Weekend anglers urged to rally

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"United We Fish," a rally to support reform of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, is set for noon Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The event has been coordinated by coastal anglers from around the country and is expected to draw several thousand recreational and commercial fishermen.

The rally will start with presentations by key senators and congressmen who are supporting the efforts of the fishing community to add "common sense" to the federal fisheries law through passage of Senate Bill 1255 and House Bill 1584 - the Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act.

The bill would amend the Magnuson-Stevens Act to extend the authorized time period for rebuilding of certain overfished fisheries, and for other purposes.

The Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act has more than 30 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives and looks to be gaining additional co-sponsors in the Senate, organizers say.

"This is much bigger than any one state issue or individual grievance," Recreational Fishing Alliance managing director Jim Hutchinson Jr. said when the rally was first announced. "Whether it's our restrictive fluke fishery in New York, the arbitrary closure of state waters for our anglers in California, or the shutdown of red snapper and amberjack down South, our community has been divided by preservationist tactics for too long. It's time to unite the clans in defense of our coastal heritage and traditions."

Click here for the original release announcing the rally.

Click here for details of the day's events.