The MOGA Board of Directors announced the MOGA Fishing Advocacy Initiative, an action that will significantly strengthen the MOGA voice for fishing industry related issues.

“We see a significant void in effective representation for the fishing industry and we have been approached by fishing outfitters and guides to take up the slack. MOGA has always represented the industry in all its forms and the Board of Directors believes that we have a responsibility to apply the full weight of this association to advocate on behalf of this important segment of the industry,” said MOGA President Wagner Harmon.

The MOGA Mission is protect, enhance and effectively represent the Montana outfitting industry in all its forms. MOGA, as the lead trade organization representing all aspects of Montana’s outfitting industry, accomplishes its mission by fulfilling seven core functions:

1) Advocacy: A relentless and highly effective voice of the industry at all levels and remain focused on the association mission by effectively representing the membership before the Montana Legislature and other important boards and commissions.

2) Communication: Inform members on critical issues and actions affecting them and their businesses; alert members when their action is required; and coordinate industry response to issues affecting them.

3) Legislation: Advocate for responsible, yet minimal, state and federal regulation of the industry.

4) Education: Accurately and positively characterize the contributions of the industry to decision makers and the Montana public in the areas of public service, conservation and tourism. Conduct focused training opportunities that aid MOGA members in compliance, while introducing them to best practices.

5) Industry Sustainability: Promote, encourage and assist with succession from guide to outfitter status, and seek stability for the industry in statute, regulation and market share.

6) Marketing: Serve as a marketer and provider of tools to promote members and their businesses ahead of non-MOGA members.

7) Ethics Advocacy: Promote the highest standard with members and expect them to be upheld.

Chris J. Francis, MOGA Director at Large, has been tasked with developing a strategic approach to implementing MOGA’s Fishing Advocacy Initiative.

MOGA is exceptionally well positioned to lend support to the fishing side of the outfitting industry. We have an effective system of advocacy; one that has already been working on behalf of the fishing industry for years. Under this initiative we are going to dedicate more time and resources to the effort,” said Francis.

Most Recent Accomplishments that Francis refers to include:

– MOGA-led effort to reduce renewal fees for outfitters and guides that will save the industry over $1.45 million in fees in five years.

MOGA carried SB 222, a bill that dramatically reduces annual reporting requirements, particularly for fishing outfitters by allowing the reporting of client name OR ALS number, removing the requirement for both.

– MOGA introduced changes to Board of Outfitter rules to implement these statutory changes in time for the 2019 reporting season.

– MOGA lobbied for and received a reduction in AIS funding coming from non-resident sport fishing licenses.

– In addition to authoring a strong position paper, MOGA worked closely with businesses affected by the Madison River management discussions resulting in a strong coalition of businesses led by Chris Gentry, owner of Madison Foods and others. The relationship between the outfitting industry and the business community is one of significant economic consequence.

“Our Executive Director, Mac Minard, a former career fisheries biologist in Alaska and Montana, has incredible experience in working on complex fishery management issues. During his years in Alaska he managed all the Bristol Bay sport fisheries and retired as Regional Supervisor with oversight of 70 percent of the state. He has remained active in fisheries issues in Montana and Alaska and we believe his recent involvement in the Madison River issues brought critical scientific decision-making back to the process,” said Francis.

MOGA is offering guide and outfitter fishing insurance that is competitive in price point and superior in coverage than others currently on the market.