Posted by Leo Sheng at 12:17 PM
Hello, Blog Readers!
Today I'm here to ask for your help in supporting the new "Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2015 -- S.405," which is a collection of bills that will tremendously help the fishing community nationwide!
As you may or may not be aware of, one of the biggest threats that our sport faces nowadays is the lack of access to fish. Decade after decade, we lose access to some of our favorite fisheries -- either because of development, or budget cuts, or even because government bodies and private groups shut down public launch areas (the concept of "privatization" of our waters).
Believe it or not, this loss of access weights deeply in our community: according to AnglerSurvey, a survey in 2011 showed that 1 in every 5 anglers quit the sport after having their main fishing spot taken away. Most anglers were able to change to another spot; however, one third of the affected anglers mentioned that the loss made them quit fishing. In other words, a decline of access to fish in our community leads to another serious threat in our sport: declining participation.
This is seriously no joke, my friends! Old timers around Philadelphia will definitely agree with me on this. As a matter of fact, they may even have suffered from this issue. Recall the closure of the Springton Reservoir in Delaware County? Or perhaps the Churchville Reservoir in Bucks County? These two major bodies of water used to reward local anglers with amazing fishing! And now? Absolutely no entry or access to it. Memories of fishing those places will remain memories...
It's because of these types of situation that we -- anglers -- need to stand up as a community. We need to stay focused and strong. We need to stay together and fight for what is ours. If we don't, what is ours will be taken away -- little by little. Forget about all those petty fights about spot burning and secrecy -- there are plenty of bigger problems for us to worry about. And that's why I am inviting you to be a conservationist and activist angler for a day by supporting that collection of bills that will benefit all of us.
The Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2015 -- S.405 includes a collection of bills that focuses mainly on the four topics below:
-- Making Public Lands Public (Where can you fish?)
-- HUNT act (Improve access to fishing)
-- Heritage act (Open water must stay open)
-- Protection act (What's in your tackle box?)
You may click on each of them to read its full description. Note that I personally totally agree with the first three, and I partially agree with the fourth one. The "Protection Act" is to ensure that we will have lead tackle available nationwide. Now...lead is not really the healthiest material to be used in the sport; however, as for nowadays, there has not yet been a reasonable solution for switching lead to a better chemical. When I mention "reasonable," I am referring to economics: there has been other products in the market to substitute lead; however, their prices are insane! Consequently, many anglers would suffer from that. However, I do believe that there will be an alternate solution for this problem in the future.
If you agree with those four topics and you would like to fight for yourself and the community, you may click here to file your report with your local Senators (I did it already, and it took me less than 5 minutes). You may personalize your message -- in case you do so, please do not forget to spell-check.
And, of course, keep in mind that you are doing the right thing! You are helping yourself as an angler by defending your rights, and you are helping your local community as well. You are helping us prevent a similar disaster like the closure of Springton or Churchville Reservoir. Remember: being a true angler is certainly not just about showing photos of big fish and sharing information in forums -- it's about fighting and caring for what is ours, and that includes our well-being as anglers, the well-being of our watersheds, and the well-being of the fishes that we love so much. Without any of these, there is no sport of fishing.
Best of luck for all of us,
Long Days and Pleasant Nights,