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Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two mullet fishermen on Dec. 4 for alleged commercial fishing violations in Plaquemines Parish.

Agents cited Clayton M. Buras, 35, of Franklinton, and Joseph L. Neal, 39, of Boothville, for taking commercial mullet during illegal hours.

Agents were responding to complaints of illegal mullet fishing when they observed the two subjects shining the water in an attempt to locate mullet. Agents then stopped the vessel and found mullet strike net filled with mullet still alive around 3 a.m. near Port Eads in South Pass.

Agents seized 1,966 pounds of mullet and a 1,200-foot mullet strike net. Louisiana law prohibits the commercial taking of mullet after legal sunset.

Taking commercial mullet during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

The two may also face a mandatory mullet permit suspension for a conviction of illegal fishing. There is a mandatory one-year suspension for first conviction, two year suspension for a second conviction and a life suspension for a third conviction.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

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House Natural Resources Committee Approves
Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Bill

Alexandria, Va. – Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources approved H.R. 200, a bill sponsored by Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska) that amends the 1976 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to provide flexibility for fishery managers and stability for fishermen. A coalition of organizations representing the saltwater recreational fishing and boating community endorsed H.R. 200 and highlighted the importance of incorporating saltwater recreational fishing management provisions into the nation’s primary law governing federal fisheries management.

On April 6, 2017, Congressman Garret Graves (R-La.), a leader on recreational fishing issues, introduced H.R. 2023, the Modern Fish Act, to address the challenges facing recreational fishermen in the federal fisheries management system. He was joined by a bipartisan list of 24 cosponsors. Original cosponsors include Congressmen Gene Green (D-Texas), Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) and Rob Wittman (R-Va.). The Modern Fish Act’s legislative language was ultimately included in H.R. 200.

“We owe great thanks to Chairman Rob Bishop, Congressman Don Young and Congressman Garret Graves for working together to bring meaningful change to recreational fisheries management through the reauthorization of the nation’s marine fisheries law,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. “This is a major step forward in implementing the vision set forth by the Morris-Deal Report for the future of saltwater recreational fishing. The importance of this legislation to the recreational fishing and boating community was made clear by tens of thousands of advocates who have made their voices heard by contacting their elected officials in recent months.”

Through years of hard work, the priorities of the recreational fishing and boating community were identified and presented to federalpolicy makers by the Commission on Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management. This group is also referred to as the Morris-Deal Commission, named for co-chairs Johnny Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops, and Scott Deal, president of Maverick Boat Group. In 2014, the Morris-Deal Commission released “A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries,” which included six key policy changes to produce the full range of saltwater recreational fishing’s social, economic and conservation benefits to the nation.

Many of the recommendations of the Morris-Deal Commission are addressed by the Modern Fish Act and now included in H.R. 200. This legislation addresses many of the challenges faced by recreational anglers, including allowing alternative management tools for recreational fishing, reexamining fisheries allocations and improving recreational data collection. The bill aims to benefit fishing access and conservation by incorporating modern management approaches, scienceand technology to guide decision-making.

On December 8, the coalition requested in a letter to the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources that the Modern Fish Act be included in the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and moved to the House floor for final passage.

Furthermore, 135 marine recreational fishing and boating industry executives signed a letter to the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources on December 11, in support of the Modern Fish Act and its inclusion in the final reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The saltwater fishing economy spans the entire United States not just the U.S. coastline, as demonstrated by the list of signatories.

“America’s 11 million saltwater anglers have a $63 billion economic impact annually and generate 440,000 jobs,” said Mike Nussman, presidentand CEO of the American Sportfishing Association. “However, recreational fishing has been treated as an afterthought in the federal fisheries management system for decades. If enacted, H.R. 200 would finally give saltwater recreational fishing the attention it deserves in the Magnuson-Stevens Act.”

“The need to revise the one-size-fits-all approach of the Magnuson-Stevens Act has been abundantly clear in recent years as anglers face unreasonably limited access to public marine resources,” said Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “Stakeholders of the recreational boating industry, a uniquely American-made industry with an economic footprint of more than $121 billion annually and more than 650,000 American jobs, are encouraged by the Committee’s action today, and we hope to see final passage by the House very soon.”

