By FishRecycler | December 20, 2011
Recycled Fish and B.A.S.S. Conservation are proud to be partnered for the stewardship of our waters. B.A.S.S. Conservation is a proactive leader in addressing the nation’s vital aquatic conservation issues. The B.A.S.S. Conservation deals with six fundamental issues vital to the future health of the nation’s aquatic resources: habitat, aquatic nuisance species, aquatic vegetation management, angler access, fish health and tournament fish care.
B.A.S.S. has long been associated with conservation efforts to protect the rights to fish public waters, and as an advocate for clean water. At the forefront of these efforts is Tim Cook, a State Conservation Director for the Texas B.A.S.S. Federation Nation. Each Conservation Director volunteers his time working with state agencies and state government to be a voice for anglers, giving each of them a seat at the table when decisions are made which impact our sport and the resources we rely on.
“One of the strongest resources we have is the 48 State Federation Nation programs around the country and each of their State Conservation Directors,” Tim explains. “The State Conservation Directors are the eyes and ears of the organization.”
B.A.S.S. Conservation has several key priorities they focus on, such as access to public waters, habitat regulations and water quality. At the State level, the Conservation Directors regularly attend meetings, particularly on advisory boards and organizing habitat projects for the member clubs.
At the Federal level, Noreen Clough, the National Director, sits on many advisory boards and works closely with American Sportfishing Association, National Assembly of Sportsman’s Caucuses, Department of the Interior and others.
Tim has been a State Conservation Director since 2003 and was honored in 2006 as the National Conservation Director of the Year.
This past year, when Texas Parks and Wildlife Department long time Inland Fisheries Fish Chief Phil Durocher retired, Tim was one of only three non-agency partners asked to serve on a committee and interview potential candidates to replace him.
He was also one of 23 steering committee members on the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program (EARIP) .
In 2011, Texas endured the most devastating drought that most in the state can remember experiencing in their lifetimes. Lakes and ponds were going dry during the summer and crop yields were drastically diminished. This is distressing for nearly everyone, but particularly those who love to fish those vanishing waters. Tim used the term “dire.”
“As the population continues to increase and demand for water skyrockets, we are going to face water shortages never seen before,” he says. “Water for fish and recreation will be an afterthought unless we have a seat at the table making sure that water for wildlife and recreation is considered. We must promote water conservation and proper management now. This is the biggest challenge facing our sport in the future of Texas.”
With everything on Tim’s plate, does he manage to find time to fish himself? Yes, and to the tune of five largemouth bass over 10-pounds, including a personal best of 12.25 pounds!
He even got a chance to do a little amateur guiding on Choke Canyon at the request of TPWD when Jim Martin, the Director of the Berkely Conservation Institute came to town to speak at a fisheries conference. On their special day on the water, Jim caught one of his personal best largemouth bass, pictured here.
Tim wants everyone to understand the challenges each state faces and encourages anglers to get in touch with their local B.A.S.S. affiliated club. You can learn more at the B.A.S.S. Conservation website by going to bassmaster.com/conservation or email Tim directly to get involved in Texas.
To hear about the issues as they unfold, be sure to visit and subscribe to Tim’s personal blog, The Angler Advocate.
– Josh Milczski
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