Black Applauds House Passage of “Freedom to Fish Act,” Protecting Access to Cumberland River

May 21, 2013

Washington, DC – U.S. Congressman Diane Black (R-TN) issued the following statement applauding House passage of the Freedom to Fish Act (S. 982); legislation that puts the brakes on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to restrict access to fishing areas in the tail waters of the Cumberland River system:

“Tennesseans simply do not need government telling us where or how to fish. That is why I was proud to support this common sense legislation to put the brakes on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) unnecessary policy of restricting access to the tailwaters of the Cumberland River system. This pastime is a Tennessee tradition that families across our state and visitors from around the world have enjoyed for generations. Additionally, local businesses benefit greatly from the open access to the Cumberland River system. The USACE’s ban on boating and fishing in these areas negatively impacts our local economy and unnecessarily restricts the rights of fisherman, boaters, and sportsmen in our state. I am hopeful that President Obama will act quickly to ensure that this bipartisan legislation is signed into law so that our waterways can remain open and free to all Tennesseans.”

Background: On April 30, 2013 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Nashville district announced the implementation of permanent, full-time waterborne restrictions around the 10 dams on the Cumberland River and its tributaries. Congressman Black along with members of Tennessee’s Congressional delegation sent a letter to the USACE encouraging it to reconsider this policy. Additionally, Congressman Black is a cosponsor of H.R. 826, also named The Freedom to Fish Act. This bill was a House version of the legislation that passed the House today.  Congressman Black is a member of the Congressional Sportsman’s Caucus.