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January 29, 2020

Fishing & Boating Groups Back Virginia Legislation to Improve Menhaden Management

Eight major recreational fishing and boating groups are asking the Virginia General Assembly to advance legislation that transfers management authority of Atlantic menhaden, a key food source for striped bass and other recreational fish, to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, American Sportfishing Association, BoatU.S., Center for Sportfishing Policy, Coastal Conservation Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, and National Marine Manufacturers Association are banding together in support of House Bill 1448 and Senate Bill 791, which shifts management authority to the Commission. Currently menhaden are the only finfish in Virginia not under the Commission’s purview.

The legislation would bring Virginia back into compliance with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) after the Commonwealth was found in violation of ASMFC’s fishery management plan for failing to enforce the Chesapeake Bay harvest cap.  This finding was the result of industrial fishing giant Omega Protein exceeding the cap by approximately 30 percent last year.  The groups are raising concerns because when the menhaden population declines, it impacts striped bass, cobia, bluefish, and summer flounder.

“These valuable recreational fisheries are major contributors to America’s economy and support many fishing-dependent businesses within Virginia and across our industry,” the groups wrote.  “In Virginia alone, the annual value of striped bass has declined from $240 million to $120 million in the past decade while associated jobs have declined from 3,950 to 1,830 in the same time period.”

The groups called on the General Assembly to pass the legislation, saying it’s important because it gives full time fisheries managers the authority to manage menhaden.

“Your support will demonstrate clear leadership to the thousands of Bay anglers and the hundreds of businesses they support and bring the Commonwealth of Virginia back into compliance,” the groups added.

Over 50 local businesses, including charter boat operators have also thrown their support behind the legislation.

The coalition’s letter of support can be found HERE.

7 Responses to “Fishing & Boating Groups Back Virginia Legislation to Improve Menhaden Management”


    Having spent much time on (in) the Delmarva area AND having grown up on the South Shore of Long Island, I have been fishing the Atlantic and its many bays for a good portion of my life. If Omega Protein continues to overfish the Menhaden population, many species of fish that are dependent on this resource for food will have their numbers even further reduced. Since Omega is based out of Virginia, THAT State should be in charge of monitoring the Mossbunker harvest in order to make sure that the population can sustain itself over the long term. Proper (sustainable) regulation of this vital food source will have a positive impact not only on the Delmarva area but also New Jersey, New York, and virtually the entire Northeast sport (and commercial!) fishing industries.
    Respectfully submitted, Bob

  2. Pierrepont

    Time to take fight to the gulf. TRCP can use this fight to build brand recognition and help rebuild CCA as an important ally to rebuild fisheries for our entire community. Pick up the fight!

  3. John Peters

    I fish L.I. Sound and for about the past four years we have seen pods of bunker, but no stripers or blues under them. My feelings which is shared by many other fishermen is that the stripers and blues are being over harvested, both commercially and by sport fishermen as well as an influx of people who have no regard for our fishing regulations. The protection of forage species cannot be over emphasized .

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January 28, 2020

TRCP Welcomes Five New Board Members

Experts in conservation, finance, and government relations join leadership team

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is onboarding five new Board Members in 2020 to help guarantee all Americans quality places to hunt and fish.

Jo Ann Barefoot, Glenn Hughes, Becky Humphries, Marti Powers and Nick Wiley round out TRCP’s 26-member leadership team.

“We are honored to have these remarkable individuals give of their time, expertise, and resources in order to advance the vision of Theodore Roosevelt,” said Rod Nelson, Board Chair. “With these additions to the Board, and our talented staff, TRCP is well-positioned to grow and advance conservation policy across the nation.”

Jo Ann Barefoot is the founder and CEO of the Alliance for Innovative Regulation, a nonprofit focused on modernizing the financial regulatory systems. Barefoot is an avid fly fisher, author, podcast host, entrepreneur, and angel investor. She was the first female Deputy Comptroller of the Currency.

Glenn Hughes is the president of the American Sportfishing Association, the world’s largest sportfishing trade association. Hughes is the former vice president/group publisher of Bonnier Marine Group, where he led numerous fishing and boating brands. Glenn also serves on the boards of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, the Center for Sportfishing Policy, the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, and is a member of the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council.

Becky Humphries is the CEO of the National Wild Turkey Federation, former director of conservation programs at Ducks Unlimited, and former director of Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Using her education in wildlife management, Humphries led the National Fish and Wildlife Health Initiative. She lives in Michigan and South Carolina and is a professional member of the Boone and Crockett Club.

Marti Powers is the external relations country manager at Shell Oil Company and also serves as the external relations general manager for Shell’s Upstream Unconventionals business. Powers has almost 30 years of public, government relations, and communications experience with a background in media, crisis and issues management. She previously worked for BP and Exxon Mobil.

Nick Wiley is the chief operating officer at Ducks Unlimited, where he provides leadership in support of DU’s continental wetlands and waterfowl conservation mission. Wiley previously served as the Executive Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. He is a certified wildlife biologist and a past president for the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

A full roster of TRCP’s Board is available HERE.


