May 20, 2024

Congressional Fishing Tournament Highlights Fisheries Conservation Through Friendly Competition

Article Contact: Chris Horton,

Why It Matters:  For over 80 years, sportsmen and women have played an integral role in providing the vast majority of conservation funding in the United States through the incredibly unique and successful American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF). Since 1952, America’s anglers and boaters have contributed over $11 billion in funding to state fish and wildlife agencies through this unique funding source. The strongly attended Congressional Fishing Competition brought together industry partners and Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus staff to celebrate these vast conservation contributions and to also help attendees stay informed on issues that are important to protect the nation’s aquatic resources.


  • On May 20, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation hosted its 5th Annual Congressional Fishing Competition in Annapolis, Maryland where attendees took to the Chesapeake Bay for the catch and release event.
  • With more than 30M anglers in the United States who contributed more than $413M in conservation funding in 2023 alone, events like these are important to bring together like-minded sportsmen and women to help them stay informed on issues that are critical in protecting our nation’s aquatic resources.

On Monday, May 20, more than 75 attendees participated in the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s (CSF) 5th Annual Congressional Fishing Competition. Launching from the Eastport Yacht Club in historic Annapolis Maryland, nine charter boats took anglers into the Chesapeake Bay for the catch and release event.

Held at a time when critical fisheries-related policy is at the forefront of this Congress, this friendly competition served to highlight the importance of access, and the role that sportfishing plays in the wellness of our nation’s aquatic resources. As in years past, teams utilized the iAngler Tournament app to log their catches. This app provided Tournament Director and CSF’s Senior Director of Fisheries Policy Chris Horton with real time updates from each boat throughout the day and highlights the potential for smartphone technology to provide important real-time catch information for fisheries managers.

“While the fishing was a little tougher than usual, we were fortunate to be joined by so many great partners today,” said Chris Horton. “From advocacy groups and manufacturers to industry allies, the Congressional Fishing Competition once again provided a great time on the water and a chance to discuss important challenges and opportunities for our fisheries resources. As we work to advance fisheries management, aquatic resource conservation, and angling access throughout the country, we were proud to bring so many of our angling community partners and stakeholders together at this event.”

Already, in 2024, CSF has engaged on a number of critical fisheries policies at both the state and federal levels, just a few examples of which include a new mandatory reporting requirement for anglers in North Carolina, reauthorizing the National Fish Habitat Partnership Program, directing North Atlantic right whale conservation towards technological solutions, and legislation to stem the loss of valuable artificial reef habitat through the Rigs to Reefs Program.

Fishing Competition Awards

Largest Fish Caught

1st Place: Jesse Howe (CCA Maryland) – 25.5 inches

2nd Place: Christie McGregor (The Nature Conservancy) – 22.75 inches

3rd Place:  Virginia Hagerott (NEI) – 22.25 inches

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