Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium Set for Friday Opening

Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium Set for Friday Opening

Largest most immersive wildlife conservation attraction in the world a major new destination in the heart of America

Springfield, Mo. – Noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris will be joined by former Presidents and hundreds of North America’s conservation leaders to unveil the all-new Wonders of Wildlife National Museum Aquarium, located in the center of America’s heartland in Springfield, Missouri. Nearly ten years in the making and unprecedented in scale and scope, Wonders of Wildlife is larger than the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and an inspirational tribute to the adventurers, explorers, outdoorsmen and conservationists who helped discover, develop and preserve the nation we love.

With 35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds, the 350,000-square-foot complex is a wonder in and of itself. It contains more than 1.5 miles of trails through authentic, immersive habitats and features 1.5 million gallons of freshwater and saltwater aquariums and immersive wildlife galleries. Signature galleries include a massive “open ocean” ring-shaped aquarium and the two-story Shipwreck Room where guests can touch stingrays on the ocean floor. Immersive wildlife galleries feature 4D dioramas that transport guests through sights, sounds, smells and climates to some of the wildest places on earth, including a trek across the African savannah, the Amazon rainforest, the Arctic and America’s National Parks and more in a multisensory celebration of conservation and craftsmanship.

The all-new museum and aquarium is located next to Bass Pro Shops National Headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, one of many signature nature-based attractions in Missouri’s Ozark Mountains, a region emerging as America’s Conservation Capital.

The visionary behind the project is noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, sometimes referred to as “the Walt Disney of the Outdoors” for his knack for creating amazing experiences that connect people with nature. Morris, who grew up fishing with his family on Missouri’s White River before founding Bass Pro Shops in 1971 with eight square feet of space in the back of his father’s liquor store, created the not-for-profit Wonders of Wildlife as a gift to the nation intended to inspire people of all ages to engage with the natural world.

“Wonders of Wildlife is an inspirational journey around the world that celebrates the role of hunters and anglers as America’s true conservation heroes,” said Johnny Morris. “We proudly invite families and sportsmen to come share the wonder with an unforgettable experience meant to inspire generations of future conservationists.”

Celebrating those who hunt, fish and act as stewards of the land and water

Morris convened 40 leading conservation organizations to help tell the American outdoor story from the Native Americans to Lewis and Clark and beyond. The story extends to modern-day wildlife management with a celebration of people who hunt, fish and act as stewards of the land. For the past 80 years, hunters in America have funded America’s modern conservation system largely through self-imposed federal excise taxes on outdoor equipment, and by purchasing hunting and fishing permits.

Beyond its sheer scale and quality, what’s most impressive about the museum and aquarium is its powerful message to inspire everyone to connect with the outdoors. As the world advances and more people live and work in major metropolitan areas, it is more important than ever to preserve and promote outdoor experiences. In a stress-filled world of traffic jams, endless emails, calls and constant pressure, the best medicine is a peaceful, rejuvenating experience in nature. The museum and aquarium pay homage to the sportsmen and women of yesterday, today and tomorrow with the knowledge that the surest way to preserve our rich outdoor heritage is to expose more people to its awe-inspiring beauty.

A world class aquarium adventure

At the heart of the Wonders of Wildlife experience is a world-class aquarium adventure, home to massive aquatic habitats teeming with life. There has never been an aquarium as immersive, interactive or engaging as this. Guests of all ages can immerse themselves inside a river full of piranhas, discover what it’s like to touch a stingray, traverse an underwater tunnel surrounded by giant river monsters and come face-to-face with sharks, jellyfish, snakes, iguanas, eagles, owls and more.

The experience begins with the breathtaking Great Oceans Hall, bringing the excitement of the ocean to the middle of America. Visitors will step inside a 300,000-gallon circular “open ocean” habitat, teeming with life, including zebra sharks, leopard rays and goliath grouper; look in awe at a mesmerizing living bait ball; and discover the Great Barrier Reef, a towering saltwater aquarium showcasing colorful reef fish, including Maori wrasse, potato cod and more. Additional noted exhibits include Shipwreck Reef, which plunges guests to the depths of the ocean floor where they can touch stingrays and explore a sunken shipwreck now home to colorful reef.

The aquarium also honors legendary anglers with boats from Earnest Hemingway, Zane Grey, personal fishing artifacts and mementos from U.S. Presidents, and some of fishing’s most accomplished sportsmen and women at The International Game Fish Association’s (IGFA) Fishing Hall of Fame and the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.

