The volunteers of Vanishing Paradise’s Sporting Council all have a real passion for the outdoors and for passing on our nation’s conservation legacy. These individuals are working to enhance and expand Vanishing Paradise’s reach so sportsmen and women across the country are aware of the Mississippi River Delta’s importance to fish and waterfowl—and become inspired to take action to protect this great American landscape.
Burton AngelleRead Bio
I am a lifelong resident of the great state of Louisiana who loves the outdoors. I currently live in Lafayette with my wife, Anne, daughter Lily and my two labs, Bogey and Rosco.
I grew up hunting and fishing in the Atchafalaya Basin with my grandfather and dad beginning at a very young age. They instilled in me not only a passion for hunting and fishing but also a love for the state of Louisiana which we can call “Sportsman’s Paradise.”
I have volunteered for many years with organization such as Coastal Conservation Association and Ducks Unlimited on the local, state and national levels. I truly love our state and want many generations after me to be able to enjoy it as well.
Canaan HeardRead Bio
Canaan Heard follows in a long line of avid Louisiana outdoorsmen. His great grandfather Clarence "Patin" Faulk started making duck and goose calls in Big Lake, Louisiana, in the 1930s. His grandfather Dud Faulk learned and continued the craft, ultimately taking over the business in the 1950s. With four generation’s worth of passion running through his veins, Canaan enjoys hunting and fishing in every corner of Sportman’s Paradise. He also carries on the family tradition by marketing Faulk’s Game Calls, sharing the company’s unique story at every opportunity. As a long time Ducks Unlimited member, he also hopes to identify and to support local conservation efforts on behalf of the company, helping preserve the bayous, lakes, fields, and forests of his childhood for generations to come.
After serving 10 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, Canaan graduated from college and launched his own business, PROTAC, to develop training programs to improve physical fitness, strength, and conditioning specifically for people in military service and law enforcement, as well as athletes. He recently expanded his business in New Orleans to include security and active shooter training. He also serves as president and CEO of PROTAC Foundation, which provides service-to-civilian support for returning veterans.
Canaan graduated from Tulane University School of Medicine with a master’s degree in physiology in May 2016. He earned his Bachelor of Science in biology in May 2011 and his Bachelor of Arts in sociology in December 2005 from Louisiana State University.
Eric CosbyRead Bio
Eric Cosby began fishing the marshes south of New Orleans in the early 1990s. In 1998, Eric started the Marsh Madness media event based out of Venice, Louisiana. Marsh Madness is an annual event created to promote sponsors products and to introduce the outdoor media to the challenges facing the Mississippi River Delta.
Eric is the Vice President of CEMCO, Inc./Top Brass Tackle, a fishing tackle manufacturer specializing in terminal tackle for the bass market. Eric received his BS in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State University in 1990.
John PollmanRead Bio
John Pollmann is a freelance outdoor writer who focuses on upland bird and waterfowl hunting as well as those conservation issues surrounding the preservation of a diverse landscape in his home state of South Dakota. A 2012 recipient of the John Madson Fellowship from the Outdoor Writers Association of America, Mr. Pollmann is a regular contributor to the Sioux Falls (SD) Argus Leader; provides a bi-monthly report on South Dakota for the Minnesota Outdoor News; and is the waterfowl columnist for the Aberdeen (SD) American News Outdoor Forum. Other writing credits include the pages of magazines for Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl and American Waterfowler.
A life-long outdoorsman, Mr. Pollmann has hunted in such famed locations as the Eastern Shore of Maryland; the Interlakes region of Manitoba; the flooded timber of Arkansas; and coastal Louisiana. His favorite place to be, however, remains a marsh in South Dakota, where he loves decoying mallards and pintails hatched on the Coteau des Prairies.
In addition to outdoor writing, Mr. Pollmann holds an advanced degree in music and currently teaches at Pipestone Area School in Pipestone, MN. He is an active member of Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl, Pheasants Forever, and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, and currently serves as a member-at-large for the South Dakota Wildlife Federation.
Mr. Pollmann lives in Dell Rapids, SD with his wife Amber, their son Miles and a yellow Labrador named Murphy.
Marissa Rabalais TurnerRead Bio
Marissa Rabalais Turner
Marissa and her husband, Franklin, have been in the TV business since 2002. After traveling the country in the thoroughbred horse racing circuit, they came home to Louisiana to work for Marissa's dad on his show Cajun Quest - The Louisiana Fishing Show and the popular, Cajun Quest - Hookin' & Cookin'. The Turners eventually started their own production company, Turner House Productions, and became the host of The Outdoor Kitchen Show. Marissa and her son, Sean, have been valued members of the Vanishing Paradise Sporting Council since the inception of the original VP Prostaff team.
