Director's Black Bass Conservation Awards


Jocelyn Rhea won the conservation director award in 2022 to help support the Ike Foundation fishing tournament in the upper Chesapeake Bay.  Funds were used to build a release chute from which bass were released during the tournament to Northeast River.  Additionally, some funds were used to purchase a bump tank and mesh bags.  These supplies will be used in 2023 and future youth tournaments to help demonstrate to young anglers how bass conservation is a cornerstone to competitive sport fishing in Maryland and nationwide.​

​The Director of Fishing and Boating Services will annually reward efforts to protect black bass resources by supporting tournament directors and by recognizing youth who become more knowledgeable in black bass conservation and watercraft safety, which preserve the sport for years to come.

The award(s) is available each year, depending on funding, for a tournament with: 
  1. a director or co-director applicant who is a resident of Maryland; 
  2. tournament participants who have a Maryland fishing license, if required by law; 
  3. at most 49 boats; and 
  4. at least 50% of angler participants who are between 16 and 25 years old, ages inclusive.

Applications will be reviewed based on three criteria. 
  1. Director or co-director applicant should identify at least one best management practice when obtaining a permit for the tournament from Fishing and Boating Services.
  2. All tournament participants should complete Fishing and Boating Services' online Bass Class, which includes boater safety videos and conservation related videos starring state and national leaders in bass conservation.
  3. The director or co-director applicant should write a brief (500 words or less) narrative that describes the supply needs of the tournament and the reason for their need. Examples of supply needs could include: a waiver of the department's costs for re-distributing fish; on-board hand scales or rulers for on-the-water weigh-ins; non-piercing cull clips; barbless tackle for tournament participants; thermometers for live wells; life jackets; aerators; ice; mesh bags or bag systems for weighing bass; a shade canopy; cattle tank for offering highly oxygenated water conditions; rubber nets; or weigh-in systems that promote survival of largemouth bass.
  1. Director or co-director applicants should electronically submit application by May 1, 2018 to or
  2. Director or co-director applicants will be notified of their standing by June 1, 2018.
  3. Supply purchases will be made by the department on behalf of the director or co-director beginning July 1, 2018.

Applicants who are chosen to win the Director's Black Bass Conservation Award will receive a small plaque and the awarded supplies by August 1, 2018. Supply costs should not exceed $500 and up to two awards are given per year. Participants who complete the on-line Bass Class will receive a Certificate of Completion from Fishing and Boating Services. This certificate can be used in the future if the group chooses to apply again for the award.​


​For questions, please contact:

Joseph W. Love

Branson Williams