Media Advisory
Nation’s River Bass Tournament

May 17, 2012

Contacts:
Mari Lou Livingood
202-441-8493 (cell)
202-488-0627 X2222 (office)

John Dillow
202-488-0627 x224 (office)
410-952-6620 (cell)


What: 
On Friday, May 18, 2012, Living Classrooms of the National Capital Region, in partnership with the FLW Outdoors, Pepco, US Fish and Wildlife Service will bring 300 underserved local students by the busloads to fish at National Harbor for the fifth annual Nation’s River Bass Tournament.

For the first time, Forrest L. Wood will be honored as the Honorary Chairman of the 2012 Nation’s River Bass Tournament. The organization's initials are taken from Forrest L. Wood, founder of Ranger Boats and developer of the Ranger fishing boat. The top bass tournament on the FLW Tour, the Forrest Wood Cup, is also named for Wood; the tournament was the first to offer a $1 million prize for the winner, in 2007. Wood is a member of the Professional Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, the International Boating Hall of Fame, National Marine Manufacturers Hall of Fame, Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame, Arkansas Game and Fish Hall of Fame, Arkansas Walk of Fame, and the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission named its Crowley's Ridge Nature Center for Wood, who served a seven-year term on the commission after an appointment by Governor Mike Huckabee from 1998 to 2005.

This unique and lively competition will host urban students, federal natural resource agencies, corporate sponsors, and a dozen other public and private organizations to partner with bass anglers for a morning of fishing and appreciating the resources of the Potomac River. Primary goals of the event are to teach them more about sustainable catch, conservation, and safe boating. The Nation’s River Bass Tournament offers students an opportunity to fish (most of the students for the first time) with volunteer bass anglers and employees of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Each student attending will receive a rod and reel donated by Walmart so they can continue exploring their local environment even after the conclusion of the event. The donation will hope to inspire them to recreate after the bass tournament and is one of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” objectives to fight childhood obesity and connect youth to their natural resources.

When: 
Friday, May 18, 2012 7:00am - 1:00pm

Where: 
The West and East Pier at National Harbor, National Harbor, Maryland  

Who: 
Over 300 DC, Maryland, and Virginia students, Living Classrooms of the National Capital Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of Interior, Pepco, Walmart, FLW Outdoors, Boater Exam, National Harbor, and more than a dozen other public and private partner organizations.  Country music singer and songwriter, Darby Ledbetter will be performing following the Weigh- in celebration at National Harbor pier at 1:00PM. During Darby’s tour in Operation Iraqi Freedom as a National Guard, Darby formed the 3 Rivers Band with fellow soldiers and soon found himself entertaining troops at local concerts in Iraq.

Background: 
Living Classrooms recently completed a hands-on learning course with a Shad Restoration Program working with 4,000 students from 50+ schools in the Washington, DC metropolitan region. Living Classrooms has been working to restore the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers for the last seven years. For more information, please visit www.livingclassroomsdc.org.


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.