On July 20th, 2023, Mud Hole Custom Tackle was recognized at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) July Commission Meeting in appreciation for supporting the FWC “Partner with a Payer Initiative”. Mud Hole President, Brook Oliva, addressed the Commission, sharing the company’s passion for the restoration and revitalization of Florida’s fisheries. The goal of the FWC program is to share the positive impact that FWC conservation programs have on Florida’s ecosystems, which is supported through excise taxes collected from sales of fishing equipment. Read the official FWC press release here.
Mud Hole was the first partner to support the program through a compelling video created and shared by FWC. Brook and Mud Hole’s Education Program Director, Anthony Youmans, appear in the video, sharing how important these conservation efforts are to our communities and our day-to-day business. The program is also in alignment with Mud Hole’s efforts to educate youth on the importance of a healthy, natural environment and responsible business practices in the sport fishing industry.
Making the Video
For the video shoot, Mud Hole traveled to FWC’s Florida Bass Conservation Center in Webster, Florida to get a behind the scenes tour. The facility is a major freshwater fish production hatchery, supplying fish such as largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, bream, triploid grass carp, striped bass, and sunshine bass.
The Conservation Center also conducts research on aquaculture methods. The FWC team also filmed at Mud Hole headquarters in Oviedo, Florida, showcasing our showroom and distribution center facilities.
A Commitment to Youth Education
Mud Hole’s relationship with FWC began back in 2022, when the Mud Hole Education Program was approached by FWC in the hopes of developing a partnership for reaching Florida’s kids. The Mud Hole Education Program has always sought to promote conservation education through an appreciation of our local Florida wildlife. So when FWC connected with Anthony Youmans, Mud Hole jumped at the opportunity.
The collaboration has two education goals in mind: sportsmanship and conservation. Through these objectives, the Education Program seeks to develop future conservation-minded anglers and rod builders. Throughout 2022, the Mud Hole Education Team worked with FWC, sponsoring two activities for young Florida anglers. The first was a new virtual-style fishing tournament and school fishing club competition centered on conservation. The fishing competition utilized FWC’s app where the young anglers logged their catches throughout the designated time of the tournament. The Mud Hole Education Program provided prizes for 1st and 2nd place anglers, including an Arctic cooler, seats in a Mud Hole Rod Building Class, branded merchandise, and fishing reels.
Next, the Mud Hole Education Program sponsored the school fishing club competition, centered on conservation-related projects that school fishing clubs developed and executed in their local fishing habitats. So many schools accomplished great things in the name of wildlife conservation and Mud Hole provided a special prize for the winners. Miami-Dade’s Chambers High School received an in-person rod building class held at the Mud Hole’s Education Center in Oviedo, FL, orchestrated by Anthony Youmans. The students were able to learn the rod building process and even take home fishing rods that they built - further instilling the relationship between responsible fishing and wildlife conservation. Mud Hole looks forward to developing future program partnerships with FWC.