Contact: Ellary TuckerWilliams, Inter-Mountain Western States Coordinator
On September 22, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), along with the American Sportfishing Association and Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, submitted a collaborative comment letter to the Utah Wildlife Board in support of several proposed fishing regulation changes offered by the Division of Wildlife Resources.
As discussed in detail in a previous article, the proposed 2021–2022 fishing regulation changes aim to sustainably manage fisheries for continued use into the future, while simultaneously balancing angler satisfaction with biological necessity. Additionally, the proposed amendments to the fishing contest rules would increase consistency within existing fishing regulations and streamline fishing contest options.
When conducted consistently with guidance from public health officials, fishing contests have the ability to significantly boost local economies by encouraging an influx of competitive anglers, spectators, and others to rural communities. This is especially important now while small businesses are trying to remain operational during the COVID-19 pandemic.
CSF would like to commend the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources for taking the time and committing the necessary resources to conduct a statewide survey of Utah’s anglers, gaining their perspectives on the proposed changes to the 2021-2022 fishing regulations and contest rule amendments before any recommendations were put forth. The results of that survey indicated significant support among anglers for the proposed changes.
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?