Greetings, Advocates!

melanie_outdoors_1423x290_web2-300x180As the newly minted Policy Fellow at the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), I’m excited to begin my two-year position as your liaison to fishing news and regulations through KeepAmericaFishing™.

In July, I joined the ASA crew in Washington, DC after just graduating with a Master’s in Biology & Society from Arizona State University where I researched marine mammal conservation. Prior to that, I earned a Bachelor’s in Biology from Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania.

Like you, I love the outdoors. With my free time I’m either on my bike, hiking, or kayaking up a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.  Admittedly, I’m a novice angler, but I’m no stranger to the fishing world. Home for me is meandering along waterways in Pennsylvania’s Alleghany Mountains and the Finger Lakes in New York or boating on Lake Erie to catch perch for a fish fry.

I care about fish and water issues because the needs of people and nature aren’t often separable and they must be balanced. This fellowship is a unique experience with U.S. governance as it relates to my interest in conserving natural resources and supporting outdoor recreation.

My goals for this fellowship are to:

  • Become a better communicator with the public and Congress
  • Learn more about the legislative process and high-level decision making that trickles down to impact local conservation projects and fishing access
  • Build relationships with people that we partner with not only in the fishing community but others who are doing great things on the ground for our country’s wild lands
  • Understand firsthand the level of commitment it takes to affect change in policy
  • Keep aquatic ecosystems safe, sustainable, and healthy
  • Fish more often

Please don’t hesitate to email me with your stories or concerns related to fishing at