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Entries in Keep America Fishing (56)

Friday
Feb222013

Anti-Angling Bias in D.C. Remains a Threat

As they quietly go about their business behind closed doors in Washington, D.C., politicians and bureaucrats within the Obama Administration pose a significant threat to the future of fishing. It’s not easy to keep up with what they’re doing, but fortunately the Activist Angler has a trusted source for information about the anti-fishing movement.  

He has just provided me with a disturbing reminder that those who want to tell us where we can and cannot fish in public waters remain colossally ignorant and/or colossally disdainful of recreational angling.

They remain so despite attempts at educating them about the importance and value of recreational fishing by the American Sportfishing Association, Center for Coastal ConservationCongressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, and other organizations.

What’s the latest evidence?

It resides within the National Marine Protected Areas Center website maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which has been pushing a preservationist, anti-fishing agenda for four years. Much of that agenda focuses on zoning uses of our oceans and the waters that connect to them, courtesy of a National Ocean Policy created by Executive Order.

In categorizing those uses, anonymous bureaucrats have come up with four general categories: Recreation & Culture; Fishing, Hunting & Gathering; Energy; and Other Maritime Activities.

Now, “recreational fishing” is called that for a reason. It’s a form of recreation, with minimal harvest and minimal impact on fisheries stocks. Additionally, nearly 60 million Americans call themselves anglers, and they spend hundreds of millions dollars annually pursuing their pastime, with much of that money benefiting fisheries conservation.

Fisheries advocates have been hammering this message to the administration since President Obama took office. But blindly following their preservationist ideology, the bureaucrats pay lip service to the distinction and then go on about their business of ignoring it.

In other words, recreational angling is not listed in the Recreation & Culture category. Instead, it is paired with commercial fishing in the Fishing, Hunting & Gathering category.

“Only NOAA could lump fishing with a rod and reel into the same category as dredging and trawling – and to think we pay for this!” says my source.

And we’re going to pay additionally for it with reduced access unless we unite in advocacy through Keep America Fishing and other groups and unless we make sure that our members of Congress are educated and stepping up to protect our rights.

Tuesday
Feb122013

Tell Maine That You Oppose Ban on Plastic Baits

Even if you don’t live in Maine, voice your opposition to that state’s proposed bill to ban use of all soft plastic baits. (The bill actually refers to the baits as "rubber worms.")

Here’s what Keep America Fishing says:

“This legislation is now going to a working session of the Maine Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

“In order to show just how many anglers across the country are concerned by this bill, we ask that you sign our petition in a show of solidarity. This petition will be presented to the Committee so that they can see that banning soft baits not only affects their own residents and anglers but also anglers nationwide.

“By signing the petition, you are telling the Committee that you ‘do not approve of unfounded bans on soft baits. Arbitrarily banning widely used tackle such as this would have a tremendous impact on everyone from individual anglers to tackle manufacturers to state wildlife management agencies that protect our resources. Further study must be conducted and decisions must be based on sound science.’”

Go here to sign the petition.

Tuesday
Jan292013

Corps Finalizes Plans to Close Access to Cumberland Fisheries

If you fish the Cumberland River and/or its tributaries, you should know that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has finalized plans to close access around 10 dam facilities.

Keep America Fishing says this:

“These closures would affect tailwaters, both upstream and downstream of all ACOE owned facilities along the Cumberland River and its tributaries. Included would be Cheatham Dam, Old Hickory, Percy Priest and Center Hill fishing areas, which are popular with Tennessee’s almost one million anglers.

“Enforcement of these plans and closures are set to take effect in April of 2013. Failure to comply with these closures could result in fines, court dates and collateral forfeiture citations. The areas to be closed will have signs, buoys and potentially physical barriers to enforce the no-fishing areas. The Corps is prepared to spend $2 million dollars on these potential physical barriers which could potentially hamper future rescue efforts in these areas.”

The final public meeting is planned for Feb. 5 in Nashville. Go here to learn more.

Thursday
Nov292012

Your Help Needed Now to Save Sportsmen's Act of 2012

The Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 isn’t dead yet. But your help is needed if it is to be enacted. Right now, go to this link at Keep America Fishing (KAF) and voice your support for the legislation.

As I reported yesterday, the Senate failed to move the bill because of the dysfunctional government that we now have in Washington, D.C.  But KAF says there’s still a chance that we can save this legislation:

“The Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 may yet again come up for vote in the U.S. Senate as members are working hard to craft a solution to the procedural problem that stopped the bill from passing the Senate. A diverse coalition of angling, hunting and conservation organizations is working hard to support this effort and eventual passage, but time is running out.

“On Nov. 26, in a surprise upset, the U.S. Senate failed to advance the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 (S. 3525). The bill failed to pass over a party-line vote on a procedural motion, following months of discussion with Senate members by a large and diverse coalition of angling, hunting and conservation organizations who worked to create a historic bill containing 17 key provisions for anglers, hunters and fish and wildlife conservation.

“You can still make an impact and Keep America Fishing provides an easy way to send an effective message to Senate members. We need everyone’s support to help pass this essential piece of legislation.

“This link takes you to a Take Action Now page.

“Please help us convince the Senate to bring this bill back to the floor and vote YES for fish and wildlife conservation!”

Monday
Nov122012

Follow the Shad for Bass Fishing Success in Fall

Mike Iaconelli and Pete Gluszek share insights into how and where to catch bass in fall at Keep America Fishing.

Here’s an excerpt:

“In order to understand the bass migration, you must first understand the bait migration. In most lakes across the country, shad are the main forage for the bass. After summer, the colder water brings the baitfish out in search of food of their own. The main source of food for the shad is plankton, and this brings them out of the main lake and into channels and creeks.

“The most important part of bass fishing in the fall is knowing where to find these schools of bait. If you can find the schools, you can also find the bass.”

Read the full story here.

But Don't Forget . . .

Secret: Many pros believe that most of our reservoirs have two distinct populations of bass. One population stays offshore except to spawn, relating more to deep-water structure and feeding primarily on shad. The other might migrate into deeper water during summer and winter, but prefers to feed in shallow water during spring and fall. What this means is that you almost always can find fish deep, and deep fish receive far less pressure from anglers than do those in the shallows.

--- From my book, Better Bass Fishing, available here or at Amazon.