Family and friends will gather Thursday morning at Trinity Episcopal Church in New Orleans to remember Maumus Francois Claverie Jr.

Claverie carried the name “Timau” for most of his 83 years in keeping with the Acadian French tradition of “petit (little) Maumus,” but when it came to recreational fishing in our state, our region and in the bluewater expanses off our shores, there was nothing little about Maumus Claverie — not in stature nor accomplishments.

An Army veteran, attorney, race-car driver, inventor, expert marksman, skilled outdoorsman and avid angler, he died on Valentine’s Day at his New Orleans home.

Timau’s heart just gave out, but it was long after his work in bringing recreational fishing issues to the forefront here, the nation and internationally. He was Louisiana’s first recreational representative on the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and launched the highly successful tagging plan, a program which has provided state and federal fishery biologists with valuable information on the movements and habits of speckled trout and redfish.

Claverie spent hours crafting tagging tools for countless fishermen to further the project’s impact, and first enlisted members of the New Orleans Big Game Fishing Club to join the venture before thousands of anglers joined the effort. His 60 years of fishery interests branded him a leader in The Billfish Foundation and the early years of shallow-water fishing organizations, notably the Coastal Conservation Association and the New Orleans Fly Fishers Club.

Sitting CCA Louisiana president George Huye said Claverie was an easy choice for the state organization’s Hall of Fame.

“There was no one more qualified for that honor,” Huye said.

Louisiana’s current Gulf Council representative, Camp Matens, said Claverie set the bar high for the position.

“Timau certainly was one of the earlier advocates in our recreational fishing efforts,” Matens said. “He was a highly effective recreational representative for our state on the Gulf Council.

“He started the tagging program for our inland marine fish and dedicated his time for the interests of recreational fishermen. He was an icon in our world, and will be very difficult to replace,” Matens said. “When someone like Timau passes away, we lose a lot, a lot.”