common sense and non-partisan policies.”

The recommendations offered by the Commission on Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management, commonly known as the Morris-Deal Commission, include the following:

  • 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

MSA is the primary law governing management of marine fisheries, and critics argue that On May 30, the House Natural Resources Committee approved a reauthorization bill, H.R. 4742, also entitled the “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act.”

 “While we appreciate Chairman Doc Hasting’s interest and efforts in Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization, we would like to have seen more done in this bill to address the needs of the recreational fishing community,” said Mike Nussman, president and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association.

“This bill includes several provisions that we support, such as easing the strict implementation of annual catch limits and improving stock assessments for data poor fisheries, but unfortunately our top priorities are not meaningfully addressed.”

“In addition to overlooking the priorities of the Morris-Deal Commission, we are also disappointed that the federal management failure with red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico is not resolved in H.R. 4742,” added Patrick Murray, president of the Coastal Conservation Association.

“A comprehensive overhaul of red snapper management is the only way to get us out of this mess. It’s vital that Magnuson-Stevens reauthorization addresses this management train-wreck by transferring Gulf red snapper management over to the states, which are much better equipped to successfully manage this important fishery.”

After passing out of committee, H.R. 4742 now awaits a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives. The Senate Commerce Committee is expected to unveil its Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization bill in the near future. With limited floor time before the November elections, many experts believe that full Magnuson-Stevens reauthorization may not occur until the next session of Congress.

“We understand that Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization likely has a long road ahead before a final bill gets signed into law, so we are hopeful that working with our friends in Congress, we can get the recreational fishing and boating community’s priorities addressed,” said Angers.

“We’ve been waiting a long time to bring focus toward improving saltwater recreational fisheries management, and there’s too much at stake to let this reauthorization pass without making the necessary changes that will establish a management system that works for – not against – recreational fishermen.”

Thursday
May292014

Magnuson-Stevens Needs More Flexibility

“One of the key messages the Committee has heard is that while the 2006/2007 amendments to the Act were good, those requirements have been hard to achieve in some regions without significant economic pain and that some level of flexibility is necessary.”

That’s an assessment of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act by Chariman Doc Hastings of Washington State, as the House Natural Resources Committee considers its reauthorization and improvement via H.R. 4742, also known as the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act.

Advocates for both recreational and commercial fishing have been critical of the legislation intended to better conserve and management saltwater fisheries. They acknowledge its good intent, but argue that it has unnecessarily limited participation and harvest

“This debate today isn’t just about the use of a natural resource – it is about providing a sustainable source of protein as well as providing economic vitality to coastal communities,” he continued.

“In some regions of the country, fishing communities are struggling. A report from NOAA stated that groundfish revenues 'fell in 2012 in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island with Massachusetts and New Hampshire seeing a four-year low in groundfish revenues.'

“In New Bedford alone, the value of groundfish landed dropped from $31 million in 2011 to $19 million in 2013. The report went on to state that the number of active vessels dropped from 916 vessels in 2009 to 764 vessels in 2012 and of the 764 active vessels only 401 took a groundfish trip in 2012.

“And in the Gulf of Mexico, the recreational harvest of red snapper in Federal waters is down to just 9 days despite encouraging reports on the health of the resource.”

Go here to learn more.