Gov. DeSantis Declares July ‘Keep Florida Fishing’ Month

Gov. Ron DeSatis has declared July “Keep Florida Fishing” month. 

The governor made the announcement during his address on the opening day of the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades in Orlando.

DeSantis touched on the positive impact sport fishing has on Florida’s economy as well as clean-water initiatives his administration is tackling. 

“People understand that, despite political persuasions, a clean environment is critical to this state’s economy and tourism base,” DeSantis said.

One of the initiatives DeSantis discussed was the restoration of the Everglades, which was a key part of his campaign. 

The governor kept his promise when he signed record-breaking state budget that included over $680 million for the environment. Of the $680 million, more than $415 million was set aside for Everglades restoration projects.

DeSantis’ other major initiative was the establishment of the Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative to combat the noxious blue algae blooms destroying local marine life.

“If we don’t do all that we can to maintain our natural resources, you will see our economy suffer,” DeSantis said at the bill signing.

The red tide has had such a detrimental effect on fish populations that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission extended several conservation measures

Instilling strong conversation values in today’s anglers is more important than ever considering participation in the sport is growing. 

“Fishing is on the rise and that is good news,” Glenn Hughes, president of the American Sportfishing Association said. “But we have a lot of work to do to reach 60 million anglers.”

The 60 million is in reference to the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s “60 in 60” initiative. The organization hopes to reach 60 million anglers in 60 months. 

According to Stephanie Vatalaro, senior vice president of marketing and communications for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, more than 49 million people picked up a rod and reel in 2018.

Of those 49 million anglers, Vatalaro highlighted four key groups: females (17.7 million), youth (11.7 million), hispanics (4.4 million) and newcomers (3 million). 

“We see many opportunities with women and children getting into fishing,” Hughes said.