Adding habitat, cleaning shorelines and protecting angling access are all important parts of keeping fishing alive for the next generation.
But perhaps the best way is to spread the message of conservation, among our own peers as well as to younger anglers.
Several clubs took on Conservation Education in 2011.
The following conservation education projects are those reported to us as part of the 2011 Annual Achievements in Conservation. The breakdown is as follows:
1 scholarship recipient
Other projects include:
The Ron Ward Memorial Scholarship, offered by the Champaign-Urbana Bass Club of Illinois, provides an annual bass fisheries research scholarship to a graduate student. Over the past 10 years, the club has raised more than $70,000, and funds this year have been raised through sponsors and tournaments.
The North Carolina Randleman Outdoors Youth Organization worked with North Carolina Wildlife to start the Randleman Lake Loaner Tackle project, a loaner fishing tackle program.
On Franklin County Farm Safety Day, two members of the Mississippi Team Pride Club, Les Hughes and Mark Mowdy, taught the essentials of boat and water safety to 749 kindergarten through fifth-grade students and their teachers.
The Last Cast Club of New Hampshire held its Last Cast Club Kids Tournament, with more than 50 children participating and 34 volunteers on tap for the event. The kids learned about fishing, as well as the importance of maintaining the resource.
Eamon Bolten, Florida B.A.S.S. Federation Nation conservation director, provided information about and maps of endangered snail kite nesting sites to anglers. The project brought awareness to the endangered birds (raptors) on Lake Toho and the Kissimmee Chain. Fewer than 700 of these birds are left on the planet, and this efforts helps anglers avoid accidental disturbances of their nests. The snail kite eats the invasive apple snail that destroys Florida's native fish habitat.