The following press release is courtesy of the Coastal Conservation Association of California:
The Coastal Conservation Association of California (CCA CAL) will honor legends of California’s sportfishing community, Bob Fletcher and his late wife Anne Fletcher, during the CCA San Diego Chapter’s Apps & Taps Brewfest fundraiser on June 18 at the historic United Portuguese Center.
CCA CAL will bestow the non-profit organization’s highest honor, the 2022 Anthony Hsieh Conservation Award, in recognition of the Fletcher’s half-century of work and dedication to improving California sportfishing and making angling accessible to everyone.
Established in 2018, the Anthony Hsieh Conservation Award is given each year by CCA CAL to an individual who has supported sportfishing in California and has made meaningful contributions toward the protection, restoration and enhancement of California marine resources.
The San Diego Chapter fundraiser is set to get underway at 5 pm on June 18 in a festive outdoor atmosphere with a host of fun, food and festivities, including live music, beer tastings, tapas-style apps, a silent auction for great gifts, prize raffles, a live auction and more. It will take place at the United Portuguese center, founded a century ago, at 2818 Avenida de Portugal, San Diego.
Highlighting the event will be the announcement of the Anthony Hsieh Conservation Award honoring Bob Fletcher and Anne Fletcher, both of whom ascended to legendary status for immeasurable contributions to the California sportfishing community.
“The Fletchers’ work with the Sportfishing Association of California (SAC) and other angling and governmental organizations have contributed mightily to conservation and recreational-fishing access,” said Doug Lasko, president of CCA CAL and president of Okuma Fishing USA. “CCA CAL’s Anthony Hsieh Conservation Award is the most prestigious honor we can present, and the Fletchers more than deserve this recognition.”
Born and raised in San Diego, Bob Fletcher has spent his whole life in the marine fisheries arena. He graduated from Stanford University in 1965 and then spent four years as an officer in the US Air Force, where he was awarded a Bronze Star for his time in Southeast Asia.
Following his service to the country, Bob returned to San Diego, earned a captain’s license to operate sportfishing passenger boats, and spent the next 12 years as a skipper and boat owner. During that time, he owned and operated two 65-foot charter boats, both named the Cat Special. He has also fished commercially for tuna and has commercially harpooned swordfish.
In 1983 Bob was appointed by then-California Governor George Deukmejian to the California Department of Fish and Game (now the Department of Fish and Wildlife) and spent the next six years as deputy director, and later as chief deputy director. During that time, he represented the state on the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), and was chair for 1½ years. Bob also represented California as a Commissioner on the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC), was the first chair of the Klamath Fisheries Management Council, and was the California representative on the U.S./Mexico Fisheries negotiating group known by the acronym, MEXUS/PACIFICO.
In 1989, he left public service to return to the private sector and became the president of SAC, which includes 175 commercial passenger fishing vessels berthed between the ports of Santa Barbara and San Diego serving 750,000 passengers a year on fishing, sport diving and natural history excursions. SAC also represents 23 landings and the majority of the live bait harvesting fleet. He retired from SAC in 2009.
Bob and Anne married in 1978. Throughout Bob’s career, Anne has stood by his side as a business partner and advisor in all matters, including his dedication to representing the interests of marine conservation and the sportfishing community.
Anne assumed shoreside duties while Bob was at sea, and at the same time, they had two sons, Robert, Jr. and Nicholas. With Bob’s appointment to California DFW in 1983, the family moved to Fair Oaks, just east of Sacramento, where Anne raised the two busy, headstrong boys while making a home for the Fletcher family.
When Bob became president of the Sportfishing Association of California (SAC) six years later, the family returned to San Diego where Anne served as office manager for SAC and continued to support Bob’s extensive conservation work.
Anne retired with Bob in 2009, and they enjoyed years traveling together in their RV around the Pacific Northwest and other western states and visiting with their children and grandchildren.
Anne passed away on November 26, 2020 from complications of lung cancer, and in the true spirit of the Anthony Hsieh Conservation Award asked that all donations in her name be directed to Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, where Bob serves as a board member, or the San Diego Chapter of the American Cancer Society
Tickets for the CCA CAL San Diego Chapter Apps & Taps Brewfest fundraiser are $75 per person or $1,000 for a VIP table. To learn more about the San Diego chapter fundraiser and make your reservations, visit ccacalifornia.org
ABOUT CCA CAL: The Coastal Conservation Association of California (CCA CAL) was created in 2015 when recreational anglers and outdoor enthusiasts came together to work for the conservation and enhancement of our marine resources and coastal environments.
Today, we are working to protect not only the health, habitat and sustainability of our marine resources, but also the interests of recreational saltwater anglers. Our goal is to protect your access to the marine resources you cherish and enjoy everyday. CCA CAL consists of members spread across 7 local chapters in Southern California.