Fly Life Magazine

Industry News: Aaron Adams recipient of Leopold Conservation Award

Aaron Adams is a man with a vision of a better world. He is also an accomplished scientist, published author, skilled fly angler, and a friend without borders, and husband and father. He mixed Wall Streeters, scientists from many disciplines, guides and captains from Florida, Cuba,  and the Bahamas, recreational anglers, and conservationists together and said: “Let’s figure out bonefish and tarpon. We need to know everything about them.” And now Bonefish & Tarpon Trust is a world renown source of flats fisheries research. Thanks Aaron. — Skip Clement

The following was written by Jim McDuffie, president / Bonefish & Tarpon Trust / August 2018

James McDuffie is President and Chief Executive Officer at Bonefish & Tarpon Trust. Miami, FL.

Science is our compass. It helps us understand the natural world while also guiding our efforts to conserve it. This is true whether we’re tracking tarpon movements along thousands of miles of coastline, examining the connections between bonefish populations across the entire Caribbean Basin or, most recently, tackling the causes and remedies of the devastating red tide covering our southwest Gulf coast.

Our scientific efforts over the years have been guided by Dr. Aaron Adams, an accomplished and dedicated scientist who has taken our organization to the leading edge of flats research. We were pleased last week when Fly Fishers International recognized Aaron with its Leopold Conservation Award. This was a great honor for him and proud moment for BTT.


The Leopold Conservation Award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to fisheries and land ecology at the scale of whole systems. Aaron has certainly demonstrated this throughout his career, including his work to promote Everglades restoration at the scale required for ultimate success. Only with a whole system perspective will we have any chance of achieving meaningful outcomes from ongoing efforts to restore natural flows south to the Everglades and Florida Bay and reduce unnatural, toxic flows from Lake Okeechobee into our rivers and estuaries on both coasts.”

Aaron Adams, Ph.D., Operations Director for Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, talking conservation with Lefty Kreh at the 2012 BTT Symposium, a triennial event. Photo Clement.

A great way to congratulate Aaron and mark this special occasion is to press on with important work to restore the Everglades ecosystem and benefit our fisheries. Please take a moment right now to contact your elected representatives in Washington, DC and express your support of the EAA Reservoir. This outreach is especially needed in the Senate where S2800 (America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018) has not yet been put to a vote. Call, write, or meet with your Senators and demand action. Or text WATER to 52886 to share a message prepared for you. Nothing is more important to our restoration efforts in Florida or more in keeping with Aaron’s 2018 Leopold Conservation Award.

To join or renew BTT membership . . .

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