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January 23, 2020

Conservation Groups Call on U.S. House to Pass ACE Act

The bipartisan legislation will address growing challenges to species and habitat health

More than 50 conservation groups are banding together and calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to pass bipartisan legislation that invests in wetlands, fisheries, chronic wasting disease research, and the Chesapeake Bay.

In early January, the Senate passed the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act or ACE Act (H.R. 925), and now a coalition of hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation groups are asking the House to follow suit.

“Passage of the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act will not only have wide-ranging ecological benefits but will facilitate outdoor recreation on behalf of millions of Americans, strengthening conservation funding streams for years to come,” said the groups.

The coalition is asking the House to take up the legislation as passed by the Senate and make no changes.

The ACE Act:

  • Reauthorizes the North American Wetlands Conservation Act at $60M annually through Fiscal Year 2025. The Act has improved over 30 million acres of wetlands, making it one of the nation’s most effective voluntary conservation programs.
  • Establishes a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-led task force to address the spread of chronic wasting disease.
  • Codifies the National Fish Habitat Partnership. Since 2006, the Partnership has overseen over 840 projects to benefit fish habitat and populations.
  • Reauthorizes the Chesapeake Bay Program at $90M through Fiscal Year 2025.

The coalition’s letter to the House is available HERE.


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Sportsmen and Women: Rolling Back Clean Water Act Will Harm Habitat

EPA undermines protections for wetlands and streams

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency today announced a final decision to redefine which waters are eligible for Clean Water Act protections, leaving important habitat for fish and waterfowl vulnerable to pollution and significant harm.

Speaking at the National Association of Home Builders conference, Administrator Andrew Wheeler said he would be rolling back the 2015 Clean Water rule.

“This announcement flies in the face of all the hunters and fishermen who have contacted the EPA saying they oppose this decision,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “These rollbacks undermine the intent of the Clean Water Act, which has a proven track record of protecting America’s waters and supporting healthy habitat.”

The new rule will leave roughly half of the nation’s wetlands and almost one out of five of its stream miles without federal protection from pollution. In drier western states, as many of 90 percent of stream miles will not be protected from being polluted.

Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972, creating a federal regulatory floor for pollution control across the country, as well as a partnership with states to address the many threats to our nation’s waters. This was important because states had not had the financial or political resources necessary to ensure clean water. Now the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers are asserting that for all of the streams and wetlands they will no longer protect, states could step in, if they want, even as the agencies acknowledge that many states won’t have the resources to do so.

In a national poll, 93 percent of hunters and anglers say they believe the Clean Water Act has benefited the country. Additionally, 80 percent of sportsmen and women said Clean Water Act protections should apply to headwater streams and wetlands. Additionally, 92 percent believe that we should strengthen or maintain current clean water standards, not relax them.


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January 17, 2020

Sportsmen for the Rubies Supports Bill to Curb Speculative Oil and Gas Leasing

Nevada sportsmen today voiced support for legislation that ensures responsible energy development on public land.

The End Speculative Oil and Gas Leasing Act of 2020 S.3202) introduced by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), would require the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to not lease lands that have little or no potential for the development of oil and gas reserves. The legislation would apply to all federal lands across the West, specifically to lands that are considered low or no potential for oil and gas development.

Sen. Cortez Masto is also sponsoring a separate bill, the Ruby Mountain Protection Act (S.258), which would prevent speculative leasing in one of Nevada’s most revered hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation areas.

“In 2019 over a million acres of land in Nevada were offered for lease, yet less than seven percent of that acreage even received a bid,” said Carl Erquiaga, the Nevada Field Representative for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Agencies are currently spending taxpayer dollars offering low potential parcels for sale that nobody wants to buy, and these precious resources could be better spent managing the lands and resources that we all own. We want to thank the Senator for her work on this important legislation.”

90 percent of lands managed by BLM are available for oil and gas leasing, even in places with no or little potential for development.

Sen. Cortez Masto’s bill doesn’t change the BLMs mission or mandate, but it would require that the agency have current and up to date plans for oil and gas development before allowing leasing. Importantly, the bill would not impact the availability of medium and high potential lands for leasing or affect existing oil and gas operations.

“This is a common-sense bill,” said Pam Harrington, a field staffer for Trout Unlimited based in Crescent Valley, NV. “Requiring upfront planning before making leasing decisions that will impact generations of Nevadans is the right thing to do and we appreciate Sen Cortez Masto working on this issue.”

Sportsmen for the Rubies is made up of 14 Nevada hunting and fishing groups who are focused on safeguarding the Ruby Mountains from inappropriate oil and gas development.



Theodore Roosevelt’s experiences hunting and fishing certainly fueled his passion for conservation, but it seems that a passion for coffee may have powered his mornings. In fact, Roosevelt’s son once said that his father’s coffee cup was “more in the nature of a bathtub.” TRCP has partnered with Afuera Coffee Co. to bring together his two loves: a strong morning brew and a dedication to conservation. With your purchase, you’ll not only enjoy waking up to the rich aroma of this bolder roast—you’ll be supporting the important work of preserving hunting and fishing opportunities for all.

$4 from each bag is donated to the TRCP, to help continue their efforts of safeguarding critical habitats, productive hunting grounds, and favorite fishing holes for future generations.

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