From left: Greg Fay (BTT Board Member), Cory Deal (BTT Events Coordinator), Dr. Ross Boucek (BTT Florida Keys Initiative Manager), Garrett Gordy (Co-Founder of Gordy & Sons Outfitters), Andy Mill (Former Olympian and Professional Angler), Mark Rehbein, (BTT Director of Development). BTT image.

Bonefish & Tarpon Trust and Gordy & Sons Outfitters are pleased to announce the launch of the BTT Texas Tarpon Acoustic Tagging Project

The family behind the finest hunting and fishing retailer, which is based in Houston, is generously funding the first year of the Texan tagging initiative to harvest local data from the tarpon migration that spans the western Gulf of Mexico and as far north as the Chesapeake Bay area.

BTT Tarpon Acoustic Tagging Project, launched in March 2016 with generous sponsorship from Maverick Boat Group, is a 5-year regional project to determine the level of connectivity across regions of the Southeastern United States and Gulf of Mexico, identify movement strategies of tarpon across life stages, and determine the proportion of population considered “homebodies” or “movers.”

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Karl Wickstrom midstream in his career, South Miami office, 1988.  Florida Sportsman image.

Florida’s True Champion: A Special Retirement Tribute

As an award-winning investigative reporter for the Miami Herald during the 1960s, Karl Wickstrom took on crime and corruption. As a legislative aide in Tallahassee, he helped draft law-enforcement reform legislation. That same crusader mentality and zeal served him well when he decided to challenge the status quo to improve the lot of fishermen in the state of Florida.

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Sockeye salmon returning to the Bristol Bay region to spawn. Ben Knight image for High Country News.

Everything Old Is New Again: Bristol Bay and the Pebble Mine

With all that good news about huge salmon returns, why are we taking this trip down memory lane, you ask? Well, in another stark example of elections having consequences, the new Administration’s leadership at the EPA quickly showed its stripes by reaching a backroom deal to settle the lawsuit with the backers of the Pebble Mine, and is attempting to roll back the restrictions proposed back in 2014. I’m sorry, but putting the interests of a junior Canadian mining company whose stock was under $0.50 a share before last November’s election above all that Bristol Bay represents, that doesn’t sound like such an America First decision to me. And, you can bet how well it sat with people in Bristol Bay.

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Lahonan cutthroat trout, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, are coming back to their native watersheds thanks state-of-the-art techniques used by TU scientists to map and model suitable habitat. Image courtesy of TU.

New science promotes trout recovery

Some define conservation as overseeing loss. Loss of wetlands; loss of open space; loss of water quality; loss of species. Aldo Leopold harkened to this when he wrote in the Sand County Almanac that “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.”

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Many native trout species, like these bull trout, are rare or endangered. Photo courtesy of USGS.

Anyone who takes flyfishing seriously behaves like a scientist. These anglers are biologists, knowledgeable in what’s eating what