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US Industry given two reasons to be cheerful


It’s been a good week for Sportfishing in America.

Firstly, a bill that posed serious risk to fish and wildlife in Kentucky was defeated; and then the EXPLORE Act, which improves the management of and access to public lands and waters, was passed.

The Kentucky legislation was defeated by a coalition of conservation and outdoor groups, including the American Sportfishing Association (ASA). If passed, Kentucky would have been the first state in the country to place the management of its fish and wildlife agency under its Department of Agriculture, a significant departure from how those resources have been managed since the early 20th century.

This would have potentially diminished the voices of the anglers, hunters and sportsmen who fund the management of the state’s fish and wildlife.

The EXPLORE Act was passed unanimously in the House of Representatives, with Congress showing its support for upgrading facilities on public lands and waters, as well as improving access.

Among other measures, the act streamlines the permit process for guides and outfitters and supports the decontamination of invasive aquatic species in federal waters.

“The EXPLORE Act takes much-needed measures to improve access to fishing on America’s federal lands and waters,” said Mike Leonard, Vice President of Government Affairs at the ASA.

“By making outdoor recreation a priority, Congress has shown its support for America’s 54.5 million anglers and the $148 billion sportfishing economy they support.”

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