Shimano/B.A.S.S. Nation scholarships: Future of natural resources, fisheries management in good hands

Incoming Virginia Tech senior Cantley Krafft (left) is awarded one of nine $3,000 Shimano/B.A.S.S. Nation scholarships during registration at the 2018 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship, held last week on Oklahoma’s Lake Tenkiller. B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Gene Gilliland (right) makes the presentation.

LADSON, S.C. — The future within the ranks of natural resources and fisheries management professionals looks bright, at least when you consider the backgrounds and career goals of the 2018 Shimano/B.A.S.S. Nation College Scholarship winners.

The nine winners were notified of their awards, each worth $3,000, this past week, Shimano said in a news release Monday, July 23. It may have been extra special for Virginia Tech junior Cantley Krafft from Radford, Va. – he got news of his scholarship while competing in the 2018 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship.

Along with Krafft, who gained fisheries experience as a biological technician for Virginia Tech’s Center of Aquatic Technology Transfer, the other winners are:

  • Charly Hope Crosby (Rock Hill, S.C.), who when not involved with her wildlife and fisheries studies at Clemson University, enjoys fishing for bass and tarpon.
  • Hunter Hatcher (originally from Spotsylvania, Va.), who earned a degree in fisheries from Virginia Tech and is pursuing his Masters at Mississippi State University, while still finding time for competitive collegiate bass fishing.
  • Kevin Lambert (Cape Girardeau, Mo.), now a graduate student in natural sciences and biology at Southeast Missouri University after earning a degree from West Virginia University, and who enjoys fishing for a wide range of species including bass and sunfish, along with apex predators like muskie and sharks.
  • Peter Leonard (Russellville, Ark.), who is working on an MS degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences at Arkansas Sate University and has been involved in numerous projects focused on sauger in Arkansas and salmon and northern pike in Alaska.
  • Summer Lindelien (Gainesville, Fla.), a University of Wisconsin-Superior graduate and now a graduate research student at the University of Florida, where she has done seasonal research work at the Gainesville Freshwater Fisheries Research office.
  • Stephen Stang (Bluemont, Va.), currently majoring in fish conservation at Virginia Tech, where he is a member of its bass team and already has fisheries experience with the Paint Bank State Trout Hatcher in Virginia and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
  • Riley Kilpatrick (Athens, Ala.), a recent graduate of Athens High School and a member of its bass fishing team who will major in biology with a concentration in environmental science at the University of South Alabama this coming fall.

A key initiative of the Shimano Varsity program in promoting conservation, the Shimano/B.A.S.S. Nation scholarships “help recruit students who already enjoy fishing and understand the importance of conservation efforts through their involvement with B.A.S.S. to pursue a college degree in natural resource professions,” Phil Morlock, vice president for Government Affairs/Advocacy at Shimano said in the release. “As a leader in the sportfishing business, we join our friends at B.A.S.S. in addressing the critical decline in professional natural resource managers who fish, all in hopes that the future of the recreational fishing industry is based on sustainable use and proper management of our public lands and waters,” Morlock said.

According to the release, an expert panel in fisheries conservation selected the scholarship winners, including Morlock, B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Gene Gilliland, and Chris Horton with the Congressional Sportsman’s Foundation. There were scholarships available to both current college students and graduating high school seniors in the U.S. and Canada. More information on the Shimano Varsity program can be found at

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