Today’s episode focuses on an important organization that generates billions of dollars to protect our fish species. Join me as I chat with Connor Bevan, the Inland Fisheries Policy Manager at the American Sportfishing Association.

Hear how partnerships on Capitol Hill shape the future of fish species preservation. Today, you will also find out how to lend your voice to this cause and ensure that our fish populations will thrive for generations.

We’ll also take a thrilling ride to ICAST—the world’s largest sportfishing event this July in Florida!

Show Notes with Connor Bevan on American Sportfishing Association. Hit play below! 👇🏻



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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)


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American Sportfishing Association

Episode Chapters with Connor Bevan on American Sportfishing Association

2:00 – Connor’s fishing adventures began in Northern California with his dad. He enjoys fly fishing on the Bow River in Calgary and the Delaware River on the East Coast.

The American Sport Fishing Association (ASA)

The ASA is the leading trade association for the recreational fishing industry. They advocate for healthy fisheries and science-based policies. Their efforts contribute to the US economy, with an annual impact of $148 billion.

8:00 – ASA deals with a wide range of issues, but one of their major focuses is reauthorizing the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act (ACE Act).

10:30 – ASA is a link between the sportfishing community and Capitol Hill. They leverage the community’s voice to ensure they have a nationwide appeal.

American Sportfishing Association

13:00 – Connor says that while there is a common understanding of the need for healthy fisheries, ASA acknowledges that Congress needs to balance various priorities.


It is important to educate decision-makers on the impact of what they do on water quality, fishing, and overall environmental health.

What You Can Do to Help

15:27 – Connor suggests several ways:

  1. Get involved with Keep America Fishing. This is their advocacy platform for anglers to weigh in on different issues both on national and regional levels.
  2. Share any local issues or concerns with ASA. Connor says they are always interested in hearing what’s going on at the local level.
  3. Become an active member of the community.

What is the ICAST? 

17:00 – The ICAST is the world’s largest sportfishing industry trade show. It’s where you can see all the latest products, innovations, and trends in the industry. This year’s ICAST 2024 will be in Orlando, Florida, from July 16th to July 19th.

19:13 – Connor says that fly fishing’s presence at ICAST is growing. Last year, they introduced a dedicated floor space for fly companies and saw a lot of interest.

26:37 – One of the American Sportfishing Association’s big focuses over the last several years has been taking a more preventative look at aquatic invasive species.

The fishing and boating industry launched a Blue Ribbon Commission to improve preventive and management strategies for these invasive species.

28:18 –  The MAPLand Act requires federal agencies to standardize and digitize maps they hold within the agencies. The MapWaters Act similarly directs federal agencies to digitize and standardize that mapping information.

A Day in the Life at Capitol Hill 

American Sportfishing Association

35:18 – Connor says that every day is different for him. He spends a lot of time in meetings with legislative staff.

Travel is a big part of the job. Connor attends trade shows and conducts site visits. He also coordinates regularly with their members to discuss issues affecting their businesses.

36:54 – Excise taxes are fees charged for selling fishing gear such as rods, reels, and marine fuel. The funds are then distributed to state agencies based on a specific formula.

Check out the WeFishASA Podcast here.

Follow ASA on Instagram: @keepamericafishing

Visit their website at

American Sportfishing Association

Resources Noted in the Show

Related Podcast Episodes

WFS 252 – American Fly Fishing Trade Association with Kenneth Andres – AFFTA, IFTD, ICAST


Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below

American Sportfishing Association

Conclusion with Connor Bevan on American Sportfishing Association

Check out Keep America Fishing. It’s a great way to get involved with ASA and learn more about the policies they’re seeking to advance. To learn more about this year’s ICAST, visit