More fun surprises await around every corner as visitors traverse cypress swamps, tropical rainforests, Ozarks waterways, craggy caves and more. The aquarium’s unique design ensures visitors are constantly surprised and amazed by where they might end up next, and the creatures that await to be discovered around the bend.

Immersive wildlife galleries transport visitors around the world

Visitors can pack their bags for adventure as state-of-the-art 4D dioramas completely surround them within the sights, sounds and smells of the planet’s most extreme wildlife habitats. Each environment features meticulous attention to detail including massive hand-painted murals, native foliage and special effects that deliver the chill of the Arctic, the cold winds of the Alps, the dry sun of the African Savannah and more.

Signature exhibits within the wildlife galleries include The Great African Hall, immersing guests in the African savannah with animals including elephants, giraffes, rhinos, crocodiles, zebra and more and Sheep Mountain, with more than 40 record-setting sheep from around the world.

Visitors will relive conservation’s history with The Boone and Crockett Club’s National Collection of Heads and Horns. Founded by our nation’s leading conservation hero Theodore Roosevelt, the Club’s legendary exhibit gives visitors the chance to step back in time and see more than 40 historically significant North American game animals that helped spark America’s conservation movement when it debuted at New York’s

Bronx Zoo in 1908. Guests will encounter World Record bears, bison, caribou, elk and other big game species while learning about these iconic animals and how science, sportsmen and regulated hunting saved them from exploitation and near extinction. One remarkable display is the famous Chadwick Ram from British Columbia taken in 1936 featuring 51-inch horns and considered to be the finest North American big game specimen ever collected. The influential collection relocated to Wonders of Wildlife from the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming.

The majesty of the outdoors captured by the world’s finest artists and craftsmen

Wonders of Wildlife is instantly recognizable for the signature imagination, creativity, quality craftsmanship, authenticity and attention to detail that goes into all the projects dreamed up by Johnny Morris, but on a much larger scale. As the largest immersive attraction of its kind in the world, the project’s massive size called for an expansive team who spent more than nine years creating the elaborate details that make the experience so rewarding for visitors.

More than 2,000 painters, sculptors, woodworkers, iron workers, taxidermists, illustrators, designers, scientists, biologists, engineers and others contributed to the facility, which is home to some of the most sophisticated life support systems in the country as well as some of the largest and most elaborate nature-based artwork ever created.

Every wall within the 350,000-square-foot attraction features hand-painted murals painstakingly created by a team of painters who embody the talent and quality of true Ozarks craftsmanship. Painters spent more than a year painting the Great African Hall alone, resulting in a photorealistic re-creation of the great African savannah.

After the mural work was completed, imagery specialists consulted with experts to stage 3D landscape elements, including rockwork, native foliage and water effects to match the season and habitat being depicted. Each experience is grounded in the elements of the natural world, ensuring every detail is as lifelike as possible.

Grand opening features historic salute to conservation leaders

In honor of its grand opening on September 22, 2017, Wonders of Wildlife is hosting a historic event welcoming the most significant gathering of prominent North American conservation leaders and influencers ever assembled in our nation’s history. The very special tribute dinner honoring America’s conservation leaders will feature guests including President George W. Bush, President Jimmy Carter, U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke and Missouri Governor Eric Greitens amongst other dignitaries. The evening concludes with a special “Concert for Conservation” for invited guests featuring music from Kevin Costner, Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, John Anderson and many other popular performers. All artists are avid outdoorsmen who are donating their time to help honor the conservation leaders in attendance. More than 400 conservation leaders are anticipated to be in Springfield for the landmark occasion along with significant donors and guests.

Share the Wonder

Wonders of Wildlife is now open daily except Christmas. For additional information including admission, hours of operation and directions visit www.wondersofwildlife.org.

Largest most immersive wildlife conservation attraction in the world a major new destination in the heart of America

Springfield, Mo. – Noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris will be joined by former Presidents and hundreds of North America’s conservation leaders to unveil the all-new Wonders of Wildlife National Museum Aquarium, located in the center of America’s heartland in Springfield, Missouri. Nearly ten years in the making and unprecedented in scale and scope, Wonders of Wildlife is larger than the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and an inspirational tribute to the adventurers, explorers, outdoorsmen and conservationists who helped discover, develop and preserve the nation we love.

