Home
Join CCA Banner

Donate to CCA Florida

Click Here to Make a Donation

Round Up & Donate Your Change

iPhone : Android : Web

Washington, D.C. – January 2, 2019 – The recreational fishing and boating community is celebrating the enactment of the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2018 (Modern Fish Act), which was signed into law by President Trump December 31. The Modern Fish Act finally recognizes in federal law the differences between recreational and commercial fishing and adds more appropriate management tools for policymakers to use in managing federal recreational fisheries.

“Millions of American families take part in saltwater recreational fishing and boating activities and support multi-billion dollar industries that generate hundreds of thousands of jobs in our country,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. “Today, we are thankful for this important milestone for federal fisheries management and marine conservation, and we look forward to continuing to improve public access to our nation’s healthy fisheries.”

The Modern Fish Act, introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Garret Graves (R-La.), enjoyed strong bipartisan support from a long list of cosponsors representing coastal and non-coastal states alike. On December 17, the Senate unanimously passed the Modern Fish Act (S. 1520) followed by overwhelming approval in the House (350-11) on December 19.

“This is historic for the recreational boating and fishing community, capping years of hard work to responsibly modernize recreational saltwater fisheries management,” said Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “The Modern Fish Act is a critical first-step solution towards establishing a framework for expanding access to recreational saltwater fishing, while ensuring conservation and sustainability remain top priorities in fisheries management. We thank President Trump and Congress for making the Modern Fish Act the law of the land and look forward to working with them in the coming years to advance polices that protect and promote recreational saltwater fishing.”

“The recreational fishing industry is grateful to see this legislation enacted,” said Glenn Hughes, president of the American Sportfishing Association. “We look forward to continuing to work with Congress, as well as NOAA Fisheries and the regional fishery management councils, to improve the management and conservation of our marine fisheries.” 

“The Modern Fish Act signed by the President provides an opportunity for significant, positive change on behalf of millions of recreational anglers who enjoy fishing in federal waters,” said Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. “We look forward to working with NOAA Fisheries, the regional fishery management councils and the states to fully implement the provisions of the bill and improve federal fisheries management for America’s saltwater anglers.”

“CCA is proud to be a part of this important coalition, and we are grateful to our champions in Congress who stood by us during the intense, sometimes contentious negotiations on this legislation,” said Patrick Murray, president of Coastal Conservation Association. “There is still work to be done, but this is a valuable first step. We are hopeful this opens the door to an ongoing discussion of tools and processes that can be developed to better manage recreational fisheries in federal waters in all regions of the United States.”

“This bill becoming law is the most significant step forward in federal recreational saltwater fishing management in the forty-plus years of the Magnuson-Stevens Act,” said Whit Fosburgh, president of Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Recreational fishermen, conservationists and businesses united around a set of principles and worked together to get this bill passed and we will continue to work together on priorities like forage fish management and improving data collection in the future.” 

The recreational fishing and boating community would like to thank the sponsors of the Modern Fish Act, Senator Wicker and Congressman Graves, who led this bipartisan effort in the 115th Congress to improve federal fisheries management for America’s 11 million saltwater anglers. We also appreciate the support of Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Doug Jones (D-Ala.), and Congressmen Steve Scalise (R-La.), Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Marc Veasey (D-Texas), Rob Wittman (R-Va.), Gene Green (D-Texas), Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), and Austin Scott (R-Ga.).

For details on House and Senate passage of the Modern Fish Act and additional industry perspectives, please visit http://www.sportfishingpolicy.com/media-room/u-s-house-passes-modern-fish-act/

The Modern Fish Act will provide more stability and better access for anglers by:

·       Providing authority and direction to NOAA Fisheries to applyadditional management tools more appropriate for recreational fishing, many of which are successfully implemented by state fisheries agencies (e.g., extraction rates, fishing mortality targets, harvest control rules, or traditional or cultural practices of native communities);

·      Improving recreational harvest data collection by requiring federal managers to explore other data sources that have tremendous potential to improve the accuracy and timeliness of harvest estimates, such as state-driven programs and electronic reporting (e.g., through smartphone apps);

·       Requiring the Comptroller General of the United Statesto conduct a study on the process of mixed-use fishery allocation review by the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Regional Fishery Management Councils and report findings to Congress within one year of enactment of the Modern Fish Act, and

·       Requiring the National Academies of Sciences to complete a study and provide recommendations within two years of the enactment of the Modern Fish Act on limited access privilege programs (catch shares) including an assessment of the social, economic, and ecological effects of the program, considering each sector of a mixed-use fishery and related businesses, coastal communities, and the environment and an assessment of any impacts to stakeholders in a mixed-use fishery caused by a limited access privilege program. This study excludes the Pacific and North Pacific Regional Fishery Management Councils.

