The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) has strongly advocated the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) recently passed by the US House of Representatives. But exactly what does the Act mean to the industry and the country’s growing army of recreational fishermen?
Here Angling International spells out the main policies that, if the Act gets the approval of the Senate, will support water quality, aquatic conservation and fishing access.
It will advance the restoration of the ailing Everglades (above) by:
It will create a programme to assist in detecting, treating and preventing harmful algal blooms that are damaging fishery resources and fishing throughout the country.
It will support the eradication, control and management of aquatic invasive species (AIS) by:
It will support the greater use of natural and nature-based projects by:
“Throughout 2020, it has become increasingly apparent that Americans deeply value opportunities to get out on the water,” said Mike Leonard, the ASA’s Vice President of Government Affairs. “However, a day on the water with family and friends and the associated economic impacts are threatened by poor water quality, invasive species and out-dated infrastructure. Thankfully, the WRDA takes meaningful steps to address these challenges.”
The ASA’s South East Fisheries Policy Director, Kellie Ralston, added: “Combined with record funding, these projects are key to improving water quality in South Florida and critical to maintaining the state’s honour as the ‘fishing capital of the world.’
Chad Tokowicz, the ASA’s Inland Fisheries Policy Manager, said that AIS are among the top threats to future sport fishing opportunities throughout the country. “Combatting AIS, ranging from Asian carp to Quagga and Zebra mussels, is being done by increasing funding for pre-existing programmes and creating new initiatives, This demonstrates the commitment of Congress to combatting AIS.”