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President's Report
October 2017

Last month we said farewell to Tony “The Truth” Floor. Tony served as NMTA’s Director of Fishing Affairs from 2004 to 2017, and before that spent 30 years with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW). For 14 years, NMTA asked Tony to promote our saltwater fishing opportunities and provide leadership for our sportfishing advocacy. To Tony I say – “Thank You and Mission Accomplished”.

Tony’s passion for salmon fishing, crabbing, shrimping and enjoying the outdoors was infectious and Tony deserves credit as being one of the best known and respected voices for keeping saltwater anglers on the water, looking forward to their next trip, and looking forward to their next boat purchase. Tony did this with his monthly “Tony’s Tackle Box” blog, managing and growing the West Marine Northwest Salmon Derby Series for 14 years and countless trips and interviews with the media. Tony inspired me and infected me with a passion for saltwater angling, so I know firsthand how important and effective his work was. 

Modern day salmon fishing is highly regulated and unfortunately complicated to the new angler. Tony frequently reminded all of us that if you focus on what you can’t do you’ll never leave the house so “tell me what you can do”. Tony did exactly this and showed the way to countless year-round opportunities and places to chase salmon, lingcod, crab and shrimp with a boat. These opportunities are vital to your businesses because the sales data here in Washington shows that over 50 - 60 percent of new boats sold are used for some type of recreational angling all or some of the time.

Tony has retired from NMTA, but not from angling, and if you know where to look you’ll find Tony onboard his Osprey 24 doing what he loves. Thank you Tony, and tight lines.

Going forward, NMTA will continue to make recreational fishing promotion and advocacy a priority. In September, we welcomed Mark Yuasa to our full-time staff as Director of Grow Boating Programs. Previously Mark was the outdoor columnist at the Seattle Times for 25 years. Mark is a passionate angler, boat owner, and outdoor enthusiast that understands the full scope of boating here in the Northwest from stand-up paddleboards to superyachts. Mark will be responsible for managing our year-round grow boating programs and Grow Boating Committee. NMTA’s Grow Boating program is the largest regional program in the country and currently includes the West Marine Northwest Salmon Derby Series, public relations, grants and non-NMTA event sponsorships. Mark will also be a much needed oar in the water to help us produce our number one grow boating event – the Seattle Boat Show. Mark is an accomplished writer so he will follow in Tony’s footsteps with his own monthly sportfishing column – “The Reel Times with Mark”. 

Protecting and expanding our sportfishing seasons is just as important as promotion. For this reason, NMTA has hired sportfishing lobbyist Carl Burke directly. Previously you have read Carl’s legislative reports in WaterLife as the lobbyist for Fish Northwest. Carl also lobbies for the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association (NSIA). NSIA is an Oregon-based trade association specifically for fishing tackle manufactures and retailers. 

The NMTA Fish Committee is going to be reactivated this fall and led by our Vice-President and Director of Government Affairs, Peter Schrappen. The first task will be to use the same discipline and process that has been successful for our other advocacy committees and determine our sport fishing legislative and policy priorities for 2018. This will allow Carl and Peter to clearly communicate to the Washington state Department of Fish & Wildlife, lawmakers, the Governor’s Office and other sport fishing organizations on what our short-term and long-term goals are. Our direction comes from our members, and I encourage those members that depend on recreational fishing opportunity to get involved and participate in our priority setting process. If you are interested in serving on the Fish Committee please contact Peter here at the office 206-634-0911 or by email, peter@nmta.net. 

Annual Meeting & Bell Harbor Marina
The NMTA Annual Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 8 at the Marriott Waterfront hotel from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. The Marriott Waterfront is right across the street from Bell Harbor Marina, which will be a new third location for the 2018 Seattle Boat Show. In addition to in-water moorage for 80 boats that is just 1.4 miles from CenturyLink Field Event Center, we have access to a 1,500 stall parking garage that will allow us to bring back our best ever promotion – free parking with the purchase of an online ticket at www.SeattleBoatShow.com. 

The Seattle waterfront is undergoing a major transformation with the completion of the seawall replacement earlier this year, the SR-99 tunnel and the removal of the viaduct in 2019. The Seattle waterfront is on track to become a pedestrian friendly, world class destination and the Seattle Boat Show will be the number one attraction every January and February.

At the center of the waterfront redevelopment is Bob Donegan, CEO of Ivar’s Restaurants. Bob has been a leader for the waterfront businesses and a strong supporter of the redevelopment. Bob will be our keynote speaker at the annual meeting to share his insights and vision for the waterfront. I hope you can join us for an informative and fun evening.

See you on the water,


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