The Politics of Fish
The Politics of Fish
American Sportfishing Association
A bi-weekly podcast brought to you by the American Sportfishing Association covering the people, organizations, and issues that impact the recreational fishing industry.
Testifying Before Congress with Martha Guyas
On March 8, 2023, ASA's Southeast Fisheries Policy Director, Martha Guyas, testified on the importance of sound fisheries policy before the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife and Fisheries. The oversight hearing, titled, “Benefits and Access: The Necessity for Multiple Use of Water on Resources,” included discussion on the multiple needs and benefits of water resources throughout the United States, including fishing and fishery-related topics. Guyas began by showcasing the various ways that fishing benefits conservation, jobs and the U.S. economy. See ASA's press release to learn more.  In conversation with host, Mike Leonard, Guyas describes the experience of testifying before Congress and all of the prep that went into providing written and oral testimony.  For more ways to get involved in sportfishing policy visit
Mar 10
26 min
Improving Water Quality and Habitat with Kellie Ralston
Kellie Ralston, Vice President for Conservation and Public Policy at Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT), talks with host Mike Leonard about the top conservation issues facing bonefish, tarpon and permit, including Everglades restoration, water quality and habitat.  To learn more about BTT's work, visit: For more ways to get involved in sportfishing policy visit
Feb 27
30 min
Getting to Know BoatU.S. with Chris Edmonston
Chris Edmonston, President of the BoatU.S. Foundation and Vice President of Government Affairs at BoatU.S., talks with host Mike Leonard about BoatU.S. Edmonston details his career background, the three different corporate entities of BoatU.S. and the role of government affairs in ensuring fishing and boating access.  To learn more about BoatU.S. visit and For more ways to get involved in sportfishing policy visit
Feb 1
32 min
Novel Halibut Quota Approach in Alaska with Andy Mezirow
Charter Captain and Member of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, Andy Mezirow, led efforts to reform the halibut quota system in the Gulf of Alaska. In conversation with host, Mike Leonard, Mezirow details why the charter sector was willing to buy halibut from the commercial and explains how the Recreational Quota Entity, which facilitates the purchase and transfer of quota, works.    At the end of 2022, funding for the Alaskan halibut catch-share program was passed as part of the omnibus spending bill. Compensated reallocation in Alaska will allow the recreational sector to acquire more quota, enhancing opportunity and access. This is a novel approach and the rest of the country is watching to see how it plays out.  For more ways to get involved in sportfishing policy visit
Jan 19
33 min
Driftnet Modernization Law with Theresa Labriola
Theresa Labriola, Pacific Fisheries Program Director at Wild Oceans, talks to host Mike Leonard about California's drift gill net fishery and the recent legislative success of the Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act. The conversation provides context on the fishery's history and the advocacy efforts that led to the passage of the new law and the phase out of destructive gear.  To learn more about Wild Oceans, visit their website: For more ways to get involved in sportfishing policy visit
Jan 5
28 min
Advancing Federal Marine Fisheries Policy with Jeff Angers
President of the Center for Sportfishing Policy (CSP), Jeff Angers talks with host Mike Leonard about the importance of bringing various stakeholders together to advance federal marine fisheries policy. Angers details the creation of CSP, some of CSP's policy successes, and the major issues facing the marine recreational community.  To learn more about CSP visit Policy issues discussed in episode: Modern Fish Act Mid-Atlantic harvest control rule  Gulf and South Atlantic red snapper managment Right Whale vessel speed restrictions For more ways to get involved in sportfishing policy visit
Dec 20, 2022
29 min
Sportsmen Working Together with Whit Fosburgh
Whit Fosburgh is the president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP). In conversation with host Mike Leonard, Fosburgh details TRCP's founding and the importance of bringing the sportsmen community together to work on big picture issues. To learn more about TRCP visit  For more ways to get involved in sportfishing policy visit and
Dec 5, 2022
24 min
How the Midterm Elections Impact Fishing with George Cooper
George Cooper, Partner at Forbes-Tate Partners, provides an overview of the midterm elections and how the results impact the recreational fishing community. In conversation with host, Mike Leonard, Cooper also details his professional background and why he likes working with ASA and the recreational fishing industry. For more ways to get involved in sportfishing policy visit and
Nov 17, 2022
26 min
Giving Back to the Resource with Bill Shedd
Bill Shedd, Chairman and CEO of American Fishing Tackle Company (AFTCO), spoke with host Mike Leonard about his background, the importance of giving back to the resource and the changes he has seen over the years in approaches to marine conservation.  On Thursday, October 27, Shedd was presented with the inaugural Gary J. Zurn Conservation Award at the 2022 ASA Sportfishing Summit. The award is named for long-time ASA supporter and Government Affairs committee Chair, Gary Zurn, who passed unexpectedly in August 2021. Like Zurn, Shedd has worked tirelessly to conserve fisheries, benefiting anglers and the industry.  For more ways to get involved in sportfishing policy visit and
Nov 3, 2022
27 min
Keep Florida Fishing with Gary Jennings
Gary Jennings, ASA's Keep Florida Fishing Director, talks with Host Mike Leonard about how he ensures recreational fishing thrives in Florida. During their discussion, Jennings describes his background, the formation of Keep Florida Fishing and the development of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary restoration blueprint.  For more ways to get involved in sportfishing policy visit and
Oct 21, 2022
25 min
Load more