Frequently Asked Questions: A guide to CCA

“A majority of the membership contribution goes into publishing and distributing (the bimonthly membership magazine) TIDE, maintaining a membership department, paying for our annual audit, and supporting our federal lobbyist in Washington, D.C.,” explains Fondren. “The remaining money is returned to the state it came from, where it is supplemented by funds raised through dinners, auctions, and angling tournaments. The combined total then pays for that state’s lobbyist, local conservation projects, and operating expenses.”

No. CCA relies on data from state and federal sources. But CCA has supported and funded research (on both a state and national level) to provide greater insight into marine resource issues and problems.

CCA makes all decisions from the bottom up, involving our membership in all policy positions. Through an extensive web of volunteer committees and boards, CCA’s state and/or national (depending on the issue) volunteer executive committees vote to adopt all policies and positions. Every position is based on facts, strategy and more than 20 years of conservation experience. CCA Chairman Walter Fondren explains that CCA “…extends decision making so that every volunteer is included. One of CCA’s greatest strengths is the feedback our state boards provide the volunteers. Each member is asked how he wants to spend the money he’s helped raise.”

Yes. CCA has a registered lobbyist in Washington, D.C., and we currently retain as many as 17 state and federal professional lobbyists.

There are several sources to find out CCA’s legislative involvement on both a state and federal level. Review TIDE Magazine TIDE-Bits and your CCA state publication for bimonthly state updates. The Capitol Ideas section (Waypoints and Global Positions) and Press Release section of the CCA national webpage and TIDE feature articles, national TIDE-Bits and columns are great sources for timely national updates. For updates on Atlantic fisheries issues, go to the CCA ASMFC tab of the website.

Go to the Chapters or or Contacts links on this website for more information. There is a listing for each state website and office as well.

Depending on processing time and the post office delivery schedule, arrival of membership packages varies. If you have waited more than eight weeks and received no correspondence, call (803) 865-4164.

The legal defense fund (LDF) was established to keep the concerns of CCA’s membership represented in critical marine resource conservation issues. “The LDF has given CCA the ability to add the courts as places to promote conservation and the interests of recreational anglers,” said Bob Hayes, CCA’s general counsel. “If you are not willing to defend good conservation in court, you are wasting your time trying to get good conservation decisions.” With the help of the LDF, CCA’s voice grows louder in the continued legal battle for proper conservation. CCA’s legal counsel has used these funds to challenge threats to overfished red snapper, weakfish, marlin, and shark stocks, implement and maintain critical bycatch reduction measures in the Gulf and Atlantic, and combat destructive commercial fishing gear. You can make your tax-deductible contribution via the webpage (go to the JOIN CCA icon) or call (803) 865-4164.

The best way any member can help is to get involved on a local level. Call your state CCA office and ask for a contact number for the volunteer or director in charge of a chapter near you and its meeting schedule. If there is not a local chapter, ask what you can do to start one. Through local fundraising events, membership meetings and fishing tournaments, CCA state chapters plant their grass roots. This process enables you to become involved in the mechanism that makes CCA so successful on a local, state, and national level.

Your CCA South Carolina Has…

♦ Led efforts to implement the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Dolphin/ Wahoo Management Plan. In 2000, CCA SC successfully had state recreational and commercial size and possession limits placed on both species that are more stringent than federal requirements.

♦ Successfully advocated for the closure of vulnerable bays and estuaries to destructive commercial trawling.

♦ Outlawed gill nets and other indiscriminate gear in almost all state marine waters.

♦ Established a long track record of lobbying for recreational angler representation on the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, the Atlantic States Fisheries Management Commission and the state Marine Advisory Council to ensure that recreational anglers have a seat at the table in fishery management decisions.

♦ Drafted and introduced the "Limited Authority" bill. This legislation makes provisions for a more proactive committee system managing 12 finfish species in state waters, based on scientific data and direct input from state fishermen.

♦ Prevented the establishment of a port for a fleet of longline vessels in the Charleston Maritime Center.

♦ Emerged as the largest sponsor to date of the SC Oyster Restoration Program. This habitat improvement program attempts to restore lost oyster grounds and develop new estuary habitat.

♦ Secured funding for the placement of an artificial reef in the area around McClellanville, SC, that will greatly benefit marine life and create more productive fishing grounds for recreational anglers.

♦ Introduced a state bill based on the national Freedom to Fish Act. The Act will ensure that SC recreational fishermen have a seat at the table when any no-take fishing zones in state waters are considered.

♦ Successfully worked for size and creel limits on red drum, trout and flounder.

♦ Won game fish status for red drum, trout and tarpon.

♦ Won approval of a South Carolina Saltwater Fishing Stamp. In its first year of existence, the stamp generated almost $500,000 to support our marine resources.

♦ Obtained protection for red drum and trout from gigging during the months of December, January and February, when low water temperatures limit their mobility.

♦ Is the largest Marine Conservation organization and fisheries advocacy group in the state with 12 local chapters consisting of thousands of members, volunteers, and supporters.

♦ Retains a lobbyist and fisheries consultant to address marine fisheries and conservation issues in Columbia that impact the entire South Carolina and Southeastern coast. With its 2006 Comprehensive Finfish Management Plan, has identified, established the need, and provided the framework for a more proactive approach to managing marine finfish in South Carolina.

♦ Produces Shoreline, the newsletter of CCA South Carolina and assists in the production of the nationally acclaimed magazine, Tide. Is a continued supporter of the nationally recognized Dolphin Tagging program.

♦ Achieved much, much more...

A Few Facts About Coastal Conservation Association

♦ CCA has more than 175 chapters of organized anglers throughout 15 coastal states with a current combined membership of more than 85,000, the highest level ever. CCA’s state and national staff members coordinate more than 400 chapter events and fundraisers each year.

♦ CCA has more than 80 state and national committees, 150 national board directors, more than 900 board members – on local, state, and national levels – and tens of thousands of active volunteers contributing to the organizations daily development and growth.

♦ CCA is recognized by fisheries managers as instrumental in the recovery of redfish, king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, striped bass, Gulf grouper, and Atlantic weakfish.

♦ CCA helped establish gamefish status for billfish and redfish, net bans in four states, and the prohibition of many destructive gear types. We have been instrumental in establishing far-reaching conservation legislation on both the state and federal levels.

♦ CCA has a legal defense fund that has been used to defend net bans and bycatch reduction devices, support pro-fisheries legislation, and enforce existing regulations.

♦ CCA had led the battle to protect recreational anglers’ freedom to fish. When it is adopted into law, the Freedom to Fish Act will provide reasonable guidelines for the use of Marine Protected Areas by fishery managers and restricts the use of no-fishing zones for recreational fishermen to instances where all other fishery management tools have failed to fix the problem.

♦ CCA has a registered lobbyist in Washington D.C. and has been active in critical fisheries since 1984. We currently retain as many as 17 state and federal professional lobbyists.

♦ CCA members include a former U.S. President, former Cabinet members, Congressmen, Senators, ICCAT Commissioners, Fishery Management Council members, Governors, State Legislators, and state and federal fisheries managers.

♦ CCA makes decisions from the bottom up, involving our membership in all regional and national policy positions. We operate as a three-tiered organization – local, state and national.

♦ CCA has an award-winning national publication, TIDE magazine, a special youth publication, Rising Tide and numerous state newsletters.

♦ CCA has an annual audit and tax return prepared by a nationally recognized public accounting firm.

♦ CCA has a proven methodology for tracking membership and a nationally recognized retention rate.

For more information about CCA, call 1-800-201-FISH or visit our website at