The coalition of groups supporting the Modern Fish Act includes American Sportfishing AssociationCenter for Sportfishing Policy,Coastal Conservation AssociationCongressional Sportsmen’s Foundation,Guy Harvey Ocean FoundationInternational Game Fish AssociationNational Marine Manufacturers AssociationRecreational Fishing AllianceThe Billfish Foundationand Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.
First-Ever Sportfishing-Focused Legislation to Pass Congress Heads to President’s Desk 

December 19, 2018 – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed S.1520, the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017 (Modern Fish Act). Today’s vote was the final step toward sending the landmark legislation to the President’s desk after it passed the Senate on December 17.

“The Modern Fish Act is the most significant update to America’s saltwater fishing regulations in more than 40 years and the recreational fishing community couldn’t be more excited,” said Johnny Morris, noted conservationist and founder of Bass Pro Shops. “On behalf of America’s 11 million saltwater anglers, we’re grateful to Speaker Ryan, the 115th Congress and all the elected leaders who came together to support and enhance recreational fishing across America.”

The priorities of the recreational fishing and boating community were identified and presented to federal policy makers in 2014 by the Commission on Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management in a report “A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries.” The Commission was known as the Morris-Deal Commission, named for co-chairs Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops, and Scott Deal, president of Maverick Boat Group. Four years later, many of the recommendations of the Morris-Deal Commission are found in the Modern Fish Act.

“America’s anglers and members of the recreational fishing and boating industry are among the most responsible stewards of our marine resources because healthy fisheries and the future of recreational fishing go hand-in-hand,” said Scott Deal, president of Maverick Boat Group. “A huge thank you to our congressional leaders who answered the call of the recreational fishing community to improve the way our fisheries are managed.”

America’s 11 million saltwater anglers have a $63 billion economic impact annually and generate 440,000 jobs, including thousands of manufacturing and supply jobs in non-coastal states. Furthermore, $1.3 billion is contributed annually by anglers and boaters through excise taxes and licensing fees, most of which goes toward conservation, boating safety and infrastructure, and habitat restoration.

“It is a historic day for America’s 11 million saltwater anglers thanks Senator Roger Wicker, Congressman Garret Graves and our many champions in Congress who fought until the very end for recreational fishing to be properly recognized in federal law,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. “For the first time ever, Congress is sending a sportfishing-focused bill to the President’s desk.”

The Modern Fish Act will provide more stability and better access for anglers by:

  • Providing authority and direction to NOAA Fisheries to apply additional management tools more appropriate for recreational fishing, many of which are successfully implemented by state fisheries agencies (e.g., extraction rates, fishing mortality targets, harvest control rules, or traditional or cultural practices of native communities);
  • Improving recreational harvest data collection by requiring federal managers to explore other data sources that have tremendous potential to improve the accuracy and timeliness of harvest estimates, such as state-driven programs and electronic reporting (e.g., through smartphone apps);
  • Requiring the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a study on the process of mixed-use fishery allocation review by the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Regional Fishery Management Councils and report findings to Congress within one year of enactment of the Modern Fish Act, and
  • Requiring the National Academies of Sciences to complete a study and provide recommendations within two years of the enactment of the Modern Fish Act on limited access privilege programs (catch shares) including an assessment of the social, economic, and ecological effects of the program, considering each sector of a mixed-use fishery and related businesses, coastal communities, and the environment and an assessment of any impacts to stakeholders in a mixed-use fishery caused by a limited access privilege program. This study excludes the Pacific and North Pacific Regional Fishery Management Councils.

The coalition of groups supporting the Modern Fish Act includes American Sportfishing Association, Center for Sportfishing Policy, Coastal Conservation Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, International Game Fish Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Recreational Fishing Alliance, The Billfish Foundation and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

America’s recreational fishing and boating community applauds Congress for this historic vote and looks forward to final enactment of the Modern Fish Act following the President’s signature.
Sportfishing-Focused Legislation Heads to House for Final Passage

Washington, D.C. – December 17, 2018 – Today, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed S.1520, the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017 (Modern Fish Act). The legislation, which would make critical updates to the oversight of federal fisheries, marks a big step forward for America’s angling community and now moves to the U.S. House for final passage. 

