On any given work day, B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Noreen Clough won’t be in her office. She’s far more likely to be in, say, a Washington, D.C., meeting, or in Minnesota discovering bass anglers’ concerns.
Her recent travels took her to the West and Midwest over a three-week period. The long string of indoor conference work was broken only by a short Columbia River fishing trip with colleagues. (She earned bragging rights for hooking into a 40-pound salmon.) Such an outing is rare; most of her work takes place at conference tables, where she forges strong relationships and learns and teaches, all to benefit B.A.S.S. members and bass fishing.
“As one of only a handful of sportfishing organizations with a dedicated conservation director position, B.A.S.S. has always felt it essential to be at the various tables where decisions affecting the future of our sport are being developed,” Clough said.
Her recent travels included her ongoing work with the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council. She attended a Council Fisheries Committee meeting in San Francisco, where the topic was the future direction of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s fisheries program.
Next, in Seattle at an American Fisheries Society gathering, she participated in a variety of committee meetings involved in fisheries administration, biology and management. She attended an all-day leadership seminar and a day of scientific-paper presentations that addressed the effects of fishing regulations on freshwater fisheries management, ecology, biology and life history.
“Keeping abreast of the latest in fisheries science and management as part of the American Fisheries Society is critical,” said Clough, whose background encompasses fisheries biology and management.
Clough also participated in a Michigan State University Fisheries program alumni session where there was a gathering of the MSU Fly Gals. She was able to meet and spend time with three new MSU fisheries graduate students she will help mentor.
While in Portland, Ore., she met with the Berkley CLAT team. That’s when the fishing trip on the Columbia River happened; she and an MSU student each boated a 40-pound fish.
In Omaha, Neb., Clough attended Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies meetings, including committee meetings that addressed national grants, legislative and federal budget, fish and wildlife health, invasive species, onshore oil and gas operations, fisheries and water resource policy, angler/boater participation, lead and fish, and lead tackle.
“Working with state fisheries chiefs and others through the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies opens many doors for state relationships to develop or be nurtured between B.A.S.S. Conservation and the Federation Nation and state fishing and boating management programs,” Clough said.