Fishing & Boating News

Pro Bass Anglers, Community Team Up To Preserve Local Fishery

(Apr. 22, 2005 - Rogers, AR.) Anglers and fishing fans alike have teamed up with FLW Outdoors and its sponsors to make a difference in the Rogers community by donating more than $6,500 to local conservation efforts. At the recent Wal-Mart Open held on Beaver Lake April 13-16, FLW Outdoors, the FishAmerica Foundation and Castrol administered a conservation program through which wristbands were sold for a minimum of $1 each, and proceeds were 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. A total donation of $6,700, including the wristband proceeds and $5,000 provided by FLW Outdoors through the FishAmerica Foundation, will be used to place 15 to 20 PVC fish shelters in Beaver Lake. The fish shelters are constructed by stacking the PVC pipes against one another crossways in several layers and using durable, plastic zip ties to fasten them together. According to Ron Moore, district fisheries biologist for the Arkansas Fish and Game Commission, the PVC pipe makes for great fisheries habitat. “It works so well because it is a permanent structure and it’s so easy to assemble,” he said. “The material is light enough where you can move it, but it’s heavy enough in water so it sinks pretty well.” The fish shelters will provide suitable habitat for a variety of species including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, crappies, catfish and sunfish. Moore, along with fellow district fisheries biologist Steven Brown, will oversee the project. “In a matter of time, algae will form around the pipes, attracting minnows and other baitfish,” Moore said. “It’s a complex structure that provides cover for the smaller fish. Once the baitfish are established, larger fish will come in search of any easy meal.” Moore says the plan is to scatter the attractors across Beaver Lake. “Last year we put 28 in the lower section of the lake, and this year we’ll likely place them in the upper and middle sections.” Since 1998, FLW Outdoors has donated more than $60,000 to restore fish habitat in Beaver Lake. 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 FLW Tour event presented by Pedigree on Wheeler Lake May 11-14. 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 nearly $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.