Press Releases

Press Releases

Thad Cochran, Chairman
US Senate Committee on Appropriations
113 Dirksen Bldg. Washington, D.C. 20510
Patrick J. Leahy, Ranking Member
US Senate Committee on Appropriations
437 Russell Bldg. Washington, D.C. 20510

 

Dear Chairman Cochran and Ranking Member Leahy:

As you contemplate the Fiscal Year 2018 budget, we write to you in support of increased funding levels to the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Department of the Interior to expedite the completion of congressionally authorized Everglades and South Florida ecosystem restoration projects and the rehabilitation of the Herbert Hoover Dike.

The Everglades is a national treasure, but manmade alterations, primarily by the USACE, have created significant environmental effects that must be remedied. Restoring the historic southerly flow of clean water from Lake Okeechobee to Florida Bay (Bay) is critical to ensure public safety, maintain proper salinity in the Bay and to reduce the necessity for, and the frequency of, releases to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers. In recent years, these releases to the east and west of Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers have resulted in catastrophic algal blooms and seagrass die-offs that have dramatically impacted not only the environment, but the sportfishing and boating industries in south Florida.

Read more: Open Letter to Chairman Cochran and Ranking Member Leahy

The announcement today of action to extend the Gulf of Mexico recreational red snapper season is a welcome boon to anglers who have been painted into a corner by a federal fisheries management system that does not understand us, and would often just rather ignore us.

On the plus side, anglers are right to be encouraged by the willingness of this Administration and the Department of Commerce to improve recreational access to a historically robust Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery. This alone is a tremendous achievement.

The recreational angling community should feel vindicated, and we should take heart that after years of being systematically sidelined by NOAA Fisheries, our efforts to encourage our elected officials in Congress to engage in this man-made management disaster are yielding results. We are being heard at the highest levels of our government, and that is a very good thing. As a result of our passion and our refusal to be cast aside, anglers will be allowed to venture into the Gulf of Mexico with their family and friends on weekends throughout this summer in pursuit of the most popular offshore fish in our waters. We owe our champions in Congress and the Secretary of Commerce our deepest thanks.

Read more: A break in the management storm for red snapper

Two STAR tagged redfish caught in north Florida – one registered angler takes a prize.


Orlando, FL – June 5, 2017 – CCA Florida, the state’s leading organization dedicated to marine fisheries conservation, education and advocacy, today shared details on the first winner in the nonprofit’s signature event - CCA Florida STAR, presented by Yamaha. While two of the event’s tagged redfish were caught, only one angler was registered to win, and will walk away with a $55k+ prize package from Maverick Boat Group and Yamaha Outboards.

Monticello resident Benjamin Gavins caught a 19” STAR tagged redfish (tag FL637) on June 1 near Lanark Village in Franklin County. A CCA Florida member since 2013, Gavins was shocked to see the tag on his catch, and immediately notified the organization, per event regulations. “Frankly, I was stunned when I saw the green tag on that beautiful little red,” stated Gavins. “This is my third year fishing the STAR event and it continues to be the most enjoyable fishing competition I have ever entered, and it’s all to support the conservation of our precious marine resources. I call that a win-win.” Of the event’s major prizes, Gavins chose the 2017 Pathfinder 2200 TRS bay boat.

Read more: CCA FLORIDA ANNOUNCES FIRST 2017 WINNER IN SIGNATURE STAR STATEWIDE EVENT

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