A lot has changed in 2020. What has not changed is AFTCO’s commitment to conservation. The 2020 AFTCO x BASS Conservation grant winners were not able to be announced at ICAST this year due to there not being a physical show, but AFTCO still awarded BASS Nation Chapters these grants to complete conservation minded projects and we are proud to announce them here.
In 2018, AFTCO unveiled the AFTCO x BASS Conservation Grant program. This program was designed for the different state’s Bass Nation organizations to get partial funding for conservation minded projects. It has donated 50 thousand dollars in the last three years with this program in collaboration with The B.A.S.S. Nation.
With a long history of conservation in the saltwater realm, in 2018, AFTCO took a large dive into freshwater. AFTCO CEO and Conservation Director Bill Shedd exclaimed “as part of our entrance into the bass fishing clothing world after 60 years focused on saltwater, AFTCO is pleased to partner with B.A.S.S. in this AFTCO/B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation Grant Program. We look forward to supporting local B.A.S.S. Nation conservation projects in their efforts to improve bass habitats and fisheries”.
“Last year was a great year for the AFTCO conservation program” says Shedd, “we donated 17,000 dollars and funded 5 different programs around the US”. 2019 produced over 3000 habitat structures and with the assistance of the AFTCO Bank Bags, one BASS Nation chapter collected over 30,000 pounds of trash from 5 different reservoirs.
2020 brings new projects and some continuations of previous projects. Many of these projects work on habitat restoration to make lakes better adapted to holding gamefish. These are great projects for the chapters to pursue since they are easy to start and easy to involve youth. The involvement of youth is a requirement for these grants to promote the next generation to get involved in not only fishing but conservation as well.
"I have admired AFTCO's commitment to conservation for many years," said B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Gene Gilliland, "and I am very glad to see them step up with these B.A.S.S. Nation grants as they dive into the freshwater bass market. In my 20 years of working in BASS grants, there has not been a conservation program as consistent as the AFTCO Conservation Grant.”
AFTCO’s commitment to conservation has not waivered in the almost 50 years it has been family owned by the Shedd Family. With their new involvement in the freshwater fishing industry, the Shedds are excited to reach the new level of their 10% pledge and their commitment to conservation.