Welcome Dave Roberts and CCA on a Roll!

I announced last month that Cade Simpson's final kayak fishing column was appearing in that issue and it brought a flood of email encouraging that we find another writer to continue this TSFMag tradition. We are pleased to announce that Dave Roberts is our new kayak fishing writer. Dave lives in the Sabine region and fishes Sabine Lake and surrounding marshes with occasional forays to surf and nearshore. He has incredible passion for the kayak side of the fishing sport. We look forward to presenting Dave's work and trust his columns will more than "fill the bill." Thanks to all the kayak diehards and kayak curious readers who expressed interest in the magazine.

Switching gears–I want to talk a bit about CCA. CCA is on a strong roll here in Texas and also nationally, though I sometimes hear folks say, "Oh, I still believe in CCA–liked the old GCCA better though, before they went national."

This comment is curious to me as I am confused how continued growth in membership, accomplishing more in conservation and wielding even greater political influence could be anything but positive. I guess it's the notion that the GCCA was a Texas thing, somehow diluted during growth, and that money raised for coastal conservation in Texas now leaks away to other places. But nothing could be further from the truth. Each state organization operates independently in fundraising and those funds are used to accomplish conservation work within that state.

From its beginnings in 1977, the Gulf Coast Conservation Association, shortened to Coastal Conservation Association since expanding beyond the Gulf coast, is an incredible model of growth and efficiency.

CCA Texas currently comprises 58 chapters in Texas with membership soon to crest the 70,000 mark. Nationally, CCA has expanded to include 17 coastal states along the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Last year the Music City chapter was formed in Nashville, the first in a non-coastal state. All of these have been patterned precisely in the mold of the original organization here in Texas. Texas members should take pride in having led the way!

CCA National membership now stands at greater than 120,000 and ability to influence fisheries management policy is now greater than ever. A recent landmark court decision in Oregon upheld a net ban, crucial to the recreational salmon fishery there, and CCA Oregon members helped lead the fight.

The formation of CCA California was launched in March 2015 with an amazing 1,500 members coming aboard in the first weeks; 30 have already purchased life membership.

I am personally very proud to be a life member and serve on the CCA Texas Board of Directors. If your pride has you longing for the good old days, still believing the GCCA was a better deal for Texas anglers, think of our original organization like a kid going away to school and then launching into a successful career. CCA is almost 30 years old and the future has never been brighter.