Bass Conservation Making A Difference

Editor's Note: The following is a recap of the BASS Conservation program's activities for 2006.

 BASS Conservation Activities in 2006

• Through the conservation commitments of our sponsors, BASS issued $61,500 in grants to the state BASS Federation Nation chapters for habitat projects, access improvement/construction, and invasive species prevention.

 • Assisted the Little Bear Millennium Group and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources with an aquatic vegetation establishment project on Little Bear Creek Lake to improve fish habitat.

 • Worked with the Little Rock District of the US Army Corps of Engineers to resolve an issue regarding no-fishing zones around commercial marinas.

 • Continued to work with the Lake Gaston Stakeholders Board (which BASS helped organize in 2005) to ensure sensible, scientific management of aquatic vegetation in Lake Gaston, while protecting important fisheries habitat.

 • Worked with the Lake Istokpoga Management Committee to improve fisheries habitat on the lake and to secure an angler representative on the committee.

 • Assisted the Rhode Island BFN and the city of Warwick, RI with securing funding for a handicapped fishing facility on a city lake.

 • Partnered with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation on their More Fish Partnership grant program, worth $500,000 in habitat restoration grants.

 • Worked with the Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Texas BASS Federation Nation on a highly controversial vegetation management plan for Lake Conroe, Texas.

 • Served on a Sport Fish and Boating Partnership Council review committee for assessing the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation activities for the last five years.

 • Served on the Board of the Future Fisherman Foundation, and actively participated in the establishment and growth of the physical education grant program, which fosters the establishment of sport fishing as part of K-12 physical education programs.

 • Actively participated on the Freshwater and Government Affairs committees of the American Sportfishing Association.

 • Served on the National Fish Habitat Action Plan Board.

 • Helped develop and sponsor, as well as participated in, a National Fish Habitat Action Plan workshop

 • Chaired a committee of the Sport Fish and Boating Partnership Council that will advise the council on alternatives to address fishing and boating access needs currently and in the future.

 • Participated on the Southeastern Aquatic Resources Partnership with 13 states, 3 commissions and the Nature Conservancy to improve fisheries and angler opportunities in the Southeastern US.

 • Opposed a proposal to establish a construction and demolition debris landfill on the banks of the Alabama River.

 • Working with the Wisconsin DNR and the WBFN on proposed tournament regulations. Pushing sound science, rather than social perceptions, as the foundation to any additional regulations.

 • Working with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, the South Florida Water Management District, US Army Corps of Engineers and south Florida anglers on ways to save Lake Okeechobee fisheries.

 • Provided the Georgia DNR with support for the Go Fish Georgia initiative that seeks to improve fisheries habitat and angler access in the state.

 • Assisted the Georgia BASS Federation Nation with capturing chemical spill mitigation funds that will be used for improving access facilities on Hartwell Reservoir.

 • Through the National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses, BASS Conservation supported Ohio H.B. 609 which protected the future of Lake Erie smallmouth bass fisheries by eliminating commercial gill nets.

 • Assisted South Florida Anglers for Everglades Restoration (S.A.F.E.R.) with their continued struggle to save sportfishing opportunities in the Florida Everglades.

 • Opposed a chemical effluent pipeline into the Ouachita River that would significantly impact the lower Ouachita River's aquatic ecosystems.

 • Participated in the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, Congressional Shoot-Out in Maryland.

 • Presented angler access issues to state legislators at the National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses annual meeting.

 • Co-hosted a bass tournament with the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation that brought members of Congress and their staff together with professional bass anglers to discuss fisheries conservation.

 • Continue to actively serve on the Reservoir Committee of the Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society.

 • Continue to actively participate on the Fisheries Administrators Section and the Fisheries Management Section of the American Fisheries Society.

 • Successfully launched the Angler Conservation Teams (ACT) to help with conservation projects around the country, as well as foster membership pride and participation.

 • Established the Conservation Scholarship Program, supported by Costa Del Mar, which provides a significant membership benefit for Federation Nation members and helps to secure the future management of aquatic resources for our members and anglers in general.