June 2020 News/Columns

Conservation Efforts of the American Catfishing Association

Conservation Efforts of the American Catfishing Association

Conservation Efforts of the American Catfishing Association

CATFISH CONSERVATION -Trophy Catfish for the Future


The formation of the American Catfish Association (ACA) was formally announced on January 9, 2020 at 1:00 pm. Similar efforts have been discussed over time but never really got off the ground. Such an organization holds great promise for the growth of recreational catfishing as a sport and what it can bring to the catfish conservation front.

The organizers, George Young and Glen Thomas, have said from the start that conservation would be among the main efforts of the organization. On that premise, legendary angler Bill Dance and several well-known entities were recruited to help in the development of ACA.

Contributing industry sponsors include Bill Dance Outdoors, B’n’M Poles, Off Shore Tackle, RIGRAP, Mississippi River Monsters, and SeaArk Boats. They make up a consortium of organizations and individuals that have committed to bringing the ACA to fruition.

Their common goal is to put in place an association designed to bring synergy to the catfish industry. It is being structured as a membership-driven organization. To that end it will be necessary to meet the needs of the catfishing community so they will choose to embrace it.

The group has progressed substantially. Their website lists a variety of benefits for members. The list includes many things, from product discounts to tournament support services. A full list of possibilities can be viewed on the ACA website. The site also lists and discusses a committee structure, membership levels, availability of membership submitted content, and a preliminary organizational structure.

“The ACA will offer countless resources and benefits, Thomas recently said. “Folks need to understand that there are many spokes to the ACA offering, but conservation and regulation reform is a cornerstone of our efforts.”

Early responses related to member benefits from potential angler/members validated the need for focusing on more and better conservation efforts. Many in the catfish community have called for proof that the organization will be supporting and pushing a strong conservation agenda.

The ACA will include a number of entities, including a 501c3 conservation foundation,” reported Thomas. “Officers of the organization will be formally announced once all entities associated with the overall structure are in place.”

With the intent of creating an educated membership and furthering its conservation and regulation goals, ACA recently developed and released a report that sets out helpful guidelines to deal effectively with legislative bodies.

The report explains basic legislative procedure and outlines many do’s and don’ts of dealing with government officials. It includes sample letters that can be used to write or email appropriate legislators. It is a great tool for individual anglers willing to be part of a greater conservation and regulation effort.

As stated in the report, “This guide was written in an easy to understand way so anglers across the nation can get a better understanding of the process to effectively cause positive change to current regulations.”

The complete ACA report, entitled Conservation and Reform, Making a Legislative Difference can be found on the ACA website.

CatfishNOW supports this effort to bring a needed synergy to the catfish community and we invite our readers to check the ACA out and get behind it too. There is much work to be done, but it won’t be done without a strong, supporting membership.

More information can be found on their website and social media platforms. www.americancatfishingassociation.com




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