In Case You Missed It - October 9, 2015 News

Our weekly coverage of the latest industry news, conservation notices and more.

Proposed CA Fishing Tackle Regulations Violate Due Process

California’s leading advocate for sportfishing announced that it is raising legal concerns associated with the California Department of Toxic Substance Control’s (DTSC) decision to potentially regulate or ban common fishing tackle. "The process that produced the Work Plan lacked meaningful public notice or input, and was guided by undisclosed and unsubstantiated policies," wrote Maureen Gorsen, attorney with Alston Bird LLC and former DTSC director under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. "The consequence of selection as a priority product is severe. Out-of-California manufacturers may no longer serve the state, given the potentially major cost with providing California-unique products. Even if viable alternative product designs are developed, they may be too costly for manufacturers to serve the state, and if they do, the cost of fishing equipment could rise significantly and affect many recreational fishermen." In response, CSL has launched an online petition that urges regulators to remove fishing tackle from its Priority Product Work Plan. The Department has established a public comment period that extends until October 23, 2015 for a recently introduced regulatory process. “Without due process and a lack of scientific analysis, the State has decided to impose a costly regulatory process that could lead to unwarranted policies that will harm fishing participation rates and thousands of jobs dependent on outdoor recreation,” said Marko Mlikotin, executive director of the California Sportfishing League (CSL). “It is time for Governor Jerry Brown to rein in a department that has run roughshod over California anglers.” BACKGROUND Maureen Gorsen’s letter to DTSC The Green Chemistry Initiative, under which the DTSC is authorized to regulate potentially dangerous toxins, was established by the State Legislature and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2008 to depoliticize the process by which individual products and chemicals were regulated. The law requires DTSC to conduct independent, California-specific analysis prior to listing a product for potential regulation. During its September 29, 2014 workshop in Cypress, DTSC officials repeatedly stated that it had not, and would not, conduct required scientific analysis. Requiring non-lead fishing tackle could require significant and costly changes for the fishing industry. Depending on the alternative metal and current prevailing raw material costs, the cost of fishing gear could increase 10- to 20-fold. When the Department’s draft Priority Product Work Plan was first released in September 2014, CSL led efforts to have fishing gear removed from the document. The California Chamber of Commerce, the California Travel Association, the National Federation of Independent Business, the California Parks Hospitality Association, the California Association for Recreational Fishing, the American Sportfishing Association, Coastside Fishing Club and hundreds of individual anglers all submitted letters in favor of delisting fishing gear. The California Sportfishing League (CSL) is a nonprofit coalition of fresh and saltwater anglers, and small business owners devoted to protecting access to recreational fishing. Recreational fishing contributes over $4.9 billion annually to California’s economy, a major of outdoor tourism and jobs. Additional information on the proposed regulations and the online petition can be found at www.SportfishingConservation.org.

Sportsmen's Act Takes a Big Step Forward

From latest Keep America Fishing Newsletter In a victory for fishermen and boaters, the Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act was approved by the House Natural Resources Committee today. Commonly known as the Sportsmen’s Act, today’s vote moves the bill one step closer to passage. Provisions of the SHARE Act that were approved by the committee include: · Protecting traditional fishing equipment containing lead from unwarranted federal bans. · Requiring federal land managers to support and facilitate access for fishing, hunting and recreational shooting on Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands. · Preventing unnecessary closures of public lands to fishing and hunting by implementing an “open until closed” management policy. Also included is a new amendment that would reverse the closure of 10,000 acres of Biscayne National Park to fishing AND prevent such unwarranted closures from happening in the future. Next, the SHARE Act will move to the full House of Representatives for approval. There’s still a long road ahead but trust KeepAmericaFishing to keep you informed. Thank you for making your voice heard. Learn more here.

