Forestville, WI – Renewing their commitment with the National Professional Anglers Association, US Forest Service spokesman Nick Schmal said, “The NPAA is the perfect partner for the delivery of our message.” Schmal is the Eastern Regional (20 states) fisheries biologist, based in Milwaukee.
“The Forest Service is big on partnerships,” he said, “And a big part of our work plan is to support youth fishing clinics and the pro anglers who do the teaching.” Citing the strategic networking opportunity, Schmal said, “This is a great outreach for youth.” Touching a much larger audience is significant. Last year the NPAA hosted just over 50 events impacting nearly 9,000 youthful participants and their parents, and this year they’re already looking at 80 events and thousands more kids.
Schmal said, “One thing I found out over the past few years is that pros like Marianne Huskey, Rick Zachowski and Johnnie Candle want to give back. When I see that, it’s another reason to contribute. It’s going on all over the place. Greg Karch (NPAA Future Angler Event committee chair) is passionate, and deserves major kudos for all he does.” Pat Neu, NPAA executive director said, “We value our partnership with the Forest Service. They make possible the one-on-one classes and seminars with all these future fishermen.”
Tournament anglers are important to the Forest Service, because they can promote the message of protecting the nation’s waterways. Schmal said, “The NPAA has nearly 600 members, tons of programs in dozens of communities, encourages youngsters to join them at tournaments, and these guys and gals have the expertise to convince people that the waters within Forest Service boundaries and beyond are valuable.”
The NPAA has exhibited significant growth over the past several years, and both the NPAA and the Forest Service share the same passion. “The leadership in Washington D.C. is very interested in the numbers reached. The images and reports they see will likely convince them to fold their Urban Connection programs into youth outreach programs to make more kids aware of the outdoors and public lands,” he said. The Forest Service agreement with NPAA reads in part, “…to help the public exercise wise use of natural resources and responsible outdoor recreational ethics for future generations.” “We’re looking forward to expanding our NPAA relationship in 2014.”
The Forest Service works closely with Great Lakes Sea Grant and Wildlife Forever, both NPAA Supporting Partners. A combined effort created a DVD “Defending Favorite Places,” that teaches hunters and anglers about aquatic invasive species threats. Information, literature and DVDs are available at www.fs.fed.us/invasivespecies , www.wildlifeforever.org , and www.seagrant.wisc.edu/home .
The Forest Service is also involved in the expansion of boat washing stations across the Forest Service lands in the Upper-Midwest. These portable stations are designed to be used at high traffic boat launches during key times of the year in part to teach boaters the proper method to clean their boats to prevent the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species. Clean, Drain, and Dry is the key to slow the spread of AIS.
The NPAA is a non-profit organization focused on growing the sport of fishing and increasing the professionalism of its members. Supporting Partners include: Advanced Tex Screen-printing, Cabela’s National Walleye Tour, The Walleye Federation, Evinrude Outboards, Fishouflage, Frabill, Plano, Great Lakes Sea Grant, Lund Boat Co, Mercury Marine, Milwaukee Muskie Expo, Navionics, Nebulus Floatation, Optima Batteries, Outdoor First Media, Pure Fishing, Ranger Boats, Skeeter Boats, The Next Bite, The Reel Shot-Home of the J.J. Keller Fishing Team, Triton Boats, U.S. Forest Service, Wildlife Forever, Worldwide Marine Underwriters, Yamaha Motor Co., Arrowhead Promotion and Fulfillment, Bait Rigs, G2-Gemini, Kingfisher, Liddle Marketing Company, Motor Guide, Mutual of Omaha, National Fleet Graphics, Northland Fishing Tackle, Oahe Wings and Walleyes, Off Shore Tackle, Pasha Lake Cabins, PK Lures, RDM Insurance Company, Simms Fishing, Strike King, SmarTech Inc., Warrior Boats, High Tech Fishing, Financial Planning Services, Lowe Manufacturing Co Inc, and O2 Marine Technologies Inc. More NPAA annual conference, member and association news can be viewed at www.npaa.net.
Pat Neu: NPAA headquarters – (920)856-6151