Fishing & Boating News

Pro Bass Anglers, Community Team Up To Preserve Local Fishery

Donation to be used for renovation of Monroe Fish Hatchery

by: Dave Washburn, vp comm, FLW Outdoors

(Mar. 22, 2005 - MONROE, La.) Anglers and fishing fans alike have teamed up with FLW Outdoors and its sponsors to make a difference in the Monroe community by donating more than $6,000 to local conservation efforts. At the recent Wal-Mart FLW Tour event held on the Ouachita River March 9-12, FLW Outdoors, the FishAmerica Foundation and Castrol initiated a conservation program through which wristbands were sold for a minimum of $1 and proceeds where donated to a local fisheries enhancement project. The wristbands, which signify support for the preservation and restoration of America’s great fisheries, were purchased by both FLW Tour anglers and fans. According to research conducted by the FishAmerica Foundation, each dollar given will result in 10 adult game fish being added to local waters. A total donation of $6,090, including the wristband proceeds and $5,000 provided by FLW Outdoors through the FishAmerica Foundation, will be used to renovate pond No. 7 at the Monroe Fish Hatchery. The renovation consists of installing a vinyl sheet piling congruently with the existing levee of the pond. Robert Gough, program manager of hatcheries with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, said he is excited to earmark this donation for pond No.7. “Renovating pond No.7 will enhance the educational programs that take place at the hatchery,” Gough said. “The pond is used for a variety of kids’ activities including fishing tournaments and clinics. The piling provides support for the levee and increases the depth of the pond at the hatchery. The reinforcement of the levee will provide a fishable area for the kids and educators. A handrail will also be added to ensure the safety of the children.” In addition to providing educational opportunities, the pond also serves as a hatchery for the Ouachita River and surrounding bodies of water. The pond is home to both Florida bass and small catfish, which are a favorite of the children. The wristband portion of the donation was made possible through the corporate support of Castrol. Castrol has been an FLW Outdoors sponsor since 2002 and continues to find ways to give back to the community. The next opportunity to support the new conservation program is at the Wal-Mart Open held on Beaver Lake April 13-16. All donations received at the tournament will benefit a local fishery. FLW Outdoors is an organization devoted to giving something back to the communities that host its tournaments. As it has in the past, FLW Outdoors will continue to donate a minimum of $5,000 at each of its seven Wal-Mart FLW Tour events in 2005 as well as at a variety of its other tournaments. In 2000, FLW Outdoors announced its partnership with the FishAmerica Foundation, the conservation arm of the American Sportfishing Association. Since then, FLW Outdoors has directly donated more than $250,000 and helped to generate more than $1 million for local conservation projects. “It’s our job to ensure that we leave a fishery in better condition than when we arrive,” said Charlie Evans, president and CEO of FLW Outdoors. “We do this by maintaining an extremely high live-release rate and by contributing funds for conservation efforts in the host cities where our tournaments are held. Our long-term relationship with the FishAmerica Foundation demonstrates our commitment to continually improving America’s finest waters.” Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour and seven other national tournament circuits offering a combined $30 million in awards through 214 events in 2005. The 27-year-old organization is the purveyor of America’s largest and most prestigious fishing tournaments, including the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, EverStart Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour and Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series. For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, call (270) 252-1000.