Siberian Coolers Enters the Market

Siberian Coolers has announced the official launch of their company and its high performance ice chest coolers. Founded with the goal of offering customers high quality coolers, at a reasonable price, Siberian Coolers have been designed to be rugged, user-friendly and extremely versatile in all outdoor settings. "We felt the market needed a high performance, affordably priced cooler for everyone from the weekend tailgater to the serious outdoor enthusiast," stated David Cronk, National Sales and Marketing Director for Siberian. "Our line of various size coolers, with multi day ice retention and bullet proof roto-molded construction, will accommodate and enhance any outdoor experience." The Siberian product line consists of several different models depending on the desired purpose of the user. Whether you are looking to keep the day's lunch cold or are keeping your offshore catch fresh, Siberian has the cooler for you. The combination of quality and affordability sets Siberian apart from all competitors. For more information about Siberian Coolers, visit http://siberiancoolers.com/.

Mercury Team Wins Southern Kingfish Association Championship

As Jim Naset surveyed the weather report for the northern Gulf of Mexico for Saturday, Oct. 3, he knew that he and the crew of the St. Pete Pro Marine 36-foot Yellowfin were in for a pounding at the Southern Kingfish Association’s (SKA) Mercury Pro Tour Championship. With 3- to 6-foot waves and steady 20-knot winds pushing out of the north, the weather-shortened event was quickly turning into a teeth-rattling, eight-and-a-half-hour round-trip boat ride and a three-hour window to catch two kingfish. Fortunately for the Pro Marine team, the long, Mercury-powered run to the West End of the Mississippi Delta put them in the right place to capitalize on the short fishing time with two kings that tipped the scales at 74.61 pounds, good enough for the Pro Tour Championship trophy. “We had a two-day event shortened into a one-day event because of the weather, and I can’t tell you how much that changes your strategy,” Naset admitted. “You now have to catch two fish in one day, and you have a four-hour run just to get to your starting spot. You have very little time to actually fish, so you have to make the most of every minute of the day from the time you leave the marina.” Pro Marine did exactly that. Anchored by Mercury 350 Verado FourStrokes on the port and starboard sides of the Yellowfin’s triple-engine powerhouse, the veteran crew of Naset, Capt. Kevin Hannon, Brian Brandano and Ricky Cook headed out of the Golden Nugget Marina in Biloxi, Mississippi, and pummeled its way southwest through Chandeleur Sound past Venice, Louisiana, to the West Delta, where the team was counting on the mullet migration to attract bigger kingfish. “Typically in the north Gulf, the bite is dictated by where the mullet push is,” Naset said. “They’ll move from the West Delta through Venice, and into the East Delta where the Mississippi River dumps into the Gulf. When they make it heavy into the east side, the East Delta fishery lights up. But we didn’t think that push had happened yet, so we focused on the South Tim’s (ST) oil rigs, which are about 60 miles past Venice and the West Delta (WD) rigs. “It’s a long, brutal beating – it took is four hours to get to our first spot – but you have to be committed to going where the fish are and confident that your motors are going to get you there and back. We knew there would be fish caught on the East Delta, just not the big ones.” Making the most of time and dependability By the time Naset and the Pro Marine crew settled down on its first ST rig and started to troll with live mullet and blue runners, the day’s fishing window had been further constricted in geography as well as time, thanks to the rugged open-Delta seas that would turn a 15-minute hop to another oil rig into an hour-long tack through wind and waves. Not that it needed to move around much: Pro Marine’s first bite of the morning came just six minutes into the first troll and produced the big fish of the tournament, a 42.43-pounder. The team added a 32.18-pounder early in the afternoon on a different oil rig, and started the journey back to Biloxi through even tougher conditions than it had faced on the run out. “No matter where you go out of Biloxi, if the wind is blowing out of the north, your run back puts you into a headsea or a cornering headsea,” Naset pointed out. “It’s way worse than your run out. When it comes time to come back home, you absolutely have to be able to stab those throttles and know that you’re going to make it with no issues. Those Verado are phenomenal motors. We invest so much time and money in getting ready for these tournaments, getting to the fishing grounds, pre-fishing, competing in tournaments where you have to go a long ways to find the fish. We turn those motors on at 5:30 a.m., they don’t get shut off until 6:30 p.m., and then we get up the next morning and do it again. It’s incredible how flawlessly those Verados perform.”