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BFHOF Report

The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame (BFHOF) invites bass anglers both in the U.S. and Canada to support that mission by bidding on items during its ‘Classic Week’ online auction.

To participate, simply visit BidPal.net/Classic2023 and bid on a large lineup of jerseys from many Bassmaster Classic anglers, along with an assortment of fishing tackle, marine items, and many other fishing-themed gear. The auction is now live and will end at noon on Monday, March 27.

 Among the more unique items up for bid include pro angler Tyler Rivet’s ripped-sleeve jersey from his win at the B.A.S.S. Elite event on Lake Okeechobee earlier this year, a large list of new bass rods and reels being introduced at the Classic Expo from leading brands including Abu Garcia, Academy Sports & Outdoors, Lew’s, St. Croix, and Daiwa, along with lure bundles to fill any tackle box from the likes of Bizz Baits, Booyah Bait Co., Damiki, Missile Baits, Rapala, Strike King, and YUM. There’s also a special package for two to attend the 2023 BFHOF Induction Ceremony being held on Sept. 28 at Johnny Morris’ Wonder of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium in Springfield, Mo. where the Hall’s venue is located.

BFHOF Report

To assure future efforts to protect our fisheries are supported, the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame Board is instituting a college scholarship program for students seeking a degree in a natural resource field with an end goal of becoming a practicing fishery manager.

Up to $15,000 will be awarded in July 2023 to the selected applicants. Applications for the scholarship are now being accepted at https://www.bassfishinghof.com/scholarship.

“Within many fishery management agencies, there is a definitive need to fill vacant positions with qualified individuals who understand and have a passion for both the sport of bass fishing and the science needed to manage those fisheries,” said BFHOF Board president John Mazurkiewicz. “Spearheaded by Gene Gilliland, Casey Shedd, and our Conservation Committee, this new scholarship program fits in ideally with the Hall’s mission of celebrating, promoting, and preserving the sport by supporting those whose future career path will focus on healthy fisheries, needed access, and clean rivers, lakes and reservoirs.”

BFHOF Report

Conservation project grants will again be offered by the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.

Since 2020, the Hall has provided more than $50,000 in grants to fund conservation efforts focused on enhancing fish habitat, tournament fish care, better public access, cleaner water, and similar projects that promote stewardship.

“We are also encouraging youth-oriented conservation projects that benefit local fisheries,” said Gene Gilliland who chairs the BHFOF’s Conservation Committee. “Projects we will support with these grants must have the endorsement of local fishery management agencies and be the right type of investment that coincides with the Hall’s mission.”

Past BFHOF conservation grants recipient efforts have included habitat enhancement work on lakes within Tennessee’s Bill Dance Fishing Trail, at Lake Belton in Texas, and also in Goose Lake at the Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area in Illinois. Grant funds have also assisted in building a ‘mobile fish care trailer’ used at high school tournaments in Alabama. Additional grants over the years have been used for projects in Colorado, Iowa, Indiana, and Virginia.

Boat U.S. Report

Boat Ramps

It’s a question that’s been asked a million times: “Is everyone paying their fair share?” When it comes to those who recreate on the water together non-motorized and motorized vessel operators who mutually benefit from the use of launch ramps, boating safety programs, conservation efforts and more, a recently released U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) study says that answer remains unclear.

Discussions on the equitability of contributions to the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, a user-pay/user-benefit grant program administered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, began from a mandate included in the Trust Fund’s 2021 Reauthorization from Congress.

Trust Fund revenue comes directly from import duties or excise taxes vessel operators pay on sportfishing equipment such as tackle boxes and fishing rods, but the single largest bucket of funding (49%) for the Trust Fund come from a special tax that only motorboat operators pay on fuel.

BASS Report

Applications are being accepted until April 15 for the 2023 Noreen Clough Memorial Scholarship for Females in Fisheries. The two scholarships will honor female graduate students with a demonstrated commitment to pursuing a career in fishery management and conservation. The women selected will best reflect Noreen’s passion and commitment to the profession and to the sport of fishing.

This will be the seventh year that the American Fisheries Society Black Bass Conservation Committee and B.A.S.S. have awarded the scholarships. In 2022 the honors went to Iowa State University student Madeline Lewis of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and Noel Schmitz, of Sparta, Wis., who is studying at The Ohio State University.