Releases – May 25, 2017
The Inaugural Ron McManus Memorial Fishing Tournament, a fundraising fishing tournament honoring Ron McManus, North Myrtle Beach businessman and avid fisherman, is scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend, May 26-28, 2017, at Harbourgate Marina in North Myrtle Beach.
The Ron McManus Memorial Fishing Tournament, whose major sponsors are Sandhills Bank, Sportsman’s Choice, Mama Jean’s, Captain Archie’s, and the City of North Myrtle Beach, is the first of what will be an annual mixed species fishing tournament and fundraiser that attracts anglers from all over the United States. This two-day tournament will also feature the 2017 Flounder Frenzie sponsored by the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce.
Entry fees for the Ron McManus Memorial Fishing Tournament are $100 for the Inshore Division and $200 for the Offshore Division, with additional fees for the Flounder Frenzie. The event features over $20,000 in cash and prizes. Proceeds from the tournament benefit the Ron McManus Artificial Reef Foundation which supports PA-04, the Ron McManus Artificial Reef, located five miles from the Little River Inlet’s south jetty.
When Ron McManus organized the Dixie Chicken Funament in 2000 to honor his friend and fishing buddy, Jim Caudle, he had no idea that it would become one of the East Coast’s most popular fishing tournaments. Nor did he realize the impact that the tournament would have on South Carolina’s economy and its ecosystem. In less than a decade, the proceeds from this small but powerful tournament turned the Little River Inshore Reef, renamed the Jim Caudle Artificial Reef, into South Carolina’s second largest and most visited artificial reef, a ranking still maintained thanks to Ron.
The Dixie Chicken ran for 10 years cut short by Ron’s illness and subsequent death.
Now, it seems only fitting that the tournament be reintroduced—this time as the Ron McManus Memorial Fishing Tournament honoring Ron and the good work that he has done. While the name has changed, some things remain constant—take for instance the fun and camaraderie, not to mention the excellent fishing.
“Nothing would please Ron more than to know that this tournament is being held in his honor,” said Chip Floyd, Tournament Director. “Ron’s spirit lives among us.”
For details on the Ron McManus Memorial Fishing Tournament visit ronmcmanusreef.com/fishingtournament or call Tournament Director Chip Floyd at (843) 597-3479.
The North Carolina Chamber announced Tuesday its support of NC Sound Economy and House Bill 867, The Coastal Fisheries Conservation and Economic Development Act. The North Carolina Chamber is the state’s largest business advocacy organization.
NC Sound Economy is an expanding coalition of fishermen, business leaders, and concerned citizens who seek to end the unproductive fights over a shrinking, publicly-owned economic resource. Both NC Sound Economy and the North Carolina Chamber believe that the state must grow the resource and maximize its economic benefits.
“We are very excited to have the support of the North Carolina Chamber,” said Allen Gant, Chairman of the Board of Directors for NC Sound Economy. “Our broad coalition is seeking to reform our dated fishery management laws, streamline the regulatory process, and grow the entire fishing economy. With the support of our state’s largest business advocacy group, we will continue to push for real solutions that provide sustainable economic growth for our entire fishing economy.”
“Improving our coastal fishing economies will have positive impacts across our whole state,” said Lew Ebert, president and CEO of the North Carolina Chamber. “As the state’s largest business advocacy organization, our priority is to proactively drive positive change to ensure that North Carolina is a leading place in the world to do business. House Bill 867 and the research presented by NC Sound Economy clearly demonstrate the opportunity that our state has, today, to improve our coastal fishing economies for future generations.”
This year, NC Sound Economy commissioned a study to examine various fisheries management strategies for North Carolina. The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), in collaboration with an economist from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), finds that if House Bill 867 is passed, our state’s fishing economy stands to gain: (1) an additional $829.7 million dollars; (2) $4.2 billion in total sales; (3) 1,493 additional jobs, and (4) $1.6 billion in labor income.
In addition to benefits to the recreational fishing economy, the struggling commercial sector can be a premier local and sustainable seafood producer for future generations.
As in years past, wildlife officers will offer pre-launch courtesy inspections at various public access areas throughout the summer. Boaters can conduct their own pre-launch checks by reviewing the checklist and Vessel Operator’s Guide at www.ncwildlife.org/boating.
State regulation requires anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, operating a vessel powered by a 10-horsepower or greater motor to have completed an approved boating safety education course or otherwise be in compliance.
The Commission offers free boating safety courses throughout the year. For more information, call (919) 707-0030 or visit www.ncwildlife.org/boating.
Conservationists and anglers are applauding the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation for advancing S. 396, the Billfish Conservation Act. The bill, introduced in February by U.S. Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), was adopted and reported favorably without amendment during an executive session on May 18.
The Billfish Conservation Act of 2012 banned the importation of all billfish caught by foreign fleets into the continental United States and, perhaps most importantly, set an example for other countries to pursue similar conservation efforts once thought impossible. However, questions arose over whether the same prohibitions on foreign-caught billfish imposed by the bill also applied to billfish caught commercially in Hawaii. If commercially caught billfish could be transported from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland, it would circumvent the intent of the conservation measure. S. 396 simply clarifies that billfish landed in Hawaii must be retained there.
“On behalf of America’s 11 million saltwater anglers, the Center for Sportfishing Policy commends the Senate Commerce Committee on advancing this important correction to the Billfish Conservation Act,” said Jeff Angers, President of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. “With S. 396 crossing its first hurdle in the Senate, we are hopeful that Congress will act quickly to finally ensure that the United States stands firm as the leader in billfish conservation.”
Prior to the passage of the Billfish Conservation Act, the U.S. was the number one importer of billfish in the world. U.S. calls for greater billfish conservation in international fishery management circles in the past were often met with skepticism, and disregarded. Implemented as originally intended, the law should make it easier for the U.S. to establish a greater leadership role for the international protection of billfish.
“IGFA is thankful to Senators Nelson, Rubio, Manchin, and Moran and to the Senate Commerce Committee for approving this meaningful amendment to the Billfish Conservation Act,” said Rob Kramer, President of the International Game Fish Association. “Today’s action brings us one step closer to ensuring that these magnificent fish are properly protected under the original intent of the law.”
The coalition of groups supporting the Billfish Conservation Act includes American Sportfishing Association, The Billfish Foundation, Center for Sportfishing Policy, Coastal Conservation Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, International Game Fish Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, OCEARCH, and Wild Oceans.