The donation coincides with the 2006 Wal-Mart FLW Tour event presented by Snickers, held Jan. 18-21 on Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston. At the event, the FishAmerica Foundation and Castrol administered a conservation program through which wristbands were sold for a minimum of $1 each, and proceeds were donated to local conservation efforts.
The wristbands, which signify support for the preservation and restoration of America's great fisheries, were purchased by both FLW Tour anglers and fans.
A total donation of $5,460, including the wristband proceeds and $5,000 provided by FLW Outdoors through the FishAmerica Foundation, will be used to restore Lake Okeechobee habitat devastated by consecutive hurricane seasons.
Don Fox, a state biologist for the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission stationed in Clewiston, has the difficult task of assessing the hurricane damage. Fox said both the 2005 and 2006 donations from FLW Outdoors and the FishAmerica Foundation will be used to restore fisheries habitat and enhance the bass population as part of the intricate process of rebuilding the lake.
The next opportunity to support the new conservation program is at the FLW Tour event to be held on Lake Murray Feb. 8-11. All donations received at the tournament will benefit a local fishery.
FLW Outdoors is an organization devoted to giving something back to the communities that host its tournaments. As it has in the past, FLW Outdoors will continue to donate $5,000 at each of its seven FLW Tour events in 2006 as well as at a variety of its other tournaments.
In 2000, FLW Outdoors announced its partnership with the FishAmerica Foundation, the conservation arm of the American Sportfishing Association. Since then, FLW Outdoors has directly donated more than $285,000 and helped to generate more than $1 million for local conservation projects.
"It's our job to ensure that we leave a fishery in better condition than when we arrive," said Charlie Evans, president and CEO of FLW Outdoors. "We do this by maintaining an extremely high live-release rate and by contributing funds for conservation efforts in the host cities where our tournaments are held. Our long-term relationship with the FishAmerica Foundation demonstrates our commitment to continually improving America's finest waters."
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $36.5 million through 235 events in 2006.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.