Chamber officials speak to council about bass tourneys and their economic impact
by Daniel Gaddy
Apr 04, 2012 | 410 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Linda Lewis, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County, speaks to the Jasper City Council on Tuesday to promote several upcoming bass tournaments as the chamber’s board chairman, Richard Fikes, looks on. - Photo by: Daniel Gaddy
Linda Lewis, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County, speaks to the Jasper City Council on Tuesday to promote several upcoming bass tournaments as the chamber’s board chairman, Richard Fikes, looks on. - Photo by: Daniel Gaddy
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Officials with the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County spoke to the Jasper City Council on Tuesday to promote and gain support for bass fishing tournaments held in the area — tournaments the officials say have a significant economic impact to the area.

Lewis Smith Lake was recently placed on the Alabama Bass Trail, a collections of bass tournaments modeled after the Robert Trent Jones Memorial Golf Trail. A joint effort between the Governor’s office, the CRN, the Alabama Department of Tourism and Alabama Mountian Lakes. Smith Lake is one of 11 waterways on the trail.

“We are here to highlight the importance this status will bring to Walker County,” said Chamber President Linda Lewis.

Lewis said the tournaments mean an injection of money into the local economy because each competitor must buy lodging, food, gas and equipment while in the Smith Lake Area. She said anglers spend around $700 million on goods and services every year in Alabama, and the total impact of Anglers on the state is $1 billion a year.

Richard Fikes, board chairman for the Chamber, said a bass tournament at Smith Lake could mean as much as $4 million for the area.

Chamber officials also recently announced that the Military Bass Anglers Association will hold a tournament at Smith Lake.

“We’re just overjoyed to welcome our military, which includes all branches, to out community,” Lewis said.