U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and Rep. Trent Kelly, both Mississippi Republicans, visited the NauticStar Boats plant in Amory, Miss., on Tuesday for a manufacturing tour and to discuss recreational fishing and boating industry priorities with NauticStar President Scott Womack.
Along the tour, Wicker and Kelly got a look at the boatbuilding process, as well as the opportunity to meet NauticStar employees. The facility, owned by MasterCraft Boat Holdings, manufactures approximately 1,825 vessels per year spread among four series – XTS/Bay Boats, Hybrid, Deck and Offshore.
Womack addressed policy priorities of the recreational fishing and boating community, including Modern Fish Act enforcement, impacts of Covid-19 on the industry, and recreational access to America’s public resources.
In 2018, Wicker led the charge to pass the Modern Fish Act, the first-ever piece of sportfishing-focused legislation to be signed into law that recognizes recreational and commercial fishing are fundamentally different endeavors and adds management tools the sportfishing industry deems more appropriate for the industry.
“I enjoyed speaking with employees at NauticStar this morning and seeing how the recreational boating industry is recovering in Mississippi,” said Wicker in a statement. “This industry supports thousands of jobs in our state and has a large economic impact. I am continuing to work on a number of policies that will help more Americans get out on the water to fish, play, or relax.”
“Recreational boating and fishing are mainstays in the First District where residents and tourists enjoy access to the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway, numerous lakes and tributaries,” said Kelly. “NauticStar Boats meets the growing consumer demand with unique, made-to-order boats, hand-crafted by our skilled, hardworking Mississippians. NauticStar continues to have a positive impact on our economy and, most importantly, the people of Monroe County.”