Gulf Coast Council
Founded in the fall of 2006, the Gulf Coast Council (GCC) was comprised of the southern half of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and south Alabama. At that time, the Texas State Fish, the Guadalupe Bass, was facing hybridization with non-native smallmouth bass. In early 2007, the GCC and group of its associate member clubs in Texas applied to the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) for a Conservation Grant. This grant would allow the GCC to team with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to raise and stock native Guadalupe Bass fingerlings into the Upper Guadalupe River and tributaries in Kerr County, TX.
The Guadalupe Bass Restoration Project funding request was awarded by the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) in the fall of 2007, and the project was soon completed.
The revised Gulf Coast Council (Louisiana, Mississippi and South Alabama) officially formed in November 2012 with a focus on conservation.
For a number of years, the fisheries of Mobile Bay have been in steady decline, but artificial reefs have been proven to increase fish populations and opportunities for fisherman in the Bay. These reefs are easily accessible for fishermen with small boats or kayaks and provide recreational incentives for tourism. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Marine Resources Division (ANDR) is currently spearheading a four acre reef project in the Bay near Point Clear, AL.
To bring awareness to the fly fishing community about Mobile Bay’s fisheries, the Eastern Shore Fly Fishers (ESFF) and the GCC applied to the International Federation of Fly Fishers (IFFF) for a Small Conservation Grant to help fund this reef creation. The IFFF approved this grant of $1,500 to the GCC. The GCC has matched those funds and additional funds are coming from the ESFF ($1,000). The ANDR will be matching these donated funds ($4,000) three to one, for a total of $16,000 to use for this artificial reef enhancement.
“It is through partnerships such as this that we are able to maximize the benefits for the marine resources and fishermen of Alabama,” said Chris Blankenship, Director of Marine Resources for Alabama.