I was involved in CCA in New England. I supported it and became active because of the good work that they had done previously in the Gulf and South Atlantic states. The reason that they were so effective is because they stuck with facts and science and conservation first. They put the fish first and the fishing second. To my mind that was the correct order of thinking. I had long since burned out on the knuckle-headed-meat-hunting fisherman's groups and clubs who only wanted to kill more fish in the sports fishing allottments. CCA stood out as a solid and responsible voice for conservation based management. I also liked they way that they drew off of the talents and strengths of the membership to develop strength in all areas of concern in a region. It was a very good experience of organized activism. There was never a sense of "us and them" with regard to our area chapter and CCA National way down in Texas- the help and support was always there. This proved especially true after the first few years of work as we saw increasing numbers of forage fish returning to our New England coastal waters and nearshores with some of the first good legal work that CCA accomplished there. What was impresive was that before CCA got into the conversation, the states had sold out the forage fish to the herring industry and they were extirpating them. Anyone who had grown up on the waters of the northeast shores, and Hudson River, Long Island Sound etc, knew that the forage fish and Herring in particular were just about non existent. We had seen the collaps of so many things in our lifetimes. In just three years they began to flourish once again. and then the Striped Bass and Bluefish and Weakfish, the False Albacore and Bonito, and a host of others soon followed. It is not all better there now. but it is a hell of lot better than in the immedite decades before, and it continues to heal. If CCA can keep its long standing and successful conservation ethic at the root of it's work here it will get my support. When I began to study the issues here in earnest, over eight years ago, I often thought of CCA and I wondered how they might fit in out here. I too have a difference of opinion with Gary Loomis approach. And some of his "facts" just dont sound right to me. Stregth in numbers can be a good thing, but only if the membership is pulling in the same direction together. One problem with this region in general is a social tendency to steer conservation and restoration efforts soley to a goal of resumption of harvest on salmonids, ect. We have to take a regional approach, and an ecologically based approach, or we are doomed to fail. We have to put the health of the ecosystems- and the fish are integral to those systems- first in our goals. I would agree with the opinions voiced here that time is running out. If all we are going to do is fight over who gets to catch the last fish, then that is all that will happen. It will just be a question of by whom and when.