On March 9, ESPN Outdoors published a story by Robert Montgomery on its website. The piece was part of ESPN's ongoing coverage of the Obama Administration's Ocean Policy Task Force. Within the story Montgomery speculated that Obama may have plans to use an executive order to ban fishing on some of the nation's coasts and inland waters. This resulted in a mad outpouring from all sides of the issue. Anglers went into defense mode, calling on the administration to do the right thing and keep Americans fishing. The story gained so much momentum that even conservative talk show hosts such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh weighed in on the issue, saying "fishing is about to become a privilege controlled by Barack Obama." The Obama Adminstration responded, calling Montgomery's claims outlandish and speculative. ESPN Executive Editor Steve Bowman then issued a retort describing Montgomery's piece as "commentary" and an opinion piece, not a news story as it was presented.
The ESPN piece kicked off a firestorm that has anglers, conservationists, politicians and environmentalists jockeying for position. Take a look at our forum page to see the heated debate that this topic has ignited. Now is the time to make your thoughts and opinions known on this issue and our right to fish. Share your thoughts on our site and make sure to share them with our representatives and senators, as well.