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Catawba Show Is a go; RBFF Hands Out Grants

The first in-person boat show on the Great Lakes in more than 15 months is headed for Lake Erie, according to the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association. Meanwhile, the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation announced 16 grants to increase boating and fishing participation in eight states.

After being Covid-cancelled last spring, the Catawba Island Boat Show will mark its 16th year when it drops anchor at the Catawba Island Club from April 30 to May 2 in Port Clinton, Ohio.

“Over the years, this in-water show has become viewed by boaters as the kick-off of Ohio’s boating season, particularly in the Lake Erie region,” says Michelle Burke, LEMTA president. “So to welcome everyone back, we’re going to play up that view by adding new features, including a select food truck rally, live musical entertainment, boating and fishing clinics, wine-tasting events, a craft beer mini-festival and more.”

Even with inventory shortages, dealers are committed to displaying more than 150 powerboats and sailboats, plus exhibits of accessories, equipment, marinas and services in dozens of tents surrounding the picturesque marina basin.

“While we have high expectations the good boat sales we experienced last year will continue,” Burke says, “we’re not taking that for granted. We’re committed to renewing the strong market promotion that our boat shows always generate. For this upcoming show, we believe the increased features will give show visitors a great experience and provide a festive atmosphere in which our exhibitors can welcome all aboard.”

RBFF Awards Grants

More than $106,000 in RBFF grants will go to 16 programs in eight states, and that’s just the beginning. The eight states will fully match those funds through their fish and wildlife agencies and partners, bringing the funding for 2021 to more than $212,000.

The grants are made from the George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar Education Fund, which RBFF created in 2014 when Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris donated the initial $125,000 in honor of his friend, the late President George H.W. Bush. The purpose is to bring conservation education and fishing experiences to Hispanic families in high-density metropolitan areas of Texas and Florida.

As one of the many boating and fishing initiatives RBFF undertakes each year, this program’s reach now goes well beyond those original two states. In the eight states granted this year, a total of 16 local organizations will receive funds to continue their valued programs.

In California:

Cast Hope

East Bay Spanish Speaking Citizens Foundation

Outdoor Outreach

Reel Guppy Outdoors

Sycamore Junior High School

Trout Unlimited

Tuolumne River Preservation Trust

In Florida:

Pasco County Parks Recreation and Natural Resources

In Kansas:

Emporia Migrant Education Program

Fishing’s Future


In Maryland:

One More One Less Mentoring

In Ohio:

The Fishing Foundation

In Oklahoma:

OKC Latina

In Texas:

Fishing’s Future

In Virginia:

Hispanic Access Foundation

RBFF is a national, non-profit organization that has been a leading driver for 20 years— in partnership with the marine industry, fishing and government — to increase participation in boating and fishing, thereby helping to conserve and restore our country’s aquatic natural resources. Key program brands include Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar. As a result, fishing participation is up, boat reregistrations are up, and consumer engagement among the key market segments of women and Hispanics is running at record highs.


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