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Encourage Your Senators to Support Sportsmen's Act of 2012

Your U.S. senators are expected to vote next week on one of the most comprehensive packages of sportsmen’s legislation in years. Please go here to encourage their support.

“This historic legislation provides for increased access, habitat conservation, and improved fish and wildlife management,” says Keep America Fishing.

Introduced in September, the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 includes 19 bills that will benefit sportfishing, as well as hunters and recreational shooters.  It originally was proposed as an amendment to the Farm Bill, but was appropriately ruled non-germane to that legislation.

Now Sen. John Tester of Montana and eight other co-sponsors have introduced this bi-partisan legislation as a stand-alone bill.

Some of the specifics are as follows:

Making Public Lands Public Act – Increases access for angling, hunting and recreational shooting on federal lands by directing 1.5 percent of the Land and Water Conservation Fund to ensure access to fishing, hunting and other recreational activities.

The Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act – Blocks ongoing attempts to federally ban lead in recreational fishing equipment and ammunition by amending the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Billfish Conservation Act – Conserves declining billfish populations by prohibiting the commercial sale and importation of billfish throughout the U.S., with exceptions for Hawaii and the Pacific Insular Area islands to preserve traditional fishing practices.

National Fish Habitat Conservation Act – Authorizes the National Fish Habitat Partnership, the most comprehensive effort ever attempted to conserve, restore and enhance fish habitat on a range-wide scale.

Artificial Reefs in the Gulf of Mexico – Requires the Department of the Interior to coordinate federal and state efforts in order to maintain idle drilling platforms as valuable artificial fish reefs.


B.A.S.S. Marshal Program Is Way to Meet the Pros

Gerald Swindle’s marshal tips his hat to crowd as they launch at Elite Series tournament on the St. Johns River in Florida. B.A.S.S. photo.

How would you like to spend a day on the water with one of the big names in bass fishing?  If you are a B.A.S.S. member, you can do that through the 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series Marshal Program.

“The Bassmaster marshal program’s popularity has grown immensely since its inception,” said Trip Weldon, B.A.S.S. tournament director.

 “Imagine getting eight hours of one-on-one, on-the-water classroom instruction from the best bass anglers in the world. Bassmaster Elite Series pros have embraced the program, and they are willing to share a wealth of information that is sure to help their marshals become better anglers once they return home.”

Marshal registration for B.A.S.S Federation Nation and Life members opens Sept. 25 at 9 a.m. CST for online applications and Sept. 27 at 9 a.m. CST for phone applications. All B.A.S.S. members can register online Oct. 2 beginning at 9 a.m. CST and by phone Oct. 4 at 9 a.m. CST.

According to Weldon, scoring a marshal slot can be a challenge as B.A.S.S. members play a beat-the-clock game to submit their entries to serve as marshals for their favorite tournament locations.

“We have many serious and dedicated fans, and some tournaments have all marshal spots filled within 15 minutes of registration opening,” Weldon said.

You can register online here or by calling 877-BASSUSA. Enrollment fee is $125, which includes an exclusive Bassmaster marshal shirt and hat. 


Event Name



March 14-17

Sabine River Challenge

Orange, Texas


March 21-24

Falcon Slam

Zapata, Texas


April 18-21

Bulls Shoals Quest

Bull Shoals, Ark.


May 2-5

West Point Battle

LaGrange, Ga.


May 9-12

Alabama River Charge

Montgomery, Ala.


June 20-23

Mississippi River Rumble

La Crosse, Wis.


Aug. 8-11

St. Lawrence River Showdown

Waddington, N.Y.


Aug. 22-25

Lake St. Clair Championship

Detroit, Mich.



Romney a Better Choice for Anglers

As the November election nears, the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) and the September issue of Big Game Fishing Journal provides reasons to vote for Mitt Romney.

The latter features an interview with Romney by its publisher, Len Belcaro. A few quotes from the piece follow.

How “President” Romney would help preserve and protect our coastal traditions:

"Recreational angling can be an incredible economic engine for our coastal states, but it is being shackled by misguided, over-reaching regulations that make little economic or conservation sense."

The governor's perspective on critical appointments inside Department of Commerce:

"A Romney Administration would focus on bringing a new philosophy into fisheries management that will put the focus back on commonsense regulations that can protect and rebuild fisheries when necessary, but will also allow anglers greater access to healthy marine resources."

To find out where you can buy the Journal, check out the Dealer’s Page. Or call 800 827-4468. You can find back issues and subscribe here.

To read more about the upcoming election as it pertains to saltwater anglers, science- and economic-based fisheries management, and the National Ocean Policy, read RFA's newsletter for August/September. 


Anglers Win, Lose in California

The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) reports good news and bad news from California.

The good news is that strong resistance from California’s recreational fishing community forced lawmakers to remove provisions from state Senate Bill 1148 that would have been devastating.

“Initially introduced into the California legislature to improve how the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) functions, the bill was hijacked by anti-fishing groups and would have striped the DFG of its authority for fishery management in marine closures and placed authority of marine closures in the hands of the Ocean Protection Council, a body effectively controlled by anti-fishing groups who would seek ever greater closures,” ASA says.

“This significant threat was averted thanks to the thousands of anglers who made their concerns known to their legislators through Keep America Fishing.

The bad news: Despite strong opposition, a bill --- AB 2402 --- did pass that will allow private organizations to directly fund programs within DFG. that's an open invitation for corruption and management of public resources by special interests.

See my post from Aug. 12 --- Anti-Fishing Groups Attempt Power Grab in California --- to learn more.


CSF Launches New Website

One of the best allies for recreational fishing --- the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) --- has overhauled its website.

"I am excited to announce the launch of the new CSF website,” says Jeff Crane, CSF president. “Our new site is a great resource for all who are dedicated to protecting sportsmen's traditions, whether it is hunting, angling, recreational shooting and trapping or issues important to the conservation community.

“Our website's vast archives of state and federal policy, reports and data and our library of sportsmen-related news make for an excellent source of information for anyone interested in learning about sportsmen's policy issues on Capitol Hill and in state capitals throughout the nation."

Check it out here.