With 35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds, the 350,000-square-foot complex is a wonder in and of itself. It contains more than 1.5 miles of trails through authentic, immersive habitats and features 1.5 million gallons of freshwater and saltwater aquariums and immersive wildlife galleries. Signature galleries include a massive “open ocean” ring-shaped aquarium and the two-story Shipwreck Room where guests can touch stingrays on the ocean floor. Immersive wildlife galleries feature 4D dioramas that transport guests through sights, sounds, smells and climates to some of the wildest places on earth, including a trek across the African savannah, the Amazon rainforest, the Arctic and America’s National Parks and more in a multisensory celebration of conservation and craftsmanship.

The all-new museum and aquarium is located next to Bass Pro Shops National Headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, one of many signature nature-based attractions in Missouri’s Ozark Mountains, a region emerging as America’s Conservation Capital.

The visionary behind the project is noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, sometimes referred to as “the Walt Disney of the Outdoors” for his knack for creating amazing experiences that connect people with nature. Morris, who grew up fishing with his family on Missouri’s White River before founding Bass Pro Shops in 1971 with eight square feet of space in the back of his father’s liquor store, created the not-for-profit Wonders of Wildlife as a gift to the nation intended to inspire people of all ages to engage with the natural world.

“Wonders of Wildlife is an inspirational journey around the world that celebrates the role of hunters and anglers as America’s true conservation heroes,” said Johnny Morris. “We proudly invite families and sportsmen to come share the wonder with an unforgettable experience meant to inspire generations of future conservationists.”

Celebrating those who hunt, fish and act as stewards of the land and water

Morris convened 40 leading conservation organizations to help tell the American outdoor story from the Native Americans to Lewis and Clark and beyond. The story extends to modern-day wildlife management with a celebration of people who hunt, fish and act as stewards of the land. For the past 80 years, hunters in America have funded America’s modern conservation system largely through self-imposed federal excise taxes on outdoor equipment, and by purchasing hunting and fishing permits.

Beyond its sheer scale and quality, what’s most impressive about the museum and aquarium is its powerful message to inspire everyone to connect with the outdoors. As the world advances and more people live and work in major metropolitan areas, it is more important than ever to preserve and promote outdoor experiences. In a stress-filled world of traffic jams, endless emails, calls and constant pressure, the best medicine is a peaceful, rejuvenating experience in nature. The museum and aquarium pay homage to the sportsmen and women of yesterday, today and tomorrow with the knowledge that the surest way to preserve our rich outdoor heritage is to expose more people to its awe-inspiring beauty.

A world class aquarium adventure

At the heart of the Wonders of Wildlife experience is a world-class aquarium adventure, home to massive aquatic habitats teeming with life. There has never been an aquarium as immersive, interactive or engaging as this. Guests of all ages can immerse themselves inside a river full of piranhas, discover what it’s like to touch a stingray, traverse an underwater tunnel surrounded by giant river monsters and come face-to-face with sharks, jellyfish, snakes, iguanas, eagles, owls and more.

The experience begins with the breathtaking Great Oceans Hall, bringing the excitement of the ocean to the middle of America. Visitors will step inside a 300,000-gallon circular “open ocean” habitat, teeming with life, including zebra sharks, leopard rays and goliath grouper; look in awe at a mesmerizing living bait ball; and discover the Great Barrier Reef, a towering saltwater aquarium showcasing colorful reef fish, including Maori wrasse, potato cod and more. Additional noted exhibits include Shipwreck Reef, which plunges guests to the depths of the ocean floor where they can touch stingrays and explore a sunken shipwreck now home to colorful reef.

The aquarium also honors legendary anglers with boats from Earnest Hemingway, Zane Grey, personal fishing artifacts and mementos from U.S. Presidents, and some of fishing’s most accomplished sportsmen and women at The International Game Fish Association’s (IGFA) Fishing Hall of Fame and the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.

More fun surprises await around every corner as visitors traverse cypress swamps, tropical rainforests, Ozarks waterways, craggy caves and more. The aquarium’s unique design ensures visitors are constantly surprised and amazed by where they might end up next, and the creatures that await to be discovered around the bend.

Immersive wildlife galleries transport visitors around the world

Visitors can pack their bags for adventure as state-of-the-art 4D dioramas completely surround them within the sights, sounds and smells of the planet’s most extreme wildlife habitats. Each environment features meticulous attention to detail including massive hand-painted murals, native foliage and special effects that deliver the chill of the Arctic, the cold winds of the Alps, the dry sun of the African Savannah and more.