“We commend the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources for taking the next step in reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Act,” said Patrick Murray, president of Coastal Conservation Association. “The need to update our nation’s fisheries management system to ensure the conservation of our public marine resources and reasonable public access to those resources is abundantly clear. We look forward to the full House consideration of the bill.”

“The provisions of the Modern Fish Act included in H.R. 200 would provide parity for federally-managed recreational fisheries, while continuing to safeguard the conservation of our fisheries resources,” said Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. “In addition to Chairman Bishop, Congressman Young and Congressman Graves, a big thanks to the bipartisan House leadership of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus for their co-sponsorship of these important measures on behalf of America’s anglers.”

“We thank Chairman Rob Bishop for expediting this Committee markup and moving the Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization bill forward,” said Jim Donofrio, president of the Recreational Fishing Alliance. “We also commend Congressman Don Young and Congressman Garret Graves for drafting this landmark legislation that will increase angler access while continuing to rebuild recreational fisheries.”

“Recreational fishing and commercial fishing are two fundamentally different activities needing distinctly different management tools,” said Angers. “Since 1976, recreational anglers have been shoehorned into a management regime that was never designed to manage recreational fishing. H.R. 200 would make critical changes to the Magnuson-Stevens Act to better manage recreational fisheries.”

Following today’s vote, the coalition encourages House leadership to quickly bring H.R. 200 to the floor for final passage. Marine recreational anglers and boaters are eager to see this landmark legislation move through the House and Senate and signed into law.

The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association committed to representing the interests of the sportfishing and boating industries as well as the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry and anglers a unified voice when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. ASA invests in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous, as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic, conservation and social values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America’s 46 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation’s waterways through Keep America Fishing®, our national angler advocacy campaign. America’s anglers generate more than $48 billion in retail sales with a $115 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for more than 828,000 people.

Contact:
Mary Jane Williamson, Communications Director
703-519-9691, x227
American Sportfishing Association

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Breakthrough® Clean Technologies, makers of the finest gun cleaning solvent, lubricant and gun maintenance products is proud to announce that it has appointed Big Rock Sports as a new distributor.

“We are excited to partner up with Big Rock Sports and look forward to cultivating a relationship with them that will help increase our brand presence in the industry. Big Rock Sports is a respected and established company whose many core values align with ours,” said Erick Navarro, Owner of Breakthrough® Clean Technologies.

Learn more about Breakthrough visit: www.breakthroughclean.com

About Breakthrough® Clean Technologies: In 2013, Breakthrough® Clean released their flagship product Breakthrough® Military-Grade Solvent in response to an ever-growing need for a more effective, odorless, user-safe, and eco-friendly cleaning solvent that worked efficiently and safely to remove carbon fouling from firearms fast. Through Breakthrough® Clean’s continual commitment to excellence, state of the art research, and processes, they now provide a complete gun care maintenance system geared to make cleaning and maintaining your firearm easier, safer, and faster than ever. Breakthrough® Clean’s solvent eliminates more contaminants than most leading gun cleaners, and its lubricants easily withstand extreme temperatures (won’t gum up) and minimize the frequency of needed applications all while extending your firearms life. Breakthrough® Clean is the choice for gun owners who settle for nothing less than the best when it comes to the care of their firearms, bows, knives and fishing reels.

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Press Contact: Tara Yager | tyager@breakthroughclean.com

Breakthrough Clean, 10850 NW 21st Street, Suite 230, Miami, FL 33172

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Sunday Hunting Contributed to Total

Photo of a deer herd at Monocacy Battlefield by Jan Branscome
Deer Herd at Monocacy Battlefield by Jan Branscome

Maryland hunters reported taking 34,412 deer during the state’s most popular hunt, the two-week firearm season. The total was similar to last year’s official harvest of 35,002.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reported that more than 4,000 deer were taken on the two Sundays during the season, more than 10 percent of the total take during the two week season.

