MINNEAPOLIS (Jan. 26, 2017) – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, has established a new partnership between its nonprofit arm, the FLW Foundation, and Keep America Fishing, the sport’s leading grassroots advocacy group, to implement Keep America Fishing’s Pitch It soft-plastic disposal and recycling program at FLW tournaments. The initiative, rolling out at events from New York to California in early 2017, aims to minimize the number of soft-plastic lures improperly disposed of in our nation’s lakes and rivers.
The FLW Foundation will provide Pitch It bait recycling bins at every FLW tournament across five tournament circuits in 2017. FLW tournament directors will encourage competitors to use the bins onsite and talk to fans about the importance of proper bait disposal. The program will be backed by ads in FLW Bass Fishing magazine and promotion on FLWFishing.com.
“Fishing participation – including tournament competition – is on the rise and soft-plastic lures are the most widely used bait type,” said Liz Ogilvie, American Sportfishing Association’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Those factors combined mean this program is an excellent opportunity to teach both avid anglers and new-comers that conservation is an essential part of the fishing experience. Anglers are the front-line advocates for our fisheries, and properly disposing of trash, including soft plastic baits, is a simple action with a big impact.”
In addition to environmental conservation, the FLW Foundation connects America’s youth to their national resources and promotes education and an active lifestyle. This mission is accomplished through diverse public and private partnerships that teach science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as they relate to the outdoors, encourage an active lifestyle with time outside enjoying our nation’s rich natural resources, and provide funding and support for high school and college initiatives relevant to conservation, fishing and healthy outdoor activities.
“In addition to youth fishing recruitment, retention and reactivation, the FLW Foundation seeks to advance sound conservation practices, environmental stewardship and boating safety,” said FLW Vice President of Operations Dave Washburn. “As leaders in the bass fishing community, FLW anglers have a responsibility to protect our lakes and rivers for future generations by recycling worn-out soft-plastic baits. Our goal is for tournament anglers to lead the way in bait recycling just as they led the way in establishing the nearly universal catch-and-release ethic that helps ensure vibrant bass fisheries.”
To learn more about the Pitch It program, or to make the Pledge to Pitch It, please visit pledgetopitchit.org.
To learn more about the FLW Foundation and its initiatives, or to make a donation, please visit FLWFishing.com/foundation.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 274 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat: @FLWFishing.
About Keep America Fishing
Keep America Fishing® is the grassroots advocacy program of the American Sportfishing Association, working to ensure that America’s 46 million anglers have clean waters, abundant fisheries and access to both. Learn more, join and take action on fisheries issues at home and across the country at KeepAmericaFishing.org.