2006 Ocean Salmon Season Stays Open in California

For Immediate Release ASA – Gordon Robertson, 703-519-9691, [email protected] ASA Northern Calif. – Dick Pool, 925-825-8560, [email protected] Coastside Fishing Club – Bob Franco, 650-726-1666, [email protected] Anglers’ Campaign Impacts California Salmon Season Decision Anglers and industry join forces to keep the 2006 ocean salmon season open April 7, 2006 - Alexandria, VA…Due to the efforts of thousands of anglers and the sportfishing industry, there will be a 2006 California Pacific Ocean salmon season. In a near unanimous vote by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council (PFMC) on April 6, 2006, this year’s sportfishing salmon season will be similar to that of 2005. The California season will run from May 1 through November 12. The National Marine Fishery Service (NMFS) is expected to ratify the Council’s decision. This is a departure from its earlier position in which NMFS supported closure of the season. Sportfishing in California has a $4.9 billion impact on the state’s economy and is second only to Florida in total angler expenditures. There are 2.4 million sport fishermen in California. Sportfishing supports 43,000 jobs, pays $1.3 billion in salaries and wages, and pays $456 million annually in state and federal taxes. The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) Coastside Fishing Club, ASA’s West Coast members and other angling groups joined efforts to inform the administration and state and federal policy makers about the issue and its impact on the sportfishing community. Rallies were held by Coastside and the Small Boat Commercial Fishermen’s Association in Santa Rosa, Calif. and Sacramento, Calif. each drawing nearly 1,000 supporters. The Coastside Fishing Club collected 22,000 names on petitions that were delivered to Members of Congress, the Secretary of Commerce and the White House. ASA coordinated an effort that resulted in over 7,000 letters, faxes and e-mails sent by individual anglers and industry members to the administration, Congress and state and federal policy makers. ASA staff also sent letters to and met with Congressional, administration and federal agency leaders about the issue. Gordon Robertson, ASA VP said, “The association is proud to have played a part in this successful campaign. My congratulations go to the Coastside Fishing Club and the hundreds of other fishing groups involved, tackle retailers, ASA’s California members, and the thousands of fishermen that supported this effort.” Robertson further said, “Our hope is that the Secretary of Commerce supports the Council’s decision.” Bob Franco, founder and chairman of Coastside Fishing Club praised the quick action and the dedication of the Coastside members. He said, “We are obviously very pleased with the Council’s decision. Coastside always felt the more rational thinkers would ultimately take control of the process. To even consider putting a multi-million dollar industry out of business is ill conceived at best, and utterly irresponsible. Franco further said, “I can’t thank our members enough for their time and effort on this issue. I also want to give a special thanks to ASA for helping our collective voice be heard in Washington.” Robertson further said, “ASA realizes that the proposed closure for California and Oregon is only the current crisis for Pacific salmon. We have written to the Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality requesting that the administration put its clout behind a long-term solution for Klamath River salmon.” Robertson concluded, “There are many factors, including water withdrawals, structural barriers, pollution and disease organisms that have lead to the current situation. If these are not adequately addressed, restrictions on salmon harvest will not be sufficient to reestablish the salmon resource.” The American Sportfishing Association is the sportfishing industry’s trade association, uniting more than 650 members of the sportfishing and boating industries with state fish and wildlife agencies, federal land and water management agencies, conservation organizations, angler advocacy groups and outdoor journalists. The American Sportfishing Association safeguards and promotes the enduring social, economic and conservation values of sportfishing. # Communications American Sportfishing Association 225 Reinekers Lane, Suite 420 Alexandria, VA 22314 703-519-9691 703-519-1872, fax [email protected]