KISSIMMEE, Fla. (Feb. 1518, 2005) — In an effort to promote conservation among the fisheries that host its professional bass tournaments, FLW Outdoors has donated $5,000 to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The donation, provided by FLW Outdoors through the FishAmerica Foundation, will be used to re-establish native aquatic vegetation on central Florida’s Lake Tohopekaliga.

The donation coincides with the 2005 Wal-Mart FLW Tour event that was presented by Snickers and held Feb. 9-12 on Lake Tohopekaliga in Kissimmee. Last spring the city of Kissimmee removed several layers of muck from a 127-acre area of the lake known as the Mill Slough. The next step in the process is to revegetate the area to provide adequate fish and wildlife habitat, which the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will oversee. The reintroduction of native vegetation consists of establishing such plant life as eelgrasses, bulrush stands, Illinois pondweed and cypress trees.

Adriene Landrum, bioligist for the conservation commission’s Kissimmee field office, said the project should be completed by the end of May. “We had a successful drawdown last year and removed the exotics from the area,” said Landrum, who will manage the revegetation project. “The next step is to reintroduce the native vegetation before the exotics return.

“We are conducting this project to beautify the area and to establish suitable habitat for the existing species of sport fish. Specifically, the native grasses we’ll plant will serve as nursery grounds for young fish.”

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 Wal-Mart FLW Tour events in 2005 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 $250,000 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 and seven other national tournament circuits offering a combined $30 million in awards through 214 events in 2005. The 27-year-old organization is the purveyor of America’s largest and most prestigious fishing tournaments, including the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, EverStart 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 and Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series.

For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.