Shop Outdoor Directory Guides and Outfitters Outdoor Activities Home Home
Home Activities Features Guides & Outfitters Outdoors Directory Corporate
3x10 spacer
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Enter your email to receive our weekly newsletter!

Back to Fishing
Fishing Articles
Fishing Auctions
Fishing Comics
Fishing Directory
Fishing Forums
Fishing Guides & Charters
Fishing Links
Fishing Polls
Fishing Reports
Fish Species
Offroad Vehicles
Outdoor Cooking
Outdoor Survival
Winter Sports

Top Fishing Sites
Top Hunting Sites
Top Offroad Sites
Top Skiing Sites
Top Survival Sites

Search our site for the outdoor-related info you need:

Add our search box to your Web site.

Link to TheOutdoorLodge.Com
Home / Fishing / Articles

Articles :

Congress Aims to Protect Anglersí Freedom to Fish
By Captain Dave Sutton 

Public access to the nationís oceans and coastal resources is being seriously threatened by the increased use of marine protected areas. In response, the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) worked closely with congressional leaders on legislation to protect Americaís 12 million saltwater anglers. Late last week, Senators John Breaux (LA) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX) reintroduced this legislation as the Freedom To Fish Act (S.1314). 

From California to Florida, no fishing zones are increasingly becoming the marine resource management tool of choice. While recreational anglers account for just two percent of all fish landed in U.S. ocean waters, some environmental groups are calling for sport fishing to be eliminated ion anywhere from five to twenty percent of U.S. coastal waters. These arbitrary figures have nothing to do with good science contend the proponents of the Freedom To Fish Act.

The proponents are arbitrarily closing off these waters should be ashamed of themselves for short changing Americaís conservation-minded anglers, says Mike Nussman, ASA vice president. Many no-fishing zones ban recreational fishing even when science clearly shows that anglers are not causing a problem to the resources. Thatís just not smart management.

Nussman goes on to point out that recreational anglers are already by a strict set of regulations ranging from closed seasons to catch limits to size limits and when enforced correctly, these regulations have proven to be effective at ensuring healthy fish stocks. 

Time and area closures can be effective management tools when based on good scientific data, said David Cummings, President of CCA, but arbitrary restriction of recreational anglers merely displaces fishing effort, increases regulatory confusion, increases user group conflicts and cast doubt on the entire fishery management process. It is a disservice to all U.S. citizens. 

Blanket marine closures take away the single most important element to sport fishing the publicís acess to the water. The Freedom To Fish Act would establish common sence guidelines and safeguards to preserve the publicís freedom to use and enjoy these resourses. 

According to the legislation, only in those cases where recreational fishing has demonstrated adverse affects could be a specific, well-defined area be closed. Further, once established targets are achieved, that area would reopen immediately to recreational anglers. Restricting public acess to our coastal waters should not be our first course of action, but rather our last, concluded Senator Breaux. 

In the eyes of this angler/guide, I feel a major relief over this subject. The banning of recreational fishing should be a last ditch effort to allow the stabilization of a resource. With the help of the CCA and the ASA we are seeing our voices herd in Washington through our elected officials. Lets keep the pressure on till the Freedom To Fish Act is passed. We as anglers can no longer just be fisherman; we are the watchdogs of our precious resource. 

Capt. Dave Sutton


 Featured Fishing Ads

Fishing Forum
 More Featured Fishing Sites
Fishing Forum

 Fishing News

1 pixel spacer
Top of Page TOP OF PAGE

Copyright © 1996-2012 First Light Net All rights reserved.
Duplication in whole or in part of this Web site without express written consent is prohibited.
First Light Net, a trademark of Predatorial Advertising Associates, L.L.C. is the leader in online marketing and
advertising for one of the largest online networks of fishing, hunting, sports and outdoors related websites.
For problems or questions contact

Big Fish Tackle Top Fishing Sites