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.