CCA's first non-coastal state banquet in Nashville a success
CCA's Music City Chapter in Nashville held the organization's first event in a non-coastal state on Nov.13 and it was a smashing success. A sell-out crowd gathered at the Hillwood Country Club to support conservation of marine resources, with all proceeds from the event going to the Building Conservation Trust, CCA's national habitat program.
"CCA National is fully committed to Nashville," said Patrick Murray, CCA National President. "The chapter has organized a fabulous local board and put on an event that any veteran CCA chapter would be proud of. It has been inspirational to the entire organization to see the enthusiasm and commitment of the volunteers here in Nashville. We are very excited about this amazing effort."
"By getting involved with CCA here in Nashville we have an opportunity to make a lasting impression and connection by sharing our passion for the coast and fishing with others," said John Franck, CCA Music City Chapter Board President. "Through involvement in Music City CCA, we can help ensure the coastal and ocean landscape that we all treasure is healthy and vibrant for decades to come."
Going forward, the Music City Chapter plans to hold two or three casual coastal workshops/events a year, such as saltwater fly fishing, inshore/offshore series, saltwater fishing travel, coastal cooking, saltwater conservation series, saltwater kayak fishing adventures and others.
"One of the best legacies we can establish and promote is to get our families, friends and future friends involved," said Franck. "We are here to bridge coast to country and share the passion!"
CCA Texas funds $500,000 toward rebuilding Galveston Bay oyster reefs
In 2008, as much as 50 percent of Galveston Bay's oyster reefs were lost during Hurricane Ike due to heavy sedimentation. In East Galveston Bay, oyster losses were estimated at up to 80 percent. Left unchecked, these losses would have devastating long- and short-term consequences for one of the most productive bay systems on the Gulf Coast.
In response, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and CCA Texas began working together in late 2010 to secure substantial funding through the Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP) for oyster restoration. A grant application was filed and eventually $3.2 million was secured to repair what the hurricane had destroyed. CCA Texas funded an additional $500,000 to the project, which culminated in the restoration of 180 acres of oyster reef in August 2014.
"A project like this does so much for a local volunteer. It really helps connect the dots and clarify what it means to be a member of CCA," said Mike Petit, longtime CCA Texas executive board member. "It is really gratifying as a local volunteer to see where the money goes that the local chapters raise, and to see that it is making a significant impact on the local bay system."
East coast states take action to reverse striped bass decline
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (ASMFC) Striped Bass Management Board recently voted to adopt new, more conservative reference points for striped bass and reduce fishing mortality by 25 percent in the coastal states and 20.5 percent in the Chesapeake Bay. The decision is welcome news for recreational anglers who have grown alarmed at the precipitous decline of the most popular gamefish on the East Coast.
"It is good to know that the days of allowing serial overfishing to go unchecked are over," said Richen Brame, Regional Fisheries Director for Coastal Conservation Association. "The states acted decisively to end overfishing and reduce mortality to begin restoring abundance. This should set this critically important Atlantic coast gamefish on the path to recover to former levels."
The action by ASMFC will likely end overfishing of striped bass and is forecast to return fishing mortality to the target rate within two years. Anglers have been concerned about the decline in striped bass abundance since about 2006, but previous stock assessments, using different parameters, had not detected problems.
The latest stock assessment, completed in 2013, confirmed what anglers long suspected and determined that overfishing had been occurring for at least six of the previous 9 years. The new reference points adopted at this meeting to gauge the health of the stock are more conservative than previous thresholds and should help prevent future declines.
Bulldogs and Gators help in CCA's conservation efforts
CCA Georgia and CCA Florida were the recipients of a $10,000 donation at this year's Florida-Georgia football classic in Jacksonville, Florida. Thanks go to Costa Sunglasses, Orange Peel Entertainment and AEG Entertainment for bringing this extraordinary event together.
Costa sold "Georgia-Florida" souvenir t-shirts, while AEG and Orange Peel Productions donated a portion of the ticket proceeds to provide both CCA Georgia and CCA Florida, along with a $5,000 donation. Dubbed Tailgate 2014, the 15,000 people in attendance enjoyed live music all day, with the evening capped off by a great concert by Florida-Georgia Line.
The entire event was festive and fun, with a lot Bulldogs and Gators ensuring that Tailgate 2014 helped secure, for another year, its well-known reputation as the "world's largest cocktail party!" And, this year, Bulldogs and Gators alike helped in CCA's conservation efforts!
Newsletter Editor and Designer: Heather Peterek