FLW OUTDOORS, LA PLATA COMMUNITY TEAM UP TO PRESERVE LOCAL
$5,640 donation to pay for bass-tagging study on Potomac River
LA PLATA, Md.
(July 5, 2005) - Anglers and fishing fans have teamed up with
FLW Outdoors and its sponsors to help preserve and enhance the
largemouth bass population on the Potomac River near La Plata,
Md. Over $5,600 was donated for a bass-tagging project that
will help to maximize stocking efficiency. During the sixth
stop of the 2005 Wal-Mart FLW Tour, FLW Outdoors contributed
$5,000 to local fisheries-enhancement needs through the FishAmerica
Foundation, as it does at every tour destination. The June 22-25
Chevy Open on the Potomac River yielded another $640 for the
cause through fans and competitors who purchased special wristbands.
New in 2005, FLW Outdoors, FAF and BP-Castrol are administering
a conservation program through which wristbands, which signify
support for the preservation and restoration of America's great
fisheries, are sold for a minimum of $1 each. Proceeds are donated
to a local fisheries-enhancement project. The $5,640 donation
to the Maryland Inland Fisheries Department will pay for a bass-tagging
study in the freshwater portion of the Potomac River in Maryland.
The goal of the project is to maximize stocking efficiency by
determining survival rates as a function of size. The tagged
bass will also be used to verify aging procedures, which will
lead to better estimates of growth and mortality. "We stocked
somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 fish earlier this month,"
said Don Cosden, chief of regional operations for Maryland's
Inland Fisheries Department. The fish that were stocked were
marked with the use of calcein. The calcein markings provide
a quick, nonlethal method of differentiating between wild and
hatchery fish. "You can track smaller fish with calcein, which
is an advantage," added Cosden. "We don't have to sacrifice
fish with this method." In years past, the department typically
stocked bass that were approximately 2 or 3 inches in length.
The bass that were recently stocked were less than half an inch.
"Are we going to be successful in stocking these fish at a smaller
size?" Cosden asked rhetorically. "Are we going to get an adequate
survival? If it is equal, then presumably it makes more sense
to stock the smaller fish, mainly because we can stock more
fish and because it's less expensive. We'll be tweaking our
procedures in the future to be as efficient as possible." The
wristband portion of the donation was made possible through
the corporate support of BP-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 will be at the Forrest L. Wood Championship
July 13-16 in Hot Springs, Ark., on Lake Hamilton. 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,
visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.