April 7, 2016

Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Leadership Urges Protection of Lead Fishing Tackle

On March 22, House Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Co-Chairs Congressmen Rob Wittman (VA) and Jeff Duncan (SC), and Vice-Chair Congressman Gene Green (TX) sent a letter to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, urging protection of recreational fishing equipment from regulation under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Inclusion of the provision within the Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2017 would protect traditional fishing tackle from unnecessary and economically harmful regulations. Over the past decade, several petitions have been made to the Environmental Protection Agency to ban lead fishing tackle; however, there has never been a documented negative impact of lead fishing components on fish and wildlife populations.

In December 2015, the National Defense Authorization Act was signed into law, and included a similar provision that exempts lead ammunition from regulation, leaving fishing equipment vulnerable to potential future bans. The Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act and Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act both include provisions to protect traditional fishing equipment, which Members of the CSC, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, and the sportfishing community are working to enact into law.

With a $115 billion impact on the nation’s economy, the American tradition of recreational fishing is a popular outdoor activity that brings families together and contributes to fish and wildlife conservation through the American System of Conservation Funding.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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