On Thursday – Keep America Fishing

Roland Martin is not only an amazing bass angler, he’s one hell of a fly fisher too. Yeah, you have to wade through a lot of plug fishing episodes of Martin’s show, but  he fly fishes every so often, they’re in there, and they’re sweet. There’s a recent episode of Martin fly fishing for tarpon in the Florida keys where he’s jumping tarpon left and right. In fact, I learned quite a lot about reading water from Martin’s 101  Bass-Catching Secrets, and any fly fisher who wants to add to their body of knowledge would benefit from picking it up.

Martin is also an ambassador for Keep America Fishing, part of the American Sportfishing Association. KAF represents the sportfishing community to make sure access to fishing stays open. Through policy, science and conservation, KSA works to minimize access restrictions, promote clean waters and restore fish populations. KAF also created an Angler’s Bill of Rights and Ethical Angler Pledge to ensure a commitment to keep our waters open, clean and abundant with fish. KAF also supports Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.), who along with fourteen co-sponsors, introduced the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012 on September 10. The legislation provides for increased access, habitat conservation and improved fish and wildlife management. But you don’t have to be an angler to get behind the Sportsmen’s Act.

The NRA, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, and several other other national, regional and local groups are pushing their communities and members to press their Senators to pass the bill according to this Outdoor Life article. The Chicago Sun-Times makes a point that this is one case where sportsmen and government align.Of course the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act has a number of different bills in it–and you might not agree with them all. For example, the National Resources Defense Council has a problem with a bill that would exempt lead-use in shot and fishing sinkers. Personally–I’m for non-toxic shot, but not opposed to individual states deciding on the issue.

The vote is Thursday on the 14th of November, but there’s still time to have a say! You can get involved by going here and signing-up to communicate with your Senator your support for the Act.

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