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You Can Compete for $100,000 on Lake Conroe

Now’s the time to sign up for a chance to win $100,000 in the Sharelunker Club Tournament (SCT) on Lake Conroe, Oct. 1-21.

A $100 fee is required to become a member and only pre-registered members will be eligible for the $100,000 prize. The member who catches the largest Toyota ShareLunker from Lake Conroe during the tournament period will win a cash prize of $100,000. A portion of program proceeds will benefit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s youth outreach programs.

Additionally, the SCT will kick off the annual Toyota ShareLunker Program across the state of Texas. It runs through April 30, with the mission of promoting the catch-and-release of large fish and selectively breeding trophy largemouth bass. A bass must weigh at least 13 pounds to be entered in the program.

A press release from Texas Parks and Wildlife says the following:

The ShareLunker Club Tournament is the perfect way to cap off the Toyota Texas Bass Classic and continue the excitement from the event, which will be held on Lake Conroe, Sept. 28-30.  

The Toyota Texas Bass Classic will feature 50 of the best professional anglers in the world along with three days of concerts and expos, with the anglers battling it out to claim the title of the world’s best.

The Toyota Texas Bass Classic tournament functions are operated by the Professional Anglers Association with technical assistance and support from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Inland Fisheries Division. Title sponsor for the event is Toyota.

Limited quantities of free tickets are available this year to the three-day outdoor music festival and professional bass fishing world championship. 


Recreational Fishing Threatened in Australia

Recreational fishing in Australia is perhaps even more imperiled than it is in the United States.  Down under, officials are considering a Marine Reserves Network, which the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) says “would close millions of miles of water to fishing and boating.”

In response, Australia’s anglers and fishing industry have formed Keep Australia Fishing, similar to our own Keep America Fishing. A “Don’t Lock Us Out” campaign generated nearly 10,000 submissions to stop the reserves network.

But Keep Australia Fishing warns, “The fight is not yet over. There is still a long way to go on fighting the government’s decision.”

Anglers in the United States would do well to check out the Keep Australia Fishing website to learn what will be coming our way if President Obama wins re-election and continues implementation of the National Ocean Policy (NOP).

The NOP will “zone” uses of our waters, telling us where we can and cannot fish. And you can bet that preservationists, both within the administration and in environmental groups, will have a seat at the “big table” as those zoning decisions are made.


B.A.S.S. Powerful Force for Conservation


New York's Paul Hudson empties line recycling bin at launch site.

If people know about B.A.S.S. at all, what they usually know is that it’s a tournament fishing organization. If they are anglers, they might also be aware that its founder, Ray Scott, popularized catch-and-release, a conservation practice now utilized worldwide among sports fishermen.

But B.A.S.S. is much more than that. Through its National Conservation Director (Noreen Clough) and through its state B.A.S.S. Federation Nation members, it is a powerful force for stewardship and protection of angler rights.

The director works mostly behind the scenes, partnering with groups such as the American Sport Fishing Association and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation to present a united front for anglers. She also provides guidance for state and club conservation directors, all of whom are volunteers.

State chapters and clubs, meanwhile are the conservation backbone of B.A.S.S. and do much great work to protect and enhance fisheries. For the most part, it’s work that goes unrecognized.

Here’s what 1,954 B.A.S.S. volunteers did through 12,886 hours of effort during 2011:

  • 10 tons of trash removed
  • 1,662 artificial habitats placed
  • 15 miles of roadways cleaned
  • $505,700 raised for charities and conservation
  • 7,366 acres improved by habitat placement
  • 5,000 pounds of invasive grass carp removed
  • 4 tons of invasive plants removed
  • 350 water willows planted
  • 600 bass tagged

As a Life member and Senior Writer/Conservation for B.A.S.S., I’m extremely proud of my organization. 


Carp Kisser!

Are those the lips that you’d like to smooch? What if their owner wanted to kiss you?

That’s the situation that a yellow lab found itself in at Lake Mead.

Check it out.


Florida Encourages Harvest of Exotic Lionfish to Protect Fisheries

Florida officials have initiated an aggressive new strategy in hopes of preventing exotic lionfish from decimating fisheries.

A fishing license is not required to harvest the invaders by spear and hand-held nets. The license requirement still is in place for those who fish with hook and line, but lionfish rarely are taken by that method.

"They (divers) are our best possible chance to control them," said John Hunt, director of the Conservation Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute lab in the Florida Keys.

Hunt also acknowledged that the predatory fish from the South Pacific and Indian Ocean never will be eradicated from Florida waters.

Lionfish were first identified on Florida’s east coast in 1985, likely as a result of being released by aquarium hobbyists. Since 2009, however, sightings have become common all along the coast and up into the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Resource managers fear that they will outcompete native fish for food and eliminate organisms that keep reefs healthy.

"We don't have all the evidence yet, but we're concerned," Hunt said.

Read the full story here.