Signature exhibits within the wildlife galleries include The Great African Hall, immersing guests in the African savannah with animals including elephants, giraffes, rhinos, crocodiles, zebra and more and Sheep Mountain, with more than 40 record-setting sheep from around the world.

Visitors will relive conservation’s history with The Boone and Crockett Club’s National Collection of Heads and Horns. Founded by our nation’s leading conservation hero Theodore Roosevelt, the Club’s legendary exhibit gives visitors the chance to step back in time and see more than 40 historically significant North American game animals that helped spark America’s conservation movement when it debuted at New York’s

Bronx Zoo in 1908. Guests will encounter World Record bears, bison, caribou, elk and other big game species while learning about these iconic animals and how science, sportsmen and regulated hunting saved them from exploitation and near extinction. One remarkable display is the famous Chadwick Ram from British Columbia taken in 1936 featuring 51-inch horns and considered to be the finest North American big game specimen ever collected. The influential collection relocated to Wonders of Wildlife from the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming.

The majesty of the outdoors captured by the world’s finest artists and craftsmen

Wonders of Wildlife is instantly recognizable for the signature imagination, creativity, quality craftsmanship, authenticity and attention to detail that goes into all the projects dreamed up by Johnny Morris, but on a much larger scale. As the largest immersive attraction of its kind in the world, the project’s massive size called for an expansive team who spent more than nine years creating the elaborate details that make the experience so rewarding for visitors.

More than 2,000 painters, sculptors, woodworkers, iron workers, taxidermists, illustrators, designers, scientists, biologists, engineers and others contributed to the facility, which is home to some of the most sophisticated life support systems in the country as well as some of the largest and most elaborate nature-based artwork ever created.

Every wall within the 350,000-square-foot attraction features hand-painted murals painstakingly created by a team of painters who embody the talent and quality of true Ozarks craftsmanship. Painters spent more than a year painting the Great African Hall alone, resulting in a photorealistic re-creation of the great African savannah.

After the mural work was completed, imagery specialists consulted with experts to stage 3D landscape elements, including rockwork, native foliage and water effects to match the season and habitat being depicted. Each experience is grounded in the elements of the natural world, ensuring every detail is as lifelike as possible.

Grand opening features historic salute to conservation leaders

In honor of its grand opening on September 22, 2017, Wonders of Wildlife is hosting a historic event welcoming the most significant gathering of prominent North American conservation leaders and influencers ever assembled in our nation’s history. The very special tribute dinner honoring America’s conservation leaders will feature guests including President George W. Bush, President Jimmy Carter, U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke and Missouri Governor Eric Greitens amongst other dignitaries. The evening concludes with a special “Concert for Conservation” for invited guests featuring music from Kevin Costner, Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, John Anderson and many other popular performers. All artists are avid outdoorsmen who are donating their time to help honor the conservation leaders in attendance. More than 400 conservation leaders are anticipated to be in Springfield for the landmark occasion along with significant donors and guests.

Share the Wonder

Wonders of Wildlife is now open daily except Christmas. For additional information including admission, hours of operation and directions visit www.wondersofwildlife.org.

Fishing regulations changed at Sept. 14 MI NRC meeting

At its last meeting Thursday, Sept. 14, in Lansing, the Michigan Natural Resources Commission approved several fishing regulation changes regarding the Big Island Lakes Complex in Schoolcraft County, reptile and amphibian possession and ice shanties.

The regulations are part of multiple Fisheries Orders the Michigan Department of Natural Resources uses to protect the state’s aquatic resources. The Fisheries Orders include 201, 224 and 251.
Fisheries Order 201 sets fishing regulations on waters within the Big Island Lake Complex in Schoolcraft County. The approved change moves the northern pike minimum size limit from 42 to 24 inches and increases the daily possession limit from one to two fish, removes reference to the muskellunge harvest tag and changes the muskellunge possession season to the first Saturday in June through Nov. 30. This Fisheries Order takes effect April 1, 2018.

Fisheries Order 224 established regulations for Michigan’s reptiles and amphibians. The approved changes are administrative modifications that result in no regulation changes for anglers. This Fisheries Order takes immediate effect.

Fisheries Order 251 is a new order developed to regulate the use of ice fishing shanties in Michigan. The order mirrors ice shanty regulations already listed in statute. This Fisheries Order takes immediate effect.

