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Entries in conservation (198)

Thursday
Dec142017

Friends of Reservoirs Helps Make Fishing Better

Through its grant programs, Friends of Reservoirs (FOR) helps makes fishing better for millions of anglers.

Founded in 2010, it is a tax-deductible non-profit foundation dedicated to protecting and/or restoring fisheries habitat in reservoir systems nationwide.

"Our goal is to promote the protection, restoration, and enhancement of habitat for fish and other aquatic species in reservoir systems.  We are committed to  integrating watershed conservation, in-reservoir management, and the management of downstream flows to attain more holistic and coherent strategies for addressing aquatic habitat impairment issues in reservoir systems."

Click here to find out how you can help FOR continue to make fishing better. And here's information on the grant programs:

Large Project Grant

The Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership (RFHP) annually provides grants to partially fund large-scale reservoir fisheries habitat enhancement projects. The grants are funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through the National Fish Habitat Partnership that is then distribution by the Reservoir Fish Habitat Partnership for projects addressing reservoir fisheries habitat impairments. Proposed projects can be focused on habitat issues in the reservoir proper and/or in watersheds above the reservoir and/or tailwaters below. RFHP typically awards 4-5 grants annually in the $10,000-$40,000 range.

Small Project Grant

The Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership (RFHP) and the Friends of Reservoirs foundation (FOR) provide an annual small grants program available exclusively to Friends of Reservoirs member organizations. FOR membership dues are used solely to fund this program. As membership in FOR expands, we will increase the number of projects funded and/or increase the dollar value of the grants.

Mossback and FOR Small Grant

Friends of Reservoirs Foundation (FOR) are partnering with King Enterprises, makers of Mossback artificial fish habitat products to announce their small grants program available exclusively to Friends of Reservoirs member organizations. Mossback has been a corporate sponsor of Friends of Reservoirs for several years and wants to work with FOR members in restoring structural habitat in public waters. Mossback is offering 3 $1,000 grants of Mossback products exclusively to FOR members. The retail value of the grants is approximately $1,500 if purchased directly from Mossback. The grant is for Mossback Fish Habitat products only and recipients will be responsible for associated freight costs.

 

Friday
Oct132017

Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium Opens at Bass Pro Shops Headquarters

Former President George W. Bush is in center and former President Jimmy Carter on far right.Johnny Morris opened the new Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium at his Bass Pro Shops world headquarters in Springfield, Mo., in late September. The massive property is a tribute to fish and wildlife conservation  in our country, as well as entertaining tourist attraction, and education facility.

Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush attended the gala opening, as did celebrities such as Mark Wahlberg and Kevin Costner, along with fishing legends Bill Dance, Roland Martin, and Jimmy Houston.

Mark Wahlberg in Wonders of Wildlife aquariumFollowing is a description of the museum as provided by Bass Pro Shops:

Massive: 340,000 square feet with 1.4 miles of immersive trails, interactive surprises and creative exhibits, including 1.5 million gallons of fresh and saltwater aquariums;

Global: 35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds represent more than 800 species from around the world;

Immersive: Fully immersive wildlife galleries feature 4D dioramas that transport guests to the wildest places on earth through sights, sounds, smells and climates. You’ll feel the chill of the Arctic, the cold winds of the Himalayas, the dry sun of the African Savannah, and more.

Conservation-focused: Partnerships with more than 40 leading conservation organizations help share the story of conservation from  Native Americans to Lewis and Clark and modern-day wildlife management. Countless artifacts make it real, including Hemingway’s boat and personal possessions from our conservation president Teddy Roosevelt, to name a few.

Fun: Johnny’s signature creativity and attention-to-detail ensures there are surprises around every corner to amaze guests of all ages. From stepping inside a massive “open ocean” ring-shaped aquarium, to trekking across a sprawling 50,000-square foot re-creation of the African Savannah and going underwater and eye-to-eye with piranha, you will encounter special touches and experience adventures that must be seen to be believed.

Monday
Sep182017

Pledge to Take Someone Fishing, Earn Chance to win 'Ultimate Outdoor Experience'

By pledging to introduce someone to the outdoors between now and NHF Day on Saturday, Sept. 23, participants will be eligible to win a Richard Childress Racing VIP race weekend package or the Ultimate Outdoor Experience in America’s Conservation Capital from Big Cedar Lodge and Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium.

How a Good Idea Became a Great Tradition

More than 100 years ago, hunters and anglers were the earliest and most vocal supporters of conservation and scientific wildlife management. They were the first to recognize that rapid development and unregulated uses of wildlife were threatening the future of many species.

