• B.A.S.S. Names New National Conservation Director

    Statement to B.A.S.S. Nation Presidents, Conservation Directors and Youth Directors:

    August 21, 2013

    Sent on Behalf of Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO

    Dear B.A.S.S. Nation Leader:

    I am pleased to share with you some good news for B.A.S.S. and bass fishing: Gene Gilliland of Oklahoma, a longtime advocate for bass conservation, the B.A.S.S. Nation program and youth fishing initiatives, has been named B.A.S.S. National Conservation Director. Gilliland replaces Noreen Clough, who retired earlier this month.

    Gene is currently assistant chief of the Fisheries Division of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. He will retire from the department on Dec. 31, 2013, and join B.A.S.S. immediately afterward. He began work with ODWC in 1982 as a fishery biologist, later rising to regional supervisor and then assistant chief of fisheries in 2010.

    He became a member of B.A.S.S. in 1969, and he has been involved in the B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation program for two decades. An avid tournament angler since high school, he joined the North Oklahoma City Bassmasters in 1993 and served as the clubís president from 1999 until 2010. He was Oklahoma B.A.S.S. Nation conservation director from 2005 to 2010 and was named Conservation Director of the Year in 2009. He helped incorporate the CastingKids program into boat and tackle show programs in Oklahoma, he helped organize the Oklahoma City Junior Bassmasters club in 2005 and he served as the stateís B.A.S.S. Nation youth director in 2007 and 2008.

    In addition, he is a coauthor, along with Hal Schramm, of Keeping Bass Alive, a Guidebook for Tournament Anglers and Organizers.

    He worked closely with Noreen during the time she led B.A.S.S.ís conservation program and considers her a valuable mentor. While Gene canít assume the new role until the first of next year, he is already helping out as he can. In fact, he is currently attending the Plano Championship Chase Elite Series event in Detroit, where his appointment is being announced publicly.

    Americaís bass fishermen are fortunate that Gene has accepted our invitation to fill this vital role. I encourage you to extend Gene your assistance and support as he prepares to take on this new challenge.


    Bruce Akin
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