More than 25 million fish stocked in 2017 so far


individuals harvesting a walleye pond for stockingThe Michigan Department of Natural Resources today announced the totals from its spring and summer fish stocking efforts. The DNR stocked a total of 25,470,199 fish that weighed more than 320 tons and consisted of 11 different species and one hybrid.

To complete this task, it took more than 380 stocking trips to nearly 760 stocking sites, more than 103,000 miles traveled over the course of 3,052 hours using 19 specialized stocking trucks.

“We had excellent spring and summer stocking seasons that will bring significant benefits and fishing opportunities to Michigan anglers,” said Ed Eisch, DNR fish production manager. “With the hard work and dedication of our staff, fish were reared and delivered to stocking sites in excellent condition. The numbers produced and stocked were right on target for most areas.” Read more

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Announces Plans to Advance Sportsmen’s Priorities

September 13, 2017 (Washington DC) – This week, sportsmen’s interests were advanced on Capitol Hill as Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced plans for a new Secretarial Order to advance sportsmen’s priorities at the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) 28th Annual Banquet & Auction; and the House Natural Resources Committee advanced sportsmen’s legislation.

During CSF’s Banquet VIP Reception, Secretary Zinke joined CSF as the keynote speaker, where he announced plans for a Secretarial Order that would address many long-time priorities for sportsmen and women across the country.
“Hunting and fishing is a cornerstone of the American tradition, and hunters and fishers of America are the backbone of land and wildlife conservation,” said Secretary Zinke. “The more people we can get outdoors, the better things will be for our public lands. As someone who grew up hunting and fishing on our public lands – packing bologna sandwiches and heading out at 4AM with my dad – I know how important it is to expand access to public lands for future generations. Some of my best memories are hunting elk or reeling in rainbow trout back home in Montana, and I think every American should be able to have that experience.”
In addition to discussing upcoming policy priorities with the Secretary and Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Members at the evening’s reception, CSF showcased partnerships within the wildlife conservation community, including a MOU signing between CSF and National Wildlife Federation as well as a check presentation from Safari Club International to CSF.
“Secretary Zinke has continuously proven his support for sportsmen and wildlife conservation,” said CSF President Jeff Crane. “Through working with partners within the sportsmen’s conservation community, Members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, and Secretaries Zinke and Perdue, we look forward to advancing hunting and angling policy priorities.”
Following the event’s reception, Crane welcomed nearly 600 attendees – including CSF partners, supporters, and 60 CSC Members – to the dinner, and introduced CSC leadership: Co-Chairs Senators Jim Risch (ID) and Joe Manchin (WV) and Congressmen Jeff Duncan (SC) and Gene Green (TX) as well as Vice-Chair Senator Deb Fischer (NE) and Congressmen Austin Scott (GA) and Marc Veasey (TX).
Prior to the Banquet, the House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing and markup on the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act (H.R. 3668), which was recently introduced by CSC Co-Chair Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC), and cosponsored by CSC Co-Chair Congressman Gene Green (TX), CSC Vice-Chairs Congressman Austin Scott (GA), and CSC Member Congressman Rob Wittman (VA).
CSF President Jeff Crane provided written testimony at the hearing in support of some of the key provisions. In addition, 25 other leading wildlife conservation organizations signed on in support of the SHARE Act, urging advancement of the bill to the House floor.

MI DNR announces surplus salmon available to public again this fall

The public again this year is invited to purchase surplus salmon that has been harvested at Michigan Department of Natural Resources weirs located in the northern Lower Peninsula.

Seasonal salmon runs include large numbers of fish returning to their native streams to spawn and die. The DNR maintains multiple sites (weirs) where fisheries biologists and technicians collect eggs and milt (sperm) from Chinook and coho salmon for use in state fish hatcheries. Once egg-take needs are met, fish in prime physical condition are made available to the public by American-Canadian Fisheries, a private vendor which assists the DNR with the salmon harvest.

ACF harvests the salmon for human and pet-food markets, as well as excess eggs for bait and caviar markets. ACF pays the DNR a flat per-pound rate for the salmon and eggs collected. They then make suitable-quality fish available wholesale to distributors who market the fish. All of this year’s distributors are located in the northern Lower Peninsula. Read more

Bipartisan Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Leadership Introduces Sportsmen’s Package in the House

Posted on Thursday, September 07, 2017

GW:  After many long years, the long-awaited disclosure of information relative to settlements granted to anti-hunting groups by the USFWS may come to fruition via the Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act.  But, what will we learn?  And, can this Congress get anything done to change to the transparency in government we were all promised and rightfully deserve, once we learn the deep, dark secrets purposely hidden from us?  And if not now, when?