“Today is an important day for America’s 11 million saltwater anglers thanks to the leadership of Senator Roger Wicker and a broad, bipartisan coalition of senators,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. “Senate passage of the Modern Fish Act proved today that marine recreational fishing is a nonpartisan issue, and anglers are closer than ever to being properly recognized in federal law.”

The Modern Fish Act, introduced by Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) in July 2017, enjoyed strong support across the aisle from more than a dozen Senate cosponsors representing coastal and non-coastal states alike. In addition, a coalition of organizations representing the saltwater recreational fishing and boating community endorsed the Modern Fish Act and highlighted the importance of updating the nation’s fisheries management system to more accurately distinguish between recreational and commercial fishing.

“We applaud the U.S. Senate for approving this commonsense legislation, which will modernize our federal fisheries management system and protect recreational angling for generations to come,” said Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “The recreational boating industry – a uniquely American-made industry that contributes $39 billion in annual sales and supports 35,000 businesses – now calls on the U.S. House of Representatives to immediately take up, pass, and send the Modern Fish Act to President Trump’s desk.” 

On July 11, 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Modern Fish Act (H.R. 2023) as part of H.R. 200. However, differences between H.R. 200 and S.1520 require that the full House take a vote on S.1520 before it is sent to the President’s desk. America’s recreational fishing and boating community is urging the House to quickly advance the Modern Fish Act to the President’s desk before the conclusion of this Congress.

“The Senate’s passage of the Modern Fish Act demonstrates a clear recognition of the importance of saltwater recreational fishing to the nation,” said Glenn Hughes, president of the American Sportfishing Association. “This version of the Modern Fish Act helps to advance many of the collective priorities of the recreational fishing community for improving federal marine fisheries management. There are 11 million saltwater anglers in the U.S. who have a $63 billion economic impact annually and generate 440,000 jobs.”

If passed, the Modern Fish Act will provide more stability and better access for anglers by:

·       Providing authority and direction to NOAA Fisheries to applyadditional management tools more appropriate for recreational fishing, many of which are successfully implemented by state fisheries agencies (e.g., extraction rates, fishing mortality targets, harvest control rules, or traditional or cultural practices of native communities);

·      Improving recreational harvest data collection by requiring federal managers to explore other data sources that have tremendous potential to improve the accuracy and timeliness of harvest estimates, such as state-driven programs and electronic reporting (e.g., through smartphone apps);

·       Requiring the Comptroller General of the United Statesto conduct a study on the process of mixed-use fishery allocation review by the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Regional Fishery Management Councils and report findings to Congress within one year of enactment of the Modern Fish Act, and

·      Requiring the National Academies of Sciences to complete a study and provide recommendations within two years of the enactment of the Modern Fish Act on limited access privilege programs (catch shares) including an assessment of the social, economic, and ecological effects of the program, considering each sector of a mixed-use fishery and related businesses, coastal communities, and the environment and an assessment of any impacts to stakeholders in a mixed-use fishery caused by a limited access privilege program. This study excludes the Pacific and North Pacific Regional Fishery Management Councils.

"We are proud of the extensive work that went into producing this bill and are grateful to our champions in Congress who worked to establish recreational angling as an important component in the management of our nation's fisheries, at long last," said Patrick Murray, president of Coastal Conservation Association. "Thanks to this effort, the recreational angling community is better positioned than ever to address ongoing shortcomings in our nation's fisheries laws and we look forward to continuing this work with our elected officials to ensure the proper conservation of our country's marine resources and anglers' access to them."

"The Modern Fish Act is a very positive step forward for anglers and conservation,” said Whit Fosburgh, president of Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.“It will improve fisheries data and encourage managers to think about new ways of managing fisheries to benefit both conservation and access."

In 2014, the priorities of the recreational fishing and boating community were identified and presented to federal policy makers by the Commission on Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management in a report “A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries.” This diverse group made up of a variety of fisheries stakeholders is also referred to as the Morris-Deal Commission, named for co-chairs Johnny Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops, and Scott Deal, president of Maverick Boat Group. Four years later, many of the recommendations of the Morris-Deal Commission are found in the Modern Fish Act.

“Through the legislative process, the Modern Fish Act has proven to many on Capitol Hill that recreational fishing is worthy of recognition as a driving force for American jobs and the national economy — not just a sport,” said Jim Donofrio, president of the Recreational Fishing Alliance.

