On December 10th the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 729, the Coastal and Great Lakes Communities Enhancement Act. AFFTA supported the Act, which includes a collection of bills focused on strengthening fishing communities around the nation, which will have wide benefits for the fly fishing industry.
In particular, we support the codification of the National Fish Habitat Partnership: a voluntary, non-regulatory fish habitat conservation program that has supported more than 840 projects nation-wide since 2006. The program leverages federal, state, tribal and private funding resources that are directed to the highest priority fish habitat conservation projects.
Additionally AFFTA supports authorizing the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to conduct needed science and research activities to support fishery management decisions in the Great Lakes, particularly related to reducing and controlling invasive species and restoring native species.
“Healthy fisheries and fish habitat are the lifeblood of the fly fishing industry,” says Ben Bulis, AFFTA President. “Legislation like this that focuses on issues that directly affect our fly fishing communities, whether on a local, regional or national scale, freshwater or salt, is important and needs our attention and support. We applaud House leadership and urge the Senate to take up the bill and approve it as well.”
AFFTA guides the sustainable growth of the fly fishing industry through trade development and stewardship. We accomplish this by advocating for the industry and empowering our members to improve their businesses through collaboration, education and building community; along with advocating for healthy fisheries and engaging our members and partners to support protection, restoration, and access.