Keep America Fishing -- the angler advocacy arm of the American Sportfishing Association -- is urging anglers everywhere, and California fishermen in particuarly, to act immediately to stop the political power grab by anti-angling groups in the Golden State.
Yesterday's action alert from KAF reads: "Now, more than any time in recent history, your right to recreationally fish in California is under attack. In a bold and brazen power-grab, anti-fishing groups that want to permanently close off public waters are pushing legislation through the California legislature that will put them in the driver's seat on fishery management in the state.
"Only by acting now – RIGHT NOW - can you stop this threat! It is imperative that you contact your state legislators today and tell them to VOTE NO on SB 1148 and AB 2402. These bills could be voted on any day so it is important that you act immediately! Please Take Action Right Now!
"If passed, these two bills will have a devastating impact on recreational fishing in California. They will allow anti-fishing groups to have unchecked influence in fisheries management, remove important checks and balances in the policy-making forum and ultimately lead to more closures of your public waters to fishing – waters that you have paid to manage!"
KAF is urging anglers to send an email to state legislators and California Governor Jerry Brown. KAF is also asking you to notify family and friends and tell them to do the same.
SB 1148 and AB 2402 were initially introduced into the California legislature to improve how the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) functions, but anti-fishing groups have shanghaied the bills by including amendments that are detrimental to all anglers and that threaten the very foundation of how fish and wildlife in California are managed.
According to KAF, among other things, these bills strip the California Fish and Game Commission of its authority over fishery management in marine protected areas established under the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA), and instead puts it in the hands of the Ocean Protection Council, a body effectively controlled by anti-fishing groups who will seek ever greater closures. They will also render all current angler community lawsuits against the MLPA useless. In addition, the bills wil authorize "nonprofit partnerships" between well-financed anti-fishing organizations and the DFG, allowing these special interest groups to further their agendas within the DFG.
I urge you to take action now. We need to do everything in our power to stop this blatant power grab. Click here to take action now to protect your right to fish.