The recreational fishing and boating community thanks Senator Wicker for leading the Modern Fish Act through the Senate. While certain provisions of the original legislation proved too difficult to enact now, many core provisions of the Modern Fish Act are found in the final bill. We urge the incoming Congress to continue working to improve the way recreational fisheries are managed at the federal level. 
What Has CCA Done Lately?

Florida’s water quality continues to be CCA Florida’s highest advocacy priority. CCA Florida’s Water Quality Sub-committee continues to work on and monitor several resource issues around the state. 

CCA worked with the FWC and local captains to reduce the cobia boat limit from 6 to 2 in Florida waters and reduced the commercial daily limit from 2 to 1 with a boat limit of 2. 

CCA and the Building Conservation Trust (BCT) donated over $300,000 in 2018 to deploy 7 new artificial reefs and 11 coastal habitat restoration projects in Florida. 

CCA created the annual Trash Tour in 2017, engaging over 400 volunteers to clean up more than 10 tons of trash and debris from our local coastal waterways.

CCA will continue working with guides and the FWC to implement a provision stating that no guides shall possess a limit of trout or redfish while guiding. 

CCA is working with the Gulf Council and the FWC to keep State Management for red snapper moving, giving the state more fishing opportunities. One of CCA’s highest priorities is the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. 

CCA FL STAR will host the 5thannual STAR event lasting 101days, continuing our focus on angler education and awarding almost $500,000 in prizes and scholarships. 

CCA has continued its work with the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to keep the Florida Keys a premier boating and fishing destination. CCA helped create the Blue Star Guide Program that will be instrumental in keeping the Florida Keys a premier fishing destination.

CCA continues to work with the FWC and Biscayne National Park to help protect corals and fish species while maintaining angler access within the park. 

CCA is continuing to work with the Florida Legislature to create a CCA Florida License plate. Proceeds from the plate will benefit habitat restoration. 

CCA is working with the FWC and the SAFMC to mandate the use of descending devices while fishing for reef fish. This device will greatly reduce the dead discards that are keeping some of our fisheries closed. 

CCA partnered on several grants and was awarded over $250,000 in grant funding in 2018, all of which will go directly back into the water for habitat restoration projects. 

CCA is partnering with Duke Energy, Mote Marine Laboratory and the FWC to help rebuild redfish and snook stocks in southwest Florida through hatchery efforts. 

CCA is working with the FWC to stop a directed fish trap fishery in Federal Gulf waters.

CCA sponsored the restoration of 50,000 clams back into Sarasota Bay. A single 2-inch clam filters out 50,000,000 red tide organisms per day which equates to 2.5 trillion organisms per day for the 50,000 clams.

November 2018 - Over the past several years, CCA Florida has heard comments from a number of guides regarding the legality and practice of allowing their clients to catch and retain the guides “limit” of fish while on a charter.  Those of you that have made the decision to help conserve the fisheries by allowing your clients to retain only their legal limit are sometimes told that other guides may allow their customers to also keep the guide’s limit, and that they would use one of those other guides the next time they book a trip so they can keep the extra fish.

Guides have asked us to help by working with FWC and creating a rule that would not allow harvest of inshore fish, especially redfish and trout, by a guide while on a paid charter.  This rule is already in place as it pertains to snook and permit.  This is a conservation effort that many guides believe will help the fishery for years to come.

FWC will be discussing this issue during their February meeting in Gainesville.  We are continuing to solicit information from guides around the state on their thoughts pertaining to a no take for guides while under charter, and FWC would love to hear from you.  Please send your comments to FWC via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or you reach out to CCA Florida Director of Advocacy, Trip Aukeman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

In 2016, CCA Florida began recognizing our members who have gone above and beyond with regard to habitat restoration in each publication of Sea Watch Magazine. In the Fall 2018 edition, we are recognizing John Lindsley, Vice President of the CCA Mid-Coast chapter as the next Habitat Hero. John is 4thgeneration Floridian originally from south Florida where he grew up.  John has been hunting and fishing since he was a young child. He was inspired by his father who loved boating and his mother who loved hunting and fishing.  He moved from Miami to Volusia County in 2005 and went to Stetson University.  

