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June 30, 1999


SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced Illinois Bass Quest '99, a professional bass fishing tournament and power boat competition, will be held in Southern Illinois on August 13-15.

"Illinois is proud to host some of the top bass anglers in the world in a high-stakes, three-lake tournament," Ryan said. "This event will focus attention on the outdoor, recreational opportunities in Southern Illinois and could attract similar events."

The Illinois Bass Quest '99 is a three-day event presented by World Championship Fishing and sanctioned by the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society. Professional bass fishing champions including Denny Brauer, George Cochran, Mark Davis, Roland Martin, Hank Parker and Kevin VanDam are expected to be among those competing for $575,000 in prize money.

Participants will fish Kinkaid Lake on August 13, Crab Orchard Lake on August 14 and Rend Lake on August 15. Weigh-in will be conducted on August 13-14 at John A. Logan Community College in Carterville and on August 15 at Rend Lake Resort.

The event will include an outdoor festival and trade show, featuring displays by manufacturers of boats, motors, recreational vehicles, outdoor clothing and other items. The trade show will be held at John A. Logan Community College on August 13-14 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Performance power boat exhibitions will be held at Rend Lake Resort from 3-6 p.m. on August 13-14. On August 15, activities at Rend Lake will include a water sports show at 10 a.m., a boat handling exhibition at 3 p.m. and power boat pit tours throughout the day.

"We are very excited about the opportunity for B.A.S.S. to sanction Illinois Bass Quest '99," said Helen Sevier, CEO of B.A.S.S., Inc. "This new concept in sporting events is perfect for spectators and is bound to build enthusiasm for fishing, for boating and for the resources of southern Illinois."

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs is providing a $179,000 grant through its Tourism Private Sector Grant Program to the Carbondale Convention and Tourism Bureau. The Mt. Vernon Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Williamson County Tourism Bureau are also helping coordinate the event. In addition, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is providing $50,000 in advertising support for the tournament.

"This is an outstanding opportunity to showcase the beautiful scenery and unique opportunities for anglers and other sports enthusiasts in the southern end of our state," said DCCA Director Pam McDonough. "Hosting this prestigious event will give Southern Illinois an opportunity to show off the wide array of recreational opportunities it has to offer."

"Bass anglers already know what great fishing awaits them this August at Kinkaid, Crab Orchard and Rend lakes," said IDNR Director Brent Manning. "An event like Bass Quest '99 is exciting because it helps us spread the word about the wonderful fishing and other outdoor activities in Illinois."


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