The Lake Havasu Marine Association last week announced that it had received the prestigious Arizona Game and Fish Department Award for Excellence.

Marine Association President Jim Salscheider was nominated this year for the award by Game and Fish Yuma Director Pat Barber, who noted the Marine Association’s efforts in maintaining Lake Havasu’s fishing opportunities, wildlife, recreational and boating opportunities. He also noted the association’s help in fighting aquatic invasive species.

“They’ve been a great partner for us, and an asset to the Havasu community,” Barber said. “They’ve never failed to step up when asked, and sometimes we don’t even have to ask. They work hard and take their contributions seriously…they’re a real asset.”

According to Barber, the Award for Excellence has been given to communities throughout Arizona for several decades, but this marks the first year in which a Havasu resident or organization has been a recipient.

Since 2005 the Marine Association has taken initiative in aiding environmental agencies against invasive species, conserving native species and enhancing recreational opportunities on Lake Havasu. The group has seen to the construction of launch ramps, launched a cooperative boating registration program with Game and Fish and began an underwater fish habitat program. The association also aided in boat inspections, in concert with AZGF’s “Clean, Drain and Dry” program.

“Jim could have easily spent the past decade focused on how to get more boats sold and on the waters of Lake Havasu, but instead he recognized the benefits of a broader vision,” said Barber in his nomination of Salscheider for the award.

“But instead he recognized the benefits of a broader vision, developed partnerships with government agencies, local businesses and members of the public, and rallied Marine Association volunteers to spread the message that the freedom to boat comes with a commitment to boat educated and responsibly,” Barber said.

Salscheider on Monday said credit for the Marine Association’s accomplishments extended far beyond himself.

“This has been a testament to our board of directors for its leadership, and a testament to our volunteers who have done all the work,” Salscheider said.

“Almost 10 years ago, when I took over the Marine Association, we agreed that whatever happened, we would have a seat at the table with agencies that make rules and regulations for boating on the lake,” Salscheider said. “I believe this tells us we’ve succeeded in doing that.”

• By BRANDON MESSICK Today’s News-Herald, September 18, 2017

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