In addition to his Vice President role with the Mid-Coast chapter, John also serves on the CCA state government relations committee and the water quality committee.   He got involved with CCA over six years ago because of the declining environmental conditions along coastline where he lives and in South Florida and the Everglades.  When he moved to the Volusia area in 2005, he saw healthy seagrass in Mosquito Lagoon along with great red-fishing.   However, following the devastating Indian River Lagoon (IRL) algae superbloom in 2011, John realized that he needed to get involved somehow and he decided to join CCA.  His active involvement in habitat restoration and water quality with CCA emanated from his understanding when he joined the organization that a healthy fishery is dependent on healthy habitat and water quality. “Habitat is the basis of it all – without habitat there is nothing else,” John said.

When CCA Florida began on its path to substantially increase the organizations impact on habitat restoration 4 or 5 years ago, John saw this as an opportunity to get CCA involved in a local Volusia County project.  He first reached out to Joe Nolin, Volusia County’s Coastal Project Manager, in 2015 to partner on a project.  Several projects were explored over the course of the next few years and in early 2017 a very unique artificial reef opportunity surfaced.  The U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Miami forfeited a 150-foot steel vessel, the “M/V Lady Philomena,” and a 90-foot tugboat, the “Everglades,” after being seized with illegal contraband.  The vessels became immediately available to anyone with the means to tow them and get them cleaned for reefing.  John was working with the county to help quickly raise the funds to secure both vessels and he contacted CCA for assistance.  CCA worked with their national habitat program, the Building Conservation Trust (BCT), on securing a $25,000 donation to Volusia County to secure the vessels.  On Saturday, June 23rd, 2018 the “M/V Lady Philomena” and tug “Everglades”were deployed off the coast of Volusia County. The vessels both landed upright on Volusia County Reef Site 12 which is a permitted reef construction area located 9 miles northeast of Ponce de Leon Inlet in 75 feet of water.  This prolific artificial reef provides access for smaller boats and for youth to fish and dive it given its proximity to land. John has also volunteered for several coastal cleanup events in Volusia and Brevard Counties over the last four years.  “It’s amazing what you actually pull out of just one small area,” he said. 

With regard to upcoming habitat projects and water quality issues, John expressed his concerns for our fragile inshore estuaries being at the greatest risk all around Florida as the population continues to grow.  “We see it with the red tide down in southwest Florida, we see it with our algae blooms on the east coast, and we see it with the seagrass die-offs,” he said. “We need more awareness of the issues along with retrofitting of the current infrastructure in Florida.”    Other concerns of his include the need for better wastewater management, stoppage of the constant sewage spills, and more investment into infrastructure upgrades to prevent further deterioration of our habitat. He would also like to see a bigger push in Everglades restoration and feels like we are finally starting to see more awareness which has led to legislative changes.  

John asserted that every chapter in CCA is important on a grassroots level because of the local knowledge and local source of people that can bring it to a state or national level if necessary.  The Mid-Coast area where John resides is a very diverse area that has inshore and offshore fisheries, rivers, and natural springs.  John noted that these are some of the most impacted areas and include Mosquito Lagoon and further to the south the Banana River in Brevard County.  “We need to stay the course and continue pushing on for future generations.  I want my kids to fish in Florida and I want to see our habitat and fisheries better for them than they were for us,” he said.  “I definitely think that the mindset of people have changed realizing the value of our fisheries and habitat to the economy.”

And on a lighter note, John’s favorite species of fish is without doubt, the redfish. Aside from how hard they fight, he is intrigued by the sport of stalking and hunting them.  He enjoys watching them feed on shrimp and crabs on the bottom with their tails waving in the air.  “It gives you a feeling unlike any other,” he emphasized, “when you target a specific fish and go after it.”  As a 4thgeneration Floridian with 5thgeneration children, we sincerely thank John for all of his dedication to the restoration of our coastal resources.

In November 2018, CCA Florida sent the attached letter to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission regarding our concern of the use of traps for seabass harvest in Gulf federal waters. Specifically, we asked the FWC to create a by catch limit of seabass that could be landed in state waters using crab traps. We’ll continue to update members as news is available.

Read more: CCA Florida letter to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

2018 Contender

CONGRATULATIONS EARL WILLIAMS!

 

He is the winner in the 2018 Contender Raffle!

He's a Life Member and he's taking home a brand new Contender Boats 28 Tournament with twin 175 HP Yamaha Outboards and a custom AmeraTrail trailer.

Thank you to our partners at Contender Boats for their continued dedication, which helped to raise over $170,000 to support conservation initiatives!

Visit our Facebook page to see the ways these donations are making a difference in the conservation of our marine resources!