Bass Pro Shops Founder Donates $200K to Lake George Restoration

Lake George, Florida

Home » Sports
Posted May 21, 2024 |

Johnny Morris, a legendary angler, conservationist, and founder of Bass Pro Shops has donated $200,000 to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to support the restoration of Lake George. Combined with another $200,000 grant from the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, a total donation of $400,000.

The grant was announced during the Bassmaster Elite competition at St. John’s River on May 14.

The donation will be used to restore the lake’s submerged vegetation, which is of vital importance to the health of the lake’s ecosystem and the survival of freshwater fish such as the Florida largemouth bass. The money will help to create protective enclosures around eelgrass to foster its growth, and additional eelgrass will be planted as needed. These eelgrass structures were successfully piloted in Lake George previously, thanks to additional funding from the FWC and other donors, and are essential for maintaining the lake’s biodiversity and providing a safe place for fish and wildlife to live.

“This marks a significant milestone in restoration efforts for Lake George,” said Tom Graef, director of FWC’s division of freshwater fisheries management. “The continued support from Johnny Morris, and the support from Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s customers through the Outdoor Fund, makes a difference in maintaining healthy Florida fisheries. By investing in eelgrass restoration, we’re not only protecting individual species but also enhancing the resilience and functionality of the lake’s entire ecosystem.”

For more information on the FWC’s aquatic habitat restoration projects, visit

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