HOF board focuses on conservation mission

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Seth Love with the IL DNR constructs MossBack fish habitat trees to be placed in Goose Lake at the Mazonia-Braidrwood Fish & Wildlife Area in northern Illinois.

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri – The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame will once again provide financial support to clubs, high school and college fishing teams affiliated with The Bass Federation and B.A.S.S Nation for conservation-related projects in 2021. Applications for the BFHOF grants are now available at https://aftco.com/pages/bass-fishing-hall-of-fame. This is all part of the Hall’s ongoing and expanding efforts tocelebrate, preserve and promote the sport of bass fishing.

“We look forward to playing a role in assisting with conservation projects spearheaded by bass anglers working with local and state fishery management agencies that benefit the sport of bass fishing,” said BFHOF Board member Gene Gilliland.

Gilliland, who is also the B.A.S.S. Conservation Director, will jointly oversee the grant selection process with Board member Casey Shedd from AFTCO. “With the accomplishments done by the 2020 grant winners already being noticed by bass anglers, we look forward to supporting even more projects later this year,” Shedd notes.

In 2020, the BFHOF Board awarded $15,000 to support four separate projects by groups in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, and Virginia. They included the Clarks Hill Youth Fishing Team to continue their work on habitat structure placement and follow-up data collection in Georgia’s Clarks Hill Reservoir. Within Goose Lake at the Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area, the Illinois B.A.S.S Nation adult and youth members assisted state biologists in building habitat structures and placing them, thanks to the Hall’s financial assistance, with more work planned this spring. In addition, the Indiana Bass Federation also benefitted from one of the grants – they worked with a continuing Indiana DNR initiative in stocking largemouth bass into Patoka Lake. Another BFHOF grant helped fund the Virginia B.A.S.S. Nation group efforts with an on-going Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries invasive species project.

Along with its efforts to induct worthy individuals into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame each year, “our role within the sport of bass fishing has become much more since establishing the BFHOF home within Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium in 2017,” said BFHOF Board president John Mazurkiewicz. “Thanks to bass anglers and firms in the fishing tackle and boating industries, their support of our annual induction banquet and auction is enabling the Board to fund initiatives like our conservations grants, preserve the history of the sport through our partnership with the Bass Fishing Archives (www.bass-archives.com), and continue to celebrate the Hall inductees through our commemorative challenge coin project.

To learn more about the BFHOF conservation grants, visit https://aftco.com/pages/bass-fishing-hall-of-fame