Center for Sportfishing Policy Honors Wicker, Graves and Dammrich During Annual D.C. Fly-in

May 17, 2019

Washington, D.C. – May 16, 2019 – The Center for Sportfishing Policy (CSP) hosted its annual fly-in “Center Focus on Washington,” where the organization honored three influential leaders for their contributions to recreational fishing and boating and marine conservation on Wednesday, May 15.
CSP recognized Senator Roger F. Wicker (R-Miss.) with the Jack Lawton, Jr. Conservation Award, named for CSP’s founding chairman. The award is given annually to a trailblazer for marine conservation and angler access and commemorated with an antique compass. Manning McPhillips, Jr., a founder of CSP, presented Senator Wicker with the award during the CSP board dinner.
“Senator Wicker’s leadership on the Modern Fish Act in the 115th Congress provided the most significant step forward in federal recreational fisheries management in forty-plus years,” said Bob Hayes, Chairman of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. “With the Modern Fish Act now law of the land, the wheels are set in motion for the use of alternative management techniques more suitable to recreational fishing and better data collection to inform federal fisheries managers. The marine conservation benefits of these new tools will be felt for years to come, thanks to Senator Wicker’s leadership.”
Congressman Garret Graves (R-La.) was named the Conservationist of the Year for championing policies promoting healthy fisheries and access to America’s natural marine resources. CSP President Jeff Angers presented Congressman Graves with the award at a joint gathering of Center Focus on Washington and the American Boating Congress, hosted by the National Marine Manufacturers Association(NMMA).
“As the lead sponsor of the Modern Fish Act in the House, Congressman Graves’ leadership was instrumental in pushing this historic legislation across the finish line with bipartisan support last session,” Angers told the crowd of hundreds of recreational fishing and boating industry leaders. “Congressman Graves is a father of three and an avid recreational angler who promotes good stewardship; demands sound management, and is a champion for conservation.”
During the ABC Farewell Luncheon on Wednesday, CSP honored NMMA President Thom Dammrich with its Eddie Smith Manufacturer of the Year Award for his dedication to the recreational boating industry and his commitment to angler access and marine conservation. Shimano USA President Dave Pfeiffer, 2017 Eddie Smith Manufacturer of the Year, presented the award to Dammrich.
“Thom Dammrich took the helm as President of NMMA 19 years ago and set a course for boating to be represented at every table where recreational boating and fishing decisions are made,” said Angers. “Thom has made a lasting impact on the recreational boating and fishing industry by his leadership in unifying industry stakeholders to speak with one voice.”
The Eddie Smith Award was established by the Center to honor extraordinary commitment to conservation by manufacturers. An icon in marine manufacturing, Smith was a leader on the boards of NMMA; CCA North Carolina, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation board, and many other leadership roles. Well known as the owner of Grady-White Boats, Smith received the first-ever ASA Lifetime Achievement Award and is a member of the NMMA Hall of Fame. Past recipients of the award include AFTCO’s Bill Shedd; Bass Pro Shops’ Johnny Morris; Grady-White Boats’ Kris Carroll; Maverick Boats’ Scott Deal, Shimano’s Pfeiffer, Yamaha’s Phil Dyskow and American Sportfishing Association’s Mike Nussman.
The Center for Sportfishing Policy is the nation’s leading advocate for saltwater recreational anglers. The Center organizes, focuses and engages recreational fishing stakeholders to shape federal marine fisheries management policies. For more information, visit



Senator Roger F. Wicker (third from left) receives the Jack Lawton, Jr. Conservation Award presented by Jack Lawton, Jr., founding chairman of CSP; Bob Hayes, chairman of CSP, and Manning McPhillips, Jr., a founding member of CSP.
CSP President Jeff Angers presents Congressman Garret Graves (R-La.) with CSP’s Conservationist of the Year Award. 
Shimano USA President Dave Pfeiffer presents NMMA President Thom Dammrich with the Eddie Smith Manufacturer of the Year award. From left: Shimano USA President Dave Pfeiffer, NMMA President Thom Dammrich, CSP President Jeff Angers