“Deer hunters enjoyed good weather for most of the two weeks and produced a very respectable firearm harvest,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “We are pleased to see hunters use the opportunity to hunt on Sunday in those select counties where the option is available.”

Hunters reported taking 21,661 antlerless deer during the season, down 3 percent from last year’s official total of 22,381. The antlered harvest increased slightly from 12,621 last year to 12,751 this year. Sika deer represented 423 of the total antlered harvest and 478 of the total antlerless harvest.

In western Maryland (Region A), hunters reported taking 4,478 white-tailed deer, an 11 percent increase from last year’s harvest of 4,018. The region’s harvest was comprised of 2,962 antlered and 1,516 antlerless deer. In the remainder of the state (Region B), the white-tailed deer harvest decreased 3 percent year-over-year from 30,984 to 29,934 this year. The region’s total included 9,789 antlered and 20,145 antlerless deer.

Maryland Reported Antlered and Antlerless Deer Harvest
2016-2017 and 2017-2018 Two Week Firearm Season
Antlered Antlerless Total
County 2016-17 2017-18 % Change 2016-17 2017-18 % Change 2016-17 2017-18 % Change
Allegany 863 1,053 22 561 528 -5.9 1,424 1,581 11
Anne Arundel 239 246 2.9 471 472 0.2 710 718 1.1
Baltimore 440 490 11.4 969 1,003 3.5 1,409 1,493 6
Calvert 184 185 0.5 403 370 -8.2 587 555 -5.5
Caroline
whitetail 447 385 -13.9 1,050 946 -9.9 1,497 1,331 -11.1
sika 0 0 * 1 0 * 1 0 *
Carroll 936 927 -1 1,571 1,692 7.7 2,507 2,619 4.5
Cecil 428 516 20.6 903 982 8.7 1,331 1,498 12.5
Charles 389 387 -0.5 780 814 4.4 1,169 1,201 2.7
Dorchester
whitetail 447 307 -31.3 1,041 758 -27.2 1,488 1,065 -28.4
sika 415 384 -7.5 486 445 -8.4 901 829 -8
Frederick 1,299 1,246 -4.1 2,136 2,245 5.1 3,435 3,491 1.6
Garrett 1,186 1,503 26.7 804 786 -2.2 1,990 2,289 15
Harford 328 380 15.9 768 714 -7 1,096 1,094 -0.2
Howard 182 181 -0.5 396 339 -14.4 578 520 -10
Kent 521 468 -10.2 1,052 988 -6.1 1,573 1,456 -7.4
Montgomery 435 415 -4.6 779 797 2.3 1,214 1,212 -0.2
Prince George’s 269 239 -11.2 505 432 -14.5 774 671 -13.3
Queen Anne’s 452 485 7.3 1,184 1,235 4.3 1,636 1,720 5.1
Saint Mary’s 288 249 -13.5 649 600 -7.6 937 849 -9.4
Somerset
whitetail 381 317 -16.8 936 858 -8.3 1,317 1,175 -10.8
sika 2 0 * 2 0 * 4 0 *
Talbot 381 280 -26.5 1,075 936 -12.9 1,456 1,216 -16.5
Washington 1,014 1,038 2.4 1,097 1,089 -0.7 2,111 2,127 0.8
Wicomico
whitetail 504 462 -8.3 1,187 1,194 0.6 1,691 1,656 -2.1
sika 26 36 * 28 28 * 54 64 *
Worcester
whitetail 565 569 0.7 1,545 1,405 -9.1 2,110 1,974 -6.4
sika 0 3 * 2 5 * 2 8 *
Total 12,621 12,751 1 22,381 21,661 -3.2 35,002 34,412 -1.7
*Small sample size

The harvest fell sharply in portions of several counties on the Eastern Shore, including Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot, perhaps due to an outbreak of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, a naturally-occurring disease among white-tailed deer. The virus is carried by biting midges and can spread quickly through localized deer populations. The deer population is expected to rebound quickly in this area.

Photo of a deer herd at Monocacy Battlefield by Jan Branscome

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