(Nov.23, 2015) Forestville, Wisc. — Continuing with the mission of increasing participation in the sport of fishing, the Future Angler Foundation (FAF) has filled an open seat on the board of directors with R. Nick Schmal, retired USDA Forest Service fishery program leader. Schmal, who lives in Germantown, Wisc., has agreed to assume the role of Executive Director. With a long career in the biology and science areas of fisheries management, he is also an avid angler.
The new 501c3 organization is thrilled to add Schmal to the team. “We’re lucky; Nick’s recent retirement from the Forest Service is a win for the Future Angler Foundation,” said Pat Neu, President of FAF. “The FAF programs will benefit from Nick’s skill and professional network as he continues to support good, quality fisheries management that is critical to passionate anglers who fund and care for them.” Last year, the FAF hosted hands-on clinics, touching the lives of 14,700 kids and adults with an exposure to fishing.
Schmal holds a Ph.D. in Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management from the University of Wyoming, College of Agriculture, and M.S. and B.S. degrees in fisheries science and water resource management from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He worked on a myriad of fisheries (habitat-related) projects during his tenure with state and federal agencies, including: John G. Shedd Aquarium, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, American Fisheries Society, American Rivers, Mississippi River Basin Aquatic Nuisance Species Regional Panel, Trout Unlimited, Mississippi River National Museum and Aquarium, Discovery World, National Professional Anglers Association and Wildlife Forever. Schmal’s career and project involvement emphasized protection, restoration, and education.
“It’s important for me to give back to the resource,” said Schmal, whose work as a land manager connected him to various new angler efforts over the years. “Clean water is healthy for all of us, and we need new participants of all ages enjoying the outdoors and building a better understanding of lakes, rivers and ponds and the management of those aquatic resources.” Education and outreach is Schmal’s vision and FAF’s goal. “Someone has to fill our shoes in the future and carry on for us.”
In addition to Neu and Schmal, the FAF board includes Al Lindner, Jeff Marble, Kristine Houtman, Dr. Philip Moy and Robert Blosser. These well-established sportfishing industry leaders are anxious to broaden the participation base of anglers through education and outreach. With a strong connection to dedicated hardcore anglers, the FAF puts boots on the ground with a hands-on, grass roots approach. The mission is to:
- Educate volunteers on how to host educational “how to” fishing events
- Providing learning materials and fishing equipment to support FAF-sanctioned events
- Pair volunteers with venues like National and State Parks and Forests and Federal/State Wildlife areas
- Develop programs with school systems and community park and recreation programs to bring angling into curriculum
- Build sportfishing industry support for the hands-on, grassroots efforts of our members
The Future Angler Foundation is an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff. Corporate contributions, personal donations and grants help solidify new anglers, securing the sportfishing participant base for years to come. Compared to other nonprofits, the FAF is focused on introducing new anglers to a fishing experience and educating them on the skills they need to catch fish and how to take care of the fishery—work important to the sportfishing industry’s future.