Tuesday, May 19, 2009

ESPN OUTDOORS Supports Game Fish Status For Speckled Trout and Red Drum

May 12, 2009

To Whom It May Concern:

The editorial staffs of ESPN Outdoors, including ESPNOutdoors.com and ESPN Saltwater Series Magazine have been following with special interest recent developments in the controversy over gill netting and the proposal to award game fish status to Red Drum and Spotted Sea Trout in North Carolina.

Recent articles on the Web site, ESPNOutdoors.com, “Enmeshed in controversy: Untangling the truth about North Carolina’s gill nets” and “Specks in nets,” were news articles intended to present both sides of the controversy. They do not represent the views or opinions of the staff and leadership of ESPN Outdoors and must not be construed as “taking sides” in the debate.

As a multimedia organization that serves America’s outdoor sportsmen, we support initiatives that increase recreational fishing opportunities. In the saltwater arena, we have observed the successes of similar restrictions on commercial harvest of saltwater sportfish in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, South Carolina and other states where redfish and speckled trout populations have rebounded thanks to responsible resource management.

We believe it is in the best interests of our readers and viewers as well as outdoor sportsmen and their families, to set aside Red Drum and Spotted Sea Trout for recreational anglers by according game fish status to these outstanding sportfish.

Dave Precht
Senior Director
BASS/ESPN Outdoors

Post Office Box 10,000 • Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830