   Led by fellow sportsman President Theodore Roosevelt, these early conservationists called for the first laws restricting the commercial slaughter of wildlife. They urged sustainable use of fish and game, created hunting and fishing licenses, and lobbied for taxes on sporting equipment to provide funds for state conservation agencies. These actions were the foundation of the North American wildlife conservation model, a science-based, user-pay system that would foster the most dramatic conservation successes of all time. Populations of white-tailed deer, elk, antelope, wild turkey, wood ducks and many other species began to recover from decades of unregulated exploitation.

During the next half-century, in addition to the funds they contributed for conservation and their diligent watch over the returning health of America’s outdoors, sportsmen worked countless hours to protect and improve millions of acres of vital habitat—lands and waters for the use and enjoyment of everyone.

In the 1960s, hunters and anglers embraced the era's heightened environmental awareness but were discouraged that many people didn't understand the crucial role that sportsmen had played-and continue to play-in the conservation movement.

The first to suggest an official day of thanks to sportsmen was Ira Joffe, owner of Joffe's Gun Shop in Upper Darby, Pa. In 1970, Pennsylvania Gov. Raymond Shafer adopted Joffe's idea and created "Outdoor Sportsman's Day" in the state.

With determined prompting from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the concept soon emerged on the floor of the U.S. Senate. In June 1971, Sen. Thomas McIntyre, N.H., introduced Joint Resolution 117 authorizing National Hunting and Fishing Day on the fourth Saturday of every September. Rep. Bob Sikes, Fla., introduced an identical measure in the House. In early 1972, Congress unanimously passed both bills.

On May 2, 1972, President Nixon signed the first proclamation of National Hunting and Fishing Day, writing, "I urge all citizens to join with outdoor sportsmen in the wise use of our natural resources and in insuring their proper management for the benefit of future generations."

By late summer, all 50 governors and over 600 mayors had joined in by proclaiming state and local versions of National Hunting and Fishing Day. The response was dramatic.

National, regional, state and local organizations staged some 3,000 "open house" hunting- and fishing-related events everywhere from shooting ranges to suburban frog ponds, providing an estimated four million Americans with a chance to experience, understand and appreciate traditional outdoor sports.

Over the years, National Hunting and Fishing Day boasted many more public relations successes, assisted by celebrities who volunteered to help spotlight the conservation accomplishments of sportsmen and women. Honorary chairs have included George Bush, Tom Seaver, Hank Williams Jr., Arnold Palmer, Terry Bradshaw, George Brett, Robert Urich, Ward Burton, Louise Mandrell, Travis Tritt, Tracy Byrd, Jeff Foxworthy and many other sports and entertainment figures.

National Hunting and Fishing Day, celebrated the fourth Saturday of every September, remains the most effective grassroots efforts ever undertaken to promote the outdoor sports and conservation.

Tuesday
Aug012017

More than 5,000 Lionfish Removed From Florida Waters

Already this year, more than 5,000 invasive lionfish have been removed from Florida waters as part of the annual  campaign that runs from Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day on May 20 and ends Sept. 4.

"There’s still plenty of time to compete in this year’s Lionfish Challenge," said the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

"Over 5,000 lionfish have been removed from Florida waters thanks to the program, including nearly 3,700 recreational fish removals and more than 1,200 pounds commercially (equates to about 1,400 fish)."

The challenge rewards lionfish harvesters with prizes such as T-shirts, tumblers, heat packs for stings, pole spears, an extra spiny lobster per day during the two-day sport season, and much more. It only takes 25 lionfish (or 25 pounds commercially) to qualify for the program and the more lionfish you enter, the more prizes you will receive. Plus, all participants are entered into a raffle to win even more prizes such as Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium gift bags, ZombieStickz pole spears and customized ZooKeeper Lionfish Containment Units.

The persons with the most lionfish at the end of the competition will be crowned the Lionfish King or Queen (recreational category) and the Commercial Champion at the Lionfish Safari tournament in St. Petersburg the weekend of Sept. 9.

To find out how to participate in the challenge, go here.

Sunday
Jul302017

Please, Pick Up That Line!

Pippa found some fishing line this morning. It was spread across about 10 yards of shoreline. As it tangled her feet, she wasn't happy about her discovery. If left there, the line could have been far more harmful or even fatal to a turtle, bird, or small mammal.

A special "thanks" and a one-finger salute to those who left it there.

Such thoughtless jerks aren't going to change. It's up to the rest of us to pick up after them because we are better human beings than they are. Please join me in doing so whenever you are on or near the water.