Overview of the Issue

Federal lands and waters play a pivotal role in providing recreational fishing opportunities.

A new bill just introduced in the Senate by Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) will improve and increase outdoor recreation opportunities, including recreational fishing, on federal lands. This comprehensive legislative package contains 14 provisions, ranging from improving visitation data to expanding broadband service at park sites to addressing the spread of aquatic invasive species.This legislative package will modernize and enhance management of, and access to, our nation’s public lands.

Building on recently enacted legislation such as the Great American Outdoors Act and America’s Conservation Enhancement Act, the Outdoor Recreation Act demonstrates a continued commitment from Congressional leaders to ensure federal policies are accommodating Americans’ growing interest in outdoor recreation.

What ASA is Doing

The following provisions in the new bill are of specific importance to the sportfishing industry:

  • Improved Visitation Data” (Sec. 303) will require federal land management agencies to establish a single visitation data management and modeling system for public recreation. As outdoor recreation grows, reliable, comparable and real-time data are crucial for understanding areas of economic growth in outdoor recreation, as well as for managing federal lands.
  • Federal Land and Aquatic Resource Activities Assistance” (Sec. 302) will increase inspections and decontamination of watercraft entering and leaving Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service sites in western states. The goal of this provision is to help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species between waterways while minimizing disruptions to public access for boating in non-contaminated vessels.
  • Ensuring Recreation is a Management Priority” (Sec. 202) would create an inventory of recreation opportunities at federal lands and require that federal agencies manage these lands in a way that protects and enhances the value of outdoor recreation.

Following up on Senate introduction, ASA issued a press release and sent a nationwide call to action to Keep America Fishing supporters asking them to contact their Members of Congress.

On May 3, 2022, the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources unanimously approved the America’s Outdoor Recreation Act of 2022. ASA issued a press release with details of the legislation and it’s affect on the sportfishing community.

What You Can Do

Contact your Senators and encourage them to support the Outdoor Recreation Act today.

Sign up to receive updates from Keep America Fishing.

For more information, contact ASA Vice President of Government Affairs Mike Leonard.