Program News

Members of the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council Announced

The Council members will advise the Secretary of the Interior, through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director, and the Secretary of Commerce, through the Director of the National Marine Fisheries Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, on aquatic conservation and restoration endeavors in fresh, estuarine, and marine environments. The members of the Council represent state fish and wildlife resource management agencies, Tribal resource management agencies, recreational fishing and boating organizations, industry partners, and additional interest categories.

Council History:

The Council was established in January 1993 by the Secretary of the Interior. Over its 30-year history, the Council has provided guidance to the Service on its fisheries program and improving the efficiency of grant programs delivered through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. It has also promoted the enhancement of partnerships among industry, stakeholder groups, and government. 

Some notable and recent contributions include the Council’s assistance in updating the Fish and Aquatic Conservation Program’s 2016—2020 strategic plan as well as overseeing an assessment of the National Outreach and Communications Program for the years of 2016—2021. 

The Council led a stakeholder effort that resulted in the National Fish Habitat Partnership, a strategy that continues to successfully restore fisheries and aquatic habitat across the nation. The Council convened stakeholders to draft the National Outreach and Communications Program for the recreational angling, boating, and conservation community to increase participation and promote conservation and responsible use of the nation’s aquatic resources. The Council continues to offer guidance and oversight to the implementation of the Program. 

On April 5, 2023, a new Charter was signed directing the Council to advise both the Department of Interior and the Department of Commerce. 

Priorities for the incoming Council:

  • Studying the impact of derelict vessels and identifying recyclable solutions for recreational vessels.
  • Reviewing and identifying potential recommendations from the Comptroller General of the United States’ study that documents the impacts of nonmotorized vessels on waterway access points and the use of funding sources to improve access issues and provide nonmotorized boating safety programs.
  • Continued oversight of the National Outreach and Communications Program.

Council Membership:

The Council consists of 19 members including three ex-officio members. 

Non-voting ex-officio members include:

  • Martha Williams, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Janet Coit, Assistant Administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Chuck Sykes, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

Members of the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council

  • Daniel Andrews, Executive Director, Captains for Clean Water
  • Patrick Berry, CEO, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
  • Lucas Bissett, Executive Director, American Flyfishing Association 
  • Jim Fredericks, Director, Idaho Department of Fish and Game
  • Barbara (Barb) Gigar, Past President, Aquatic Resources Education Association
  • Eugene (Gene) Gilliland, National Conservation Director, B.A.S.S. LLC
  • Christopher (Chris) Horton, Director of Fisheries, Congressional Sportsmen Foundation
  • Carl Klimah, Fisheries Manager, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Department of Natural Resources
  • Jennifer Koenig, Chief Sustainability Officer, Brunswick
  • John Langford, Chief Executive Officer, Project Healing Waters
  • Mike Leonard, Vice President of Government Affairs, American Sportfishing Association
  • Candice Price, CEO/Owner, Urban American Productions
  • G. J. Thomas Sadler, Deputy Director, Marine Fish Conservation Network
  • Risa Shimoda, Executive Director, River Management Society
  • Nancy Stewart, Treasurer, State Organization for Boating Access (SOBA)
  • David Yoskowitz, Executive Director, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Three alternate Council members, who may attend meetings and vote if a primary member from an interest category is unable to attend, include:

  • Clayton Crabtree, Director of Federal Government Relations, National Marine Manufacturer’s Association
  • Patrick Conzemius, President/CEO, Wildlife Forever
  • Joeseph Lewis, Owner/General Manager, Mount Dora Boating Center and Marina

 Meeting information will be announced in the coming weeks.