ATHENS, Texas – The Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame committee announced Shane Wilson, retired public educator and founder of Fishing’s Future, will be inducted into the hall of fame in 2020.
“This year’s inductee to the Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame has made unique and significant contributions to freshwater fishing across the state,” said Dan Kessler, TFF Hall of Fame Committee Chair. “We are proud to honor him not only for what he’s done – but for what he continues to do to promote fishing opportunities and protect our natural resources for present and future generations of anglers.”
Shane Wilson, of South Padre Island, is a retired public educator of 35 years and founder of the nonprofit organization Fishing’s Future – which is devoted to strengthening family bonds through fishing. Wilson started Fishing’s Future in Texas in 2007, which has since expanded to 70 chapters in 21 states and the United Kingdom. Fishing’s Future’s family fishing events have taken hundreds of thousands of Texans fishing in Texas alone and more than a million people fishing across their chapters reach.
Because of Wilson’s vision, Fishing’s Future has accumulated 28 active chapters in the state of Texas that are embraced by selfless volunteers who contribute their hours to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Angler Education Program.
Fishing’s Future was named the Conservation Organization of the Year in 2015 by the Kansas Wildlife Federation and in 2016 was nationally recognized by being named the Roland Sigurdson Outstanding Aquatic Education Program by the Aquatic Resources Education Association.
According to the writer of his nomination letter, “Shane Wilson has always been an individual who truly lives to serve... Shane is one of those people who is always anxious to lift a hand and help others wherever and whenever help is needed, all while continuing to host family fishing camps and acting as a pillar in his community.”
As a tireless supporter of aquatic resources and fishing, in addition to Fishing’s Future, Wilson is a past president of Friends of Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, a past president of the Laguna Madre Fly Fishing Association and has been the chairman of the Board of Sea Turtle Inc. for the last 17 years. He was inducted into the Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame in 2013, honored by the Texas Senate in 2009 with Senate Resolution 864, and was a recipient of the “Council of the Sagamore of the Wabash” an honor bestowed by the Governor of the State of Indiana.
In addition to Wilson’s efforts being tremendously impactful to the future of fishing in Texas and beyond, his selfless actions have highlighted the positive effects that fishing can have in strengthening family bonds, reconnecting children to nature, and increasing aquatic conservation. Hence, Fishing’s Future motto of “more than a sport.”
The Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame is housed at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. Its mission is to “recognize and honor those who have made a lasting contribution to freshwater fishing in Texas, and to foster a sense of appreciation, awareness and participation in the sport of fishing.”
Wilson will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center and recognized at the 2020 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Nov. 5-8 at Lake Fork.