In 2019, the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) had a strong and steady year of achieving our industry’s recreational fishing priorities. As we look to 2020, ASA’s Government Affairs staff will work to advance policies that have a positive impact on the sportfishing industry such as enacting a federal ban on California drift gillnets, reauthorizing the Sportfish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, continuing advocating for Florida’s Everglades restoration and carry out priorities of the Modern Fish Act.

While the list does not end here, our 2020 priorities also include rebuilding striped bass populations, preventing the spread of Asian carp and continuing to monitor trade negotiations between the United States and China.

We know these issues and many others are important to your success and we look forward to working with you through the year.

Our 2019 successes include:

National Wins

  • Fiscal year (FY) 20 Federal Investments
    • Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account received $1.5 million
    • Increased federal funding for the Regional Fishery Management Councils and Commissions and Marine Fisheries Data Collection
    • Modern Fish Act implementation efforts received $3 million
    • Continued prohibition on lead fishing tackle regulation
    • National Fish Hatchery System operations received $64.3 million and $25.8 million for maintenance and equipment
    • U.S. Forest Service Wildlife and Fish Habitat Management received $138 million, a $35 million increase over FY19
  • Forage Fish Conservation Act is introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund introduced in U.S. House of Representatives

Saltwater FishAtlantic Fisheries Wins

  • FY20 Federal Investments
    • Chesapeake Bay Program received $85 million, a $12 million increase over FY19
  • The Secretary of Commerce sides with the recreational fishing community in the Virginia menhaden case
  • Decision to conserve Atlantic striped bass through a reduction split equally between recreational and commercial fishing

Southeast Fisheries Wins

  • FY20 Federal Investments
    • South Atlantic red snapper stock assessments received $1.5 million
    • Gulf of Mexico amberjack abundance estimates received $5 million
    • Everglades restoration efforts received $200 million
    • South Florida coral recovery program received nearly $4.85 million, a $1.6 million increase over FY19
  • Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council approves state management of red snapper
  • DESCEND Act is introduced in in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives

Inland Water Fisheries Wins

  • FY20 Federal Investments
    • Great Lakes Restoration Initiative received $320 million, a $20 million increase over FY19
    • Asian carp control efforts received $25 million, a $14 million increase over FY19
  • U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate Committee pass fish habitat conservation legislation

Pacific Fisheries Wins

  • FY20 Federal Investments
    • Sustained funding for Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund, and a 57% increase for salmon management activities
  • Bipartisan legislation to phase out the use of drift gillnets receives hearing in U.S. House Committee Hearing
  • Deep-set buoy gear authorized by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council
  • Pacific Fisheries Management Council halts expansion of longlines on West Coast