Recreational Fishing and Boating Industry and Marine Conservation Leaders Advocate on Capitol Hill During Center Focus on Washington

May 11, 2023

Washington, D.C. – May 11, 2023 – The Center for Sportfishing Policy (CSP) hosted its annual fly-in “Center Focus on Washington,” May 9 – 11. The event brought recreational fishing and boating industry leaders together to participate in important discussions with key policymakers. As in years past, CSP co-located its fly-in with the American Boating Congress (ABC), the marine industry’s premier political and legislative event, hosted by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).

During the event, CSP recognized Congressman Bruce Westerman (R-AR-4) with its Conservation Leadership Award for championing policies that promote healthy fisheries, public access and the opportunity for Americans to enjoy America’s marine resources.

“We are pleased to honor Congressman Westerman with CSP’s Conservation Leadership Award for his steadfast commitment to marine conservation,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. “As a father of four, an avid angler and a professionally-trained resource manager, he recognizes the significant social, economic and conservation benefits that recreational fishing provides to the nation. His leadership in Congress and on the House Natural Resources Committee will have an enduring impact on our marine resources and the future of recreational fishing and boating.”

Key issues for Center Focus and ABC participants included: NOAA’s proposed North Atlantic right whale vessel speed restrictions rule; improving recreational infrastructure; enforcement of the Modern Fish Act; combatting aquatic invasive species; federal fisheries data collection, and many other topics.

“It was so great to be back on Capitol Hill with friends from the recreational fishing and boating industry,” said Angers. “Every year, Center Focus and the American Boating Congress bring together recreational fishing and boating leaders from around the country to advocate for policy priorities important to the future of our sport. It is a critical time to be engaged in Washington D.C., as we face many challenges at the federal level, especially the pending vessel speed restrictions on the Atlantic Seaboard.”  

At its annual board meeting May 11, CSP instated newly elected members to its board of directors.

“We are fortunate at CSP to have passionate volunteer leaders from the recreational fishing and boating industry and conservation community who are laser-focused on sound fisheries management and the future of marine recreational fishing,” said Angers.

Elected to serve three-year terms: 

– Thom Dammrich

– Chris Edmonston, president, BoatUS Foundation

– Frank Hugelmeyer, president, National Marine Manufacturers Association

– John Paul Morris, Bass Pro Shops

– Joe Neber, president, Contender Boats 

Elected to serve one-year terms:

– Annual Member Director Chris Butler, president of Butler Marine

– Corporate Member Director Joan Maxwell, president, Regulator Marine

– Corporate Member Director John Ward, CEO, Everglades Boats

– Life Member Director Mark Ray, chairman, Coastal Conservation Association

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