A fantastic op-ed, written by Montana outfitters, ran in The Missoulian yesterday. Mike Geary, John Herzer, Terri Raugland, Brandon Bodecker, and Joe Sowerby discussed how the prosed Smith River mine is unlikely to improve the river.
For immediate release
March 22, 2016
Cell Phone 406-580-6887
AFFTA Phone 406-522-1556
Email – email@example.com
Fly Fishing Businesses Support White House Drought Actions
Announced on World Water Day
Bozeman, MT – The American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA) today heralded actions announced at the White House World Water Day Summit in Washington, D.C., to address the multi-year drought in California and across the West.
The mission of AFFTA is to promote the sustained growth of the fly-fishing industry.
“Our members and business partners are concerned about the toll the drought has been taking on California’s watersheds and fisheries, and therefore the outdoor recreation economy,” explained Ben Bulis, President of AFFTA. “We rest a bit easier knowing that steps are being taken to harness data to improve decision-making, which will lead to smart actions by state and local water managers. Fish and wildlife habitat, our sporting traditions and our economy are dependent upon thoughtful decision-making in the face of chronic drought and climate change.”
The White House announced a Presidential Memorandum encouraging agency collaboration in key watersheds, greater information sharing between federal and state agencies, and enhanced drought data collection and analysis, among other actions. These steps are among those called for by the Western Governors Association’s drought initiative last year.
“The fly-fishing industry has a strong presence in the West, so we really thank the White House for being responsive to the priorities flagged by Western governors for action on drought,” added Bulis.
We asked Bryan Huskey with Keepemwet, to explain the process behind the entire Keepemwet ideology. Here’s what he had to say:
Are smart phones and social media impacting our fisheries? Can we encourage better handling practices and faster, lower impact photo sessions throughout the catch & release process? Should fly fishing culture and community weigh in on this? These are questions I ask while scrolling social media, and a few years back became the foundation of Keepemwet Fishing.
In 2010 a Boise fly fishing club asked me to do a presentation on trout photography. I titled one section “Keep ‘Em Wet” encouraging anglers to get their camera down into the fish’s world rather up into ours. It makes for more interesting images, and is also better for the survival of fish that are to be released following photos. With the rise of social media, images of “catch & release” fish began to flood my screen, I wondered if there was a way to encourage lower impact photo practices for these fish. I recalled my presentation title and began hashtagging my images #keepemwet. The catchy phrase took off and soon became commonplace in social media postings. Native Fish Society contacted me about a promotion they were undertaking and how the phrase worked well for their campaign title. My friends at Fly Fishing Film Tour and Patagonia hosted photo contests based on the use of the tag. The simple phrase encapsulated a variety of important elements of fish handling, and folks were taking notice.
Defining A Movement:
With its popularity and catchiness, for some the message still failed to hit its mark. As pleased as I was to see its widespread use, I still wanted to better define its meaning as I’d intended it. I felt the phrase could be used to create meaningful awareness while uniting anglers of all kinds mindful of their own respective fisheries. Setting out to refine this message and communicate ways anglers could tilt the “fish porn” dial and reduce their impact, I created Keepemwet Fishing social media accounts to spread the message and better define it’s meaning. With the help of good friend Paul Moinester, we assembled suggested tips, principles and a wide range of supporting partners onto an official website. Dr. Andy Danylchuk kindly offered his fisheries expertise to validate the science based foundations our message.
What Lies Ahead:
The support and enthusiasm for these efforts thus far has been incredible. Partnerships and support from individuals, companies, media outlets and conservation organizations has been encouraging, inspiring really. Moving forward I hope to unify this core group of anglers from all stripes and tackles, who share the perspective that a few fundamental practices of fish handling set ideal examples for others. Promoting awareness of how easy it is to simply keep a fish wet during release and photography is a goal I feel is absolutely obtainable and can only benefit fisheries and sport angling as a whole. As I write this now, there are over 38,000 images on Instagram tagged #keepemwet. With this kind of reach I believe we really are shifting “fish selfie” photos in a fish friendlier direction and I’m grateful for each and every angler, brand and organization for supporting this movement.
All photos courtesy of Bryan Huskey.
The AFFTA Fisheries Fund Annual Report has been released. In 2015, we were pleased to work with organizations including the Alaska Conservation Foundation, the Deschutes River Alliance, The Freshwater Trust, National Trout Unlimited, the Utah Stream Access Coalition, and Montana Trout Unlimited.
Curious what projects Fisheries Funds made possible? Read the full report here.