Just one month remains in the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust membership drive with a Hell's Bay Boatworks Lodge Edition Waterman skiff as the grand prize to one lucky person who joins.
The Hell's Bay 18 ft. shallow water skiff, complete with a Yamaha outboard and trailer, valued at $35,000 is BTT's ultimate trophy in its membership sweepstakes ending Dec. 31.
BTT spokesman Aaron Adams said, "The great thing about the Hell's Bay boat for the sweepstakes is it's helped to raise substantial attention for BTT, increasing our membership numbers which helps bring us funds for our research and conservation programs."
For years the popular non-profit science-based BTT has championed a proactive approach to fisheries management with research and studies.
"Our conservation efforts are focused along the mid-Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Virginia to Texas to Mexico, and throughout the Caribbean including the Bahamas," said Adams adding, "and we're also doing some work in the Pacific as well."
"We're conducting research and conservation such as satellite tagging for adult tarpon, and studying juvenile habitats throughout the Caribbean plus the migrations of bonefish and permit." Adams said. "The donations to BTT and the sweepstakes are instrumental in also increasing BTT's ability to support some significant upcoming research."
Hell's Bay Boatworks' owner Chris Peterson said, "One of the many things I like about BTT is that 85% of the money that comes into the trust goes out in research and conservation.
"BTT has 1300 active members across the U.S. and around the world. One of the things about bonefish, tarpon and permit is people come from across the globe to fish for them."
Go to BTT's website at tarbone.org and click on the "Sweepstakes" tab to join and enter.
Hell's Bay much involved in fisheries conservation causes
Active hands-on involvement in marine conservation charities like BTT is of key meaning to Hell's Bay's Capt. Chris and Wendi Peterson, who since buying the once bankrupt company -- and despite the recession -- have turned it into a remarkable success story.
"Today Hell's Bay Boatworks is led by a team of dedicated fishermen, outdoorsmen and adventurers passionate about giving back to the sport of fishing by supporting non-profit organizations that value the longevity of the sport," said Chris Peterson.
As leaders in the design of 10 models of custom shallow water skiffs, the Titusville, Fla., builder has been described as clearly giving back to "help ensure the future of our fisheries."
"And now is when it's needed most," he said. "We became even more proactive after the severe downturn hit the marine community which crippled many other builders. We love being involved and making a difference. Non-profits and charitable groups need to keep running in the good times and the bad."
In addition to its work with the BTT, Hell's Bay also supports the IGFA, the Coastal Conservation Association, the FishStock weekend in New Smyrna Beach, and the Redbone tournaments in the Florida Keys for cystic fibrosis research. Hell's Bay actively works with clubs in retrieving abandoned ghost crab traps from inshore waters and also built a huge aerated tank which is loaned to many catch-and-release events vital for the safe release of tournament fish.
Hell's Bay Boatworks is located at 1520 Chaffee Drive in Titusville. Visit them at www.hellsbayboatworks.com