Gene Gilliland


During his 32-year career as a research biologist, fisheries management supervisor and Assistant Chief of Fisheries for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Gilliland developed a national reputation as an advocate for angler involvement in fisheries decision-making. It earned him prestigious national awards from the American Fisheries Society and induction into its Fisheries Management Hall of Fame. 

Throughout his career, he was actively involved with B.A.S.S. Conservation and was a regular contributor on black bass biology and management for B.A.S.S. Times magazine and other fishing publications. 

He co-authored (with Dr. Hal Schramm) the booklet “Keeping Bass Alive, A Guidebook for Tournament Anglers and Organizers,” which has become the defining document for modern tournament fish care. 

The B.A.S.S. National Conservation Director since 2013, Gilliland is regarded as the voice of bass fishing on numerous national boards and councils, including the Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership, the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council, and the American Sportfishing Association’s Government Affairs Committee.