I am continually amazed on how quickly time goes by. I would like to start off with a greeting and congratulate those who are still with their New Year’s resolution, and to those who are not I encourage you to recommit. There’s no shame in starting again.

We had a very busy sport-show-season this year and Carol and I were extremely excited to meet all our new friends who are just as excited as we are to make fishing better. In all, we attended five Boat, Sport and Fishing Tackle shows this year, and we saw an overall increase of support through membership and donations. Now we move into the process of following up and establishing contacts with several individuals with a business interest in the fishing industry. This will be an ongoing process and a big part of what makes us successful in the future.

We completed our search for the National Fundraising Coordinator and would like to thank all the applicants for this important position. Please join me in welcoming Mark Boyd from Appleton, Wisconsin as the new National Fundraising Coordinator for Bass Unlimited. Mark comes to us with an extensive background and a bucket-load of experience in the fishing industry. His passion for the sport is a wonderful fit with our foundation.

We have wrapped up the Spring Habitat projects and wish to thank Kevin Altmeyer and the Mill Creek Park Board of Directors for helping with the coordinating of volunteers and equipment needed for the 2017 habitat project. And of course, a huge thank you to all the volunteers who took time out of their busy schedules to help out with the habitat placement projects at Mill Creek Lake. For our Sullivan Park project we extend our thanks to the owners of Horns Mower Shop, Amanda and Kenny Barnhart, for the use of their trailer to deliver the materials. I would like to thank Andy Hall and Steve Hinsley for helping with the coordinating of the volunteers and equipment and big thank you to all the volunteers who showed to help with the trees, to those who brought their boats, and to all that showed the willingness to work and put out an abundance of habitat. Between both projects we had a total of 32 volunteers who helped with equipment, delivery of materials, scheduling, coordinating the volunteer help and the placement of habitat in the lakes. As always, without our volunteers we can’t do the great work we do. Your involvement is greatly appreciated.

The first phase of the Raccoon Lake fish habitat project has been completed with the placement of offshore rock piles by the INDNR Fish and Wildlife division. We are looking forward to completing the 2nd phase of this project with the construction of 200 artificial fish habitat structures in September this year. The second half of the habitat project will be ultimately determined by the number of volunteers who sign up to help build these structures. This will take place in September; however the exact date has yet to be determined by the INDNR. Additional information regarding the date of the build will be announced on our website and Facebook pages as soon as we hear from the INDNR.

As we enter the second quarter of 2017, preparations and planning are in motion for the Sullivan Family Fishing Rodeo scheduled on June 10. We are also looking forward to the Bass Unlimited High School Bass Tournament Cup, August 6th as well as our 3rd Annual Indiana Bass Unlimited Banquet set for August and the first Wisconsin Bass Unlimited Banquet set for early October in Appleton. More details will be announced soon through our Facebook page and the BU website. Spring is here folks – get out fishing and introduce a friend to this wonderful sport!

Sincerely your friend in fishing

Wil Newlin
Bass Unlimited Foundation