Mike McNettRead Bio
Mike is a successful Chicago, IL based entrepreneur and businessman as well as a champion ice fisher. Following the sale of his industry respected business in 2007, McNett embarked on a new venture becoming a known and respected professional in the American Ice Fishing community. 2007-2012 Mike was co-owner and Director of the North American Ice Fishing Circuit® (NAIFC) Tournament Series and also co-founder of Ice Camp™, a series of ice fishing clinics for youth and parents alike who learn from and fish with professional ice fishers. He also is the creator, executive director and creative force in the Ice Men reality television series depicting the lives, personalities and competitions of four 2-man ice fishing teams.
McNett has a personable and easy style that endears him to new competitors and seasoned professionals and when coupled with his high energy business acumen is a formidable force in organization, management and acquisition of financing. Mike is currently in his third year as an Insurance Producer for Humbert Insurance Agency in Elmhurst Illinois. Mike was also the driving force for USA Ice Team as GOLD medal Team Captain and Director of Operations.
2005 North American Ice Fishing Circuit (NAIFC) Champion
2007 NAIFC Co-founder
2007-2012 NAIFC Director of Operations
2007 USA Ice Team Founder
2008-2010 ICE MEN TV Creator, Writer, Director, Videographer and Producer
2008-present USA Ice Team Director
2009 United States Freshwater Fishing Federation (USF3) Co-founder
2010-present USF3 Vice Chairman
2010 World Ice Fishing Championship GOLD Medal (Team Captain)
Noel VickRead Bio
Capn. Ryan LambertRead Bio
Capn. Ryan Lambert
Captain Ryan Lambert, President of Cajun Fishing Adventures, Inc., is a successful entrepreneur in southeast Louisiana and a professional angler for more than 31 years. Launched in 1994, Cajun Fishing Adventures, Inc. has a renowned reputation in the sports fishing and hunting industry which have led to hosting large corporate events for ESPN, southeast Louisiana fishing tournaments and annual area events. Ryan has been featured in sports shows with Outdoor Channel, Verses, ESPN, Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, Garden and Gun, Louisiana Sportsman Magazines, and local media shows in radio and TV in the greater New Orleans area.
Captain Lambert has been an active spokesperson for coastal restoration as a contributor to the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan Framework Development Team.
In addition, he is the current Vice‐President of the Louisiana Charter Boat Association, an organization that seeks to protect and promote the development and preservation of the fishing guide industry in Louisiana. As a LCBA member, Captain Lambert has spoken to congressional leaders in Washington DC on Louisiana’s coastal environmental issues. His business experience brings qualitative value to federal, state, and local agencies on restoration projects and the preservation of Louisiana wetlands.
Sean Rabalais TurnerRead Bio
Sean Rabalais Turner
Sean Turner has been a member of the Vanishing Paradise Pro Staff since he was nine years old. A passionate advocate for coastal restoration, Sean has earned several awards for his volunteerism, including the Governor's Award for Youth in Conservation presented by Louisiana Wildlife Federation, the Youth Volunteer of the Year Award presented by the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, and the Louisiana Youth Angler of the Year presented by the Louisiana Outdoor Writer's Association. He co-hosts his family's television outdoors program, The Outdoor Kitchen Show, promoting conservation and the hunting/fishing life in Louisiana with his parents, Franklin and Marissa Rabalais Turner. He volunteers for conservation groups at conferences, expos, and events. Sean also competes at the state level in 4-H Shooting Sports in Compound Bow Archery, winning medals and titles every year. His dream is to guide trips from his own hunting and fishing lodge in coastal Louisiana.
Travis WeigeRead Bio
Travis enjoys duck hunting and being outdoors as often as possible. He is the editor of Hunting Collective.com and a part time journalist for various online publications. When not hunting he spends his free time making custom knives in his garage under the name, Weige Knives.com. He lives in Austin, TX with his wife, son and two dogs.
Wade MiddletonRead Bio
Wade Middleton is the President and Co-owner of Careco TV one of the leading outdoor media production companies in the nation. With years of experience at various levels in the outdoors he works with numerous companies nationwide to design programs, initiatives and strategies related to fishing and outdoors opportunities. Wade also is the host and producer of many of the top rated outdoor television fishing programs on air today such as Americana Outdoors Presented by Garmin, Yamaha’s Whitetail Diaries, Cabela’s Fisherman’s Handbook, Fishing and Hunting Texas as well as The Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship Series. For more information visit www.careocotv.com
To learn more about the Council, please contact Bill Cooksey.
Sporting Council members, Captain Ryan Lambert (left) and Sean Turner (far right), meeting with Congressman Garret Graves (middle).
Ramon Inglesias from Roland Martin Marina on Lake Okeechobee talks with Sporting Council member, Burton Angelle, and Bill Cooksey about some of Florida’s water problems. [photo: Travis Thompson]
New Sporting Council member, Erik Guggenhein, joined us in D.C. to discuss forage fishing with legislators.