BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — No one knows who will win the 2014 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro, but six winners have already been determined — in the realm of B.A.S.S. Conservation, that is.
As part of the 2014 Conservation Summit, members of the B.A.S.S. Nation will receive conservation-related awards.
“In a ceremony on Saturday night, we will recognize all the good work B.A.S.S. Nation members are doing in their states,” said Gene Gilliland, B.A.S.S. conservation director.
Several awards will be presented to B.A.S.S. Nation clubs or chapters that have already been notified, but one — the winner of the B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation Director of the Year — will not be announced until that night, Feb. 22.
Among the awards is a donation by Nationwide Insurance to the FishAmerica Foundation/B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation Fund. Nationwide, which is the official auto and boat insurance provider of B.A.S.S. members, will contribute $5,000 to the fund, which will be distributed in future grants to B.A.S.S. Nation clubs and chapters based on project merit. Nationwide ran a Quote-for-a-Cause promotion in 2013, in which the company earmarked $10 for this fund for each B.A.S.S. member who got an insurance quote from Nationwide.
The New Hampshire B.A.S.S. Nation won the FishAmericaFoundation/B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation Fund Award, and will receive a grant for $5,000 for its bass research project. Jamie Doughty, conservation director, will accept the award on the New Hampshire chapter’s behalf. The funds come from a 2012 donation by Simms Fishing. It is a competitive grant award.
The project involves radio tagging smallmouth and largemouth bass released into Little Squam Lake after tournaments, monitoring the fishes’ movements for 1 1/2 years to determine the percentage of bass that return to where they were likely caught, in Big Squam Lake.
“The results will be used to evaluate appropriate bass tournament rules as well as provide the public with a better understanding of the effects of tournaments on their resource,” explained Gilliland. “The project has potential far beyond New Hampshire. The displacement of bass during tournaments is a topic of concern in many states.
“FAF and B.A.S.S. supporting this research shows were are concerned about the effects of tournaments and want scientific data on which management decisions can be made,” Gilliland continued.