ATHENS – The Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame committee announced Shannon Tompkins, a reporter and columnist at the Houston Chronicle; and the Lake Fork Sportsman’s Association (LFSA), an organization that works to protect and promote Lake Fork’s natural resources, will be inducted into the hall of fame in 2018.
“This year’s inductees to the Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame have made unique and significant contributions to freshwater fishing across the state,” said Dan Kessler, TFF Hall of Fame Committee Chair. “We are proud to honor them not only for what they’ve done – but for what they continue to do to promote fishing opportunities and protect our natural resources for present and future generations of anglers.”
Shannon Tompkins, of Porter, is a reporter and columnist at the Houston Chronicle who focuses on the Texas outdoors – with an emphasis on freshwater fishing and hunting. Tompkins is a past president of the Texas Outdoor Writers Association and his reporting has won national and state awards to include the Sierra Club’s Lone Star Environmental Reporting Award, multiple Excellence in Craft awards from the Texas Outdoor Writers Association and the Outdoor Writers Association of America, and an award from the Texas bureau of The Associated Press.
Tompkins has covered a wide range of freshwater fishing topics in his articles including highlighting recreational fishing, state fisheries management and regulations, and aquatic invasive species and their impact on the environment. His writings have reached millions of people all across Texas.
“Mr. Thompkins is passionate about conservation and the outdoors – and that passion is reflected in his writing,” Kessler said. “He doesn’t just tell people how to fish, he has the unique ability and talent to help people understand why they should care about freshwater fishing and conservation in Texas.”
According to the writer of his nomination letter, “One day all his articles should be collected and edited into a book. And if that book could somehow capture the heart of the man behind the words, it would be a rare reflection on the past nearly half-century of Texas freshwater angling.”
The Lake Fork Sportsman’s Association, nominated into the industry or organization category, has worked to protect and promote Lake Fork’s natural resources since 1999.
The LFSA has partnered with state and local agencies, community organizations, and high schools on many projects to include operating a live release boat to decrease tournament stress on the fishery, donating fishing tackle to high school fishing teams, hosting free fishing events to draw kids into the outdoors, placing artificial habitats into the lake to enhance recreational fishing, and planting native aquatic vegetation to improve habitat for fish and wildlife.
The LFSA also established the Jesse Parker Memorial Scholarship, named after a long time Lake Fork fishing guide and businessman, to provide tuition money to high school seniors pursuing a career in outdoor fields like fisheries biology and wildlife management. To date, the LFSA has given more than $20,000 to these students.
“The Lake Fork Sportsman’s Association is an exceptional example of what a group of motivated anglers can do to improve their fishery and community,” Kessler said. “Lake Fork’s continued reputation as a top bass fishing destination both in Texas and the nation is in no small part due to the hard work they put in every day to enhance and protect it.”
The Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame is housed at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. Its mission is to “recognize and honor those who have made a lasting contribution to freshwater fishing in Texas, and to foster a sense of appreciation, awareness and participation in the sport of fishing.”
Both inductees will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame at the 2018 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas parks and Wildlife Department in May.
For more information, visit the TFF Hall of Fame online.