Bill Helps Wisconsin Anglers

This article originally appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

May 16, 2018

As one of the countless anglers who call Wisconsin home, I want to thank Sens. Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin for their support of the Modern Fish Act. By supporting this legislation, Johnson and Baldwin have stood by an industry that supports nearly 22,000 jobs in our state.

Currently, recreational anglers are unfairly lumped in with industrial fishing companies who operate massive vessels and catch fish by the thousands. Common sense would say these two groups have significantly different goals and impacts on the nation’s fisheries; yet, for more than 40 years, they have been regulated by a singular, monolithic group.

I have seen firsthand the effect these restrictive regulations have had on an industry that contributes $2.3 billion annually to the Wisconsin economy. Instituting common-sense provisions like those found within the Modern Fish Act would go a long way toward witnessing the full potential of an industry begging to be unleashed.

Those who oppose the bill argue that existing federal law has helped to reduce overfishing, and any attempts to change it could be a step backward. This argument not only casts aside the failures of current law, but also ignores anglers’ strong commitment to conservation.

It’s time to stop relying on outdated regulations. With the Modern Fish Act recently passing through committees in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, it’s more important that ever to ask our legislators for support. Thousands of jobs and millions of anglers across Wisconsin are depending on it.

Paul Schluter
President
St. Croix Rods
Park Falls