On September 1, Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Co-Chairs Congressmen Jeff Duncan (SC) and Gene Green (TX) introduced H.R. 3668, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act, or SHARE Act, in the House of Representatives. Original cosponsors include CSC Vice-Chair Congressman Austin Scott (GA) and CSC Member Congressman Rob Wittman (VA).

H.R. 3668 includes 16 pro-sportsmen’s provisions aiming to enhance hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation opportunities on federal land. Key titles include the following:

*Fishing Protection Act (protecting the use of traditional fishing tackle and ammunition)
*Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act
*Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage Opportunities Act
*Farmer and Hunter Protection Act
*Transporting bows across National Park Service lands
*Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act
*Good Samaritan Search and Recovery Act
*North American Wetlands Conservation Extension

The House Natural Resources Committee has scheduled a hearing on the SHARE Act for Wednesday, September 12, at 10:00 am EST. Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) President Jeff Crane has submitted written testimony in support of several of the provisions included.

MI DNR begins 47th annual Saginaw Bay fish community survey


R/V Tanner in motion on Lake Huron

The DNR’s research vessel Tanner, based out of Alpena, is helping to conduct the annual Saginaw Bay fish community survey this month. Survey results help fisheries managers better understand aquatic communities in the bay.

This month the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is conducting its 47th annual survey of the Saginaw Bay fish community. The survey, now under way, includes both trawling and gillnetting and will determine the abundance and health of fish populations in the bay.

“The timing of late summer or early fall allows us to assess how much reproduction has taken place for the year, as well as the overall abundance of older age groups,” said Dave Fielder, DNR fisheries research biologist. “The use of the same methods each year allows us to detect population changes in each species.” Read more

Hobie Introduces Mirage Compass to Pedal-Powered Kayaks

OCEANSIDE, CA – Hobie, a leading manufacturer of premium kayaks and watersport products, today introduced its Mirage Compass as the newest addition to the brand’s wildly popular MirageDrive kayak line at Paddlesports Retailer in Madison, Wisconsin. The new Compass couples Hobie’s superior quality and innovative technology with a beautifully simple platform that is a balance of features and value.


“We looked at our customer base, and identified a void in the market that the Compass is targeted to fill,” said Doug Skidmore, President of Hobie. “Consumers are looking for a capable and affordable boat, which our engineers have designed. The Compass is a feature-rich platform that delivers the performance Hobie customers expect without compromise.”Powered by Hobie’s innovative MirageDrive® pedal system with Glide Technology and constructed with a durable rotomolded polyethylene hull, the Compass offers maximum stability and speed for both the angler and the adventure seeker alike. Featuring a wide cockpit and deck area for standing, the Compass comes readily equipped to accept an extensive array of accessories for the avid fisherman. Standard equipment on the Compass includes underneath tackle storage room, a removable, breathable mesh-back seat, two rod holders, and transducer cavity ready to install a Lowrance Ready® fishfinder.

MI DNR stocks lake sturgeon in Tittabawassee River for first time

In cooperation with several partners, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Tuesday announced that 193 lake sturgeon were stocked in the Tittabawassee River (Midland County) Monday, Aug. 21, at the Gordonville Road launch ramp southeast of Midland.

The DNR’s Lake Sturgeon Rehabilitation Strategy identified the Saginaw River watershed, including the Tittabawassee River, as a system whose lake sturgeon population is in dire need of improvement. This stocking event was the first reintroduction of this species in the Saginaw River watershed and is the culmination of much work aimed to rehabilitate this iconic species in waters in which they once flourished. Read more

New for 2018: Ranger Z520L Comanche and Z521L Comanche

FLIPPIN, Ark. – For 50 years, Ranger has led the way for tournament fishing design and innovation. That legacy continues with the latest extension of the esteemed Z500 Comanche line. This tournament-proven line of boats now includes the L Series with the all-new Z520L Comanche and Z521L Comanche and is built upon a celebrated hull design that delivers unmatched quality and fishability. The boats are packed with fresh features and sport new style lines and trade dress to create the unmatched fit and finish Ranger owners have come to expect.

“Ranger consistently strives to improve, but on many levels, I didn’t think that was possible with the current Z boat,” said Hank Parker, legendary television host and tournament angler. “But the new L Series, from the console and style lines to the new seats and LED lighting, has unquestionably raised the bar. This is the absolute Cadillac of tournament fishing rigs.” Read more

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