AFTCO conservation support: June 15 application deadline

With a long history of supporting conservation efforts, donating 10 percent of their profits every year to worthy projects - AFTCO continues that tradition with the AFTCO / B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation Grant program. The program was formally announce by AFTCO President Bill Shedd at the recent B.A.S.S. Conservation Summit held during the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK'S Sporting Goods in Greenville, South Carolina.

AFTCO, a long-time saltwater tackle name and a popular fishing clothing manufacturer will take their top selling products and their conservation message into the freshwater market for the first time in 2018.  “As part of our entrance into the bass fishing world after 60 years focused on saltwater, AFTCO is pleased to partner with B.A.S.S. in this AFTCO/B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation Grant Program.  We look forward to supporting local B.A.S.S. Nation conservation projects in their efforts to improve bass habitats and fisheries,” explained Shedd.   

Two grants for up to $5,000 each will be awarded to the best proposals.  Funding will be available for a broad range of conservation-related projects for B.A.S.S. Nation states, clubs, high school or college teams. 

Qualified projects must directly involve youth in such a way as to teach the importance of resource stewardship and the leadership role that anglers play as conservationists.  Each project must have an endorsement of the local fisheries management agency and work to accomplish goals of mutual benefit.  The project must have an evaluation component to determine success.  A project may be part of a larger project, and working with partners is strongly encouraged. 

Projects that will be considered should make a significant contribution to:
  • Protect or enhance natural or artificial fish habitat; or...
  • Prevent, manage or eliminate aquatic invasive species via action or education/outreach; or...
  • Demonstrate best-practices in tournament fish care to maximize survival of released fish; or....
  • Protect or enhance angler or boater access to public waters; or...
  • Address an acute or chronic aquatic resource pollution issue; or....
  • Demonstrate a new or innovative approach to conservation education
"​I have admired AFTCO's commitment to conservation for many years," ​ said B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Gene Gilliland, "and I am very glad to see them step up with these B.A.S.S. Nation grants as they dive into the freshwater bass market.  Bill Shedd and his family, the entire company, understand the importance of grass roots efforts to protect and enhance our fishery resources." 

This link goes to the AFTCO grant application page where the requirements are explained and proposals can be submitted on-line...https://aftco.com/pages/bass-conservation-grant

The application deadline is June 15th, 2018 with an announcement of the winners at the annual fishing industry trade show, ICAST, in July.

All questions about the program or application process should be directed to B.A.S.S. Conservation Director, Gene Gilliland at ggilliland@bassmaster.com