Bass Pro Shops donating $50,000 to fishing education fund

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The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation said Bass Pro Shops will donate $50,000 to the George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar Education Fund.

The RBFF said the donation will help the fund provide educational fishing and boating opportunities to Hispanic communities and urban areas.

“The need to engage this important audience has been clear to us for several years now, and it’s encouraging to see the same support from such a large player in the industry,” RBFF president and CEO Frank Peterson said in a statement. “Our friends at Bass Pro Shops know just how critical this education fund is to the future of our industry. The work carried out by the George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar Education Fund would not be possible without the support of organizations like Bass Pro Shops, and for that we are grateful.”

The RBFF said that partly because of its work to engage the Hispanic audience through programs such as the education fund, the group’s participation in fishing rose 11 percent, to 3.8 million participants in 2016, according to the 2017 Special Report on Fishing. Hispanics who participate in fishing spend more time on the water, the RBFF said. In fact, the group spends six more days a year on the water than its general market peers.

“Programs receiving funding from the George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar Education Fund have taken major strides in engaging the Hispanic community and inspiring the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts,” said Martin MacDonald, Bass Pro Shops director of conservation. “It was an easy decision for us to continue our support of this important initiative. We’re proud to help create lifelong anglers and boaters that will understand the importance of conservation and positively impact nature for generations.”

The fund was initiated in 2015 with a $125,000 donation from Bass Pro Shops founder and CEO Johnny Morris to increase awareness of and participation in fishing, boating and conservation activities through grassroots educational programs and on-the-water activities held in high-density Hispanic communities.