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On Thursday, September 15, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) released a final rule announcing the prohibition of lead fishing tackle on certain National Wildlife Refuges that are being opened to fishing. The American Sportfishing Association issued the following statement from Vice President of Government Affairs Mike Leonard. “It is deeply disappointing that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) ignored science and the concerns of the sportfishing industry. USFWS is charged with ensuring fish and wildlife resource management is rooted…

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In response to a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) draft rule prohibiting the use of lead fishing tackle on certain National Wildlife Refuges, the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) sent a letter signed by 234 individuals representing companies and organizations in the recreational fishing industry to USFWS Director Martha Williams, urging the agency to reconsider the proposal. The letter calls on USFWS to recognize that anglers should be allowed to use traditional fishing tackle unless science demonstrates negative impacts. Under the…

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Minnesota boaters may find crowded boat accesses and a shortage of trailer parking over holiday weekends warned a state fishing organization, MN-FISH. “There is one big reason for the access problems,’’ said MN-FISH president Ron Schara. “While state boat registrations have grown to more than 830,000 craft, the Legislature has consistently failed to give DNR needed funding to upgrade existing boat ramps or create new ones.” Currently, there is only 1,900 public boat ramps providing access to state waters. Since…

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Four members of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) were elected to fill two At-Large seats and two regional seats on the board of directors. Their three-year terms begin October 1, 2022. ASA is the national trade association that represents the sportfishing industry. The association has six regions: West, South Central, Great Lakes, Southeast, Northeast and Northern Plains and Inter-mountain. Each member company or organization is assigned to the region where that member’s principal business is located. Elected to the At-Large board seats: Ken…

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Jig Heads

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) recently published a draft rule that would arbitrarily ban lead fishing tackle on certain National Wildlife Refuges. This proposal provides no evidence that lead fishing tackle is harming any specific wildlife populations in the proposed areas. Anglers should have the option of choosing non-lead tackle alternatives but it is important to recognize that these alternatives generally come with the tradeoff of higher cost or poorer performance. Tell the USFWS that anglers should continue to…

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