U.S. Reps. Graves, Green, Webster, Wittman Champion Federal Saltwater Fisheries Reform

The recreational fishing and boating community praised the introduction of a bill that addresses critical challenges facing saltwater recreational fishing at the federal level. Led by Congressmen Garret Graves (R-La.), Gene Green (D-Texas), Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) and Rob Wittman (R-Va.), the "Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017" (Modern Fish Act) would improve public access to America's federal waters, promote conservation of our natural marine resources and spur economic growth.

"On behalf of America's 11 million saltwater anglers, we thank Congressmen Graves, Green, Webster and Wittman for championing this legislation to modernize federal recreational fishing management," said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. "For decades, the recreational fishing community has been subjected to antiquated federal policies not designed to manage recreational fishing. The time is now to update these policies so families can fully enjoy our nation's remarkable marine resources and continue a proud American tradition on the water."

The Modern Fish Act addresses many of the recreational fishing community's priorities including allowing alternative management for recreational fishing, reexamining fisheries allocations, smartly rebuilding fishery stocks, establishing exemptions where annual catch limits don't fit and improving recreational data collection. The bill aims to benefit fishing access and conservation by incorporating modern management approaches, science and technology to guide decision-making.

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AFTCO & CCA Expand Partnership

aftco gearFor a second year, AFTCO and CCA have expanded their relationship as they collectively work toward their common goal to conserve, promote and enhance the present and future availability of our coastal resources. This year, AFTCO becomes the official clothing website partner of CCA National, will donate product to support more than 225 state banquets, and work closely with both the national and state organizations on a variety of issues.

AFTCO has long used its line of Fishing Clothing and Saltwater Fishing Tackle to support ocean conservation. Through AFTCO's 10% Pledge to Protect & Conserve, AFTCO and the Shedd family have contributed more than 10 percent of company profits to help protect our ocean resources and ensure a sustainable fishery for future generations. To this effect, in 2017 AFTCO will expand on its line of co-branded AFTCO x CCA apparel. Anglers will soon be able to purchase a CCA Hooded Performance Shirt & CCA Sun Masks on AFTCO.com. AFTCO x CCA Hats and Performance Shirts will remain available for sale. With every purchase of a CCA by AFTCO product, a $5 Donation will be used to fund the CCA conservation efforts nationwide.

While AFTCO and CCA have both extensively fought for similar causes, the two organizations recently became closely aligned when AFTCO President, Bill Shedd, joined with other California sport fishing leaders to spearhead the formation of a CCA California Chapter. The CCA California Chapter formalized CCA's national stronghold in the coastal U.S., and plays a critical future role in CCA's ability to represent the interests and conservation of all saltwater anglers.

AFTCO and CCA are committed to marine conservation and protecting anglers' access to healthy marine resources. Together, the leadership of and AFTCO will make the protection of our marine resources and the interests of anglers a top priority to ensure a sustainable fishery for generations to come.

 

Historic restoration day on Oyster Bay

oyster_planting CCA Florida teamed up with the University of Central Florida, the Florida National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Marine Discovery Center, the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program, and individual volunteers to help stabilize severely eroded shoreline in Mosquito Lagoon. The project is located in the Canaveral National Seashore's Oyster Bay.

With more than 60 volunteers and eight boats, a new record was set for this project with 200 meters of shoreline stabilized in only half a day. The shoreline stabilization will now protect a prehistoric Indian shell midden of unique importance, both culturally and historically. It is also the location of a 16th century shipwreck of French explorers. This science-based stabilization is essential to improving water quality and protecting the lagoon in the future. The project was funded in part from donations made by CCA Florida members and through chapter fundraising events.

 

New reef in Calcasieu Lake this spring

CCA Louisiana and the Lake Charles CCA Chapter have announced plans for a new artificial reef to be built in southeastern Calcasieu Lake this spring. The project will be a joint effort along with Shell Oil, Building Conservation Trust (CCA's National Habitat Program), the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and DLS Energy.

The new reef will be built using a combination of recycled concrete and limestone, placed across five to six acres in a newly permitted reefing area. The material will be arranged in a strategic pattern to maximize tidal flow over the reef and to create elevation contours. This method has proven to be particularly effective in recent reef projects.

"We are excited to provide this new reef in an area of Big Lake that has suffered from tremendous loss of the natural reef habitat," said Lake Charles CCA President Eric Mire. "People come from all over the world to fish this amazing estuary, and all of us who enjoy recreational angling here have been concerned about reef habitat loss in the southern lake. This project is an opportunity to give back to this lake that is such an important part of our culture and our local economy."

Funding for this project is provided by CCA's Building Conservation Trust, Shell Oil Company and the LDWF Artificial Reef Trust Fund. In-kind materials and services will be provided by DLS Energy, Lotte Chemical and Road Rock Recycling. Ongoing support for CCA Louisiana's Habitat program is provided by the Paul Candies Family.

 

Artificial reef project launched

reefball After a great deal of preliminary activity, CCA Virginia's Northern Virginia Chapter has embarked on its artificial reef building project. The official kick-off will be on the first weekend of May when volunteers from CCA Virginia and Madison High School will gather at the school to first assemble and fill reef ball molds and then load them on to trailers. CCA Maryland is providing a tremendous amount of support by delivering the molds, a theme trailer and tools, while also coordinating the delivery of the finished project to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) in Shadyside, Maryland.

Plans are to have CBF grow oyster spat on the reef balls and deposit them on the Tilghman and Sharps Island reefs. Vulcan Concrete is providing the concrete and delivery at no cost to CCA Virginia. This is a special concrete designed to withstand the saltwater environment of the Bay.

At their Shadyside facility, CBF will place the reef balls in tanks, oyster larvae will be introduced, and will attach to the reef balls. When the spat are large enough to move, CBF will transport the reef balls onto the Tilghman Island and Sharps Island reefs. The Building Conservation Trust, CCA's national habitat program, will cover the cost of this part of the project.

Northern Virginia Chapter member Rich Redler has been the leader for this initiative, which has become the epitome of a team effort of dedicated volunteers who are committed to enhancing the environment of one of the world's great estuaries.

 

Investing in habitat

aftco gearCoastal Conservation Association Texas (CCA Texas) and Building Conservation Trust (BCT), the national habitat program of CCA, have committed to an investment of $530,000 in 2017 towards marine habitat work along the Texas coast. Through several dedicated partnerships, this will equate to $4.28 million in coastal habitat. The projects receiving investments in 2017 reflect BCT and CCA Texas's shared mission, cover a diversity of marine conservation goals and are spread along the Texas coast. The projects include marsh and grass plantings, artificial reef research, oyster restoration research, artificial reef creation and shoreline restoration.

 
 

CCA Newsroom - Top Headlines

 
 
 
 
 

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It's a funny phenomenon.

Anglers spend so much time on so many aspects of their beloved pursuit of angling, but spend shockingly little time pursuing it. I think sometimes we forget to actually go fishing.

I get it. Most of us, me included, live a relatively or even extremely long way from the salty waters we dream to fish. Families, jobs, personal commitments and a cascade of other distractions and interests keep us from going fishing to the point our love of fishing becomes an almost virtual experience. We walk the aisles at tackle shops, travel to tackle and boat shows, and peruse the internet looking for fishing reports and photos of those who actually go fishing. It's easy to lose touch with how much time we dedicate to all aspects of fishing...but fishing.

No one ever spent the waning moments on the proverbial death bed and thought "If I had only spent more time idly reading fishing reports on the internet," or "Oh, to be back picking through the value bin of soft plastics at the tackle store." If you added up all the hours, days and maybe even weeks spent dreaming and not doing, it would make our inner-angler start screaming.

Please know that I am writing this to myself as much as this newsletter's readership. I recently found myself with a day off, an invite to go fishing, and unbelievably, I weighed the fact that it was going to be a bit rainy and windy and travel had me behind on emails….please. Why would I ever pass up a day to possibly get a bite and to definitely improve my skills by trying? So I could avoid a little fog and rain and get caught up on emails? (Sincerest apologies to all of you who I owe a return email.)

Also, remember that just because you are a die-hard coastal angler does not mean you can't throw a jerk worm to an eager largemouth bass at the local community pond or target a tenacious bluegill at a golf course water trap. Every day fishing makes you a better angler. This summer join me in going fishing as many times as possible. I find that the more I fish, the more connected I am to the value of the resource. The more I value the resource, the harder I work and volunteer to ensure its strength and health.

Take your child fishing. Take your family fishing. Take your parents fishing, or even just take yourself fishing. The most important thing is to make sure you actually go fishing.

 


 

 

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Featured Video

2016 Restore America's Estuaries Grass Planting at Bird Island Cove

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On September 22, 2016, volunteers and staff members from CCA Texas's Habitat Today for Fish Tomorrow Program joined up with BCT, TPWD and U.S. Department of Agriculture to do a grass planting event at the Bird Island Cove marsh restoration site in Galveston, Texas. Volunteers worked hard to plant Spartina alterniflora during this event, which was a part of National Estuaries Week and done in partnership with Restore America's Estuaries and CITGO. 25 buckets (2,500 plants) of Spartina alterniflora were planted at the site, and a special thanks goes out to NRG Energy. This restoration project will directly benefit approximately 114 acres of existing coastal wetlands in the Bird Island Cove area. The entire project includes approximately 4,000 linear-feet of segmented breakwater that protects existing estuarine marsh. BCT is proud to be a part of this important habitat project on the Texas Gulf Coast!

 


 

 

Featured Recipe - Redfish Lodge's Low Country Boil

TIDE Recipe

INGREDIENTS
12 cloves garlic, peeled
1 lemon cut in fourths
1/2 cup Old Bay seasoning
20 cloves
4 bay leaves
4 tsp salt
2 tsp Tabasco sauce
2 onions, quartered
10 small new potatoes
1/4 lb butter
3 lbs 31-35 shrimp, no heads
10 small ears corn
1/2 lb smoked sausage, cut in 1/2 inch coins

DIRECTIONS
Heat 2 gallons water to a boil, then add first 8 ingredients. When water returns to a boil, add butter and potatoes. Boil 10 min, add corn and sausage, boil 5 min, add shrimp and boil 2 min. Drain, season with Old Bay and cayenne to taste, serve with cocktail sauce and lots of napkins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Newsletter Editor and Designer: Heather Peterek
Newsletter Consulting Editors: Pat Murray and Ted Venker

 

The objective of CCA is to conserve, promote, and enhance the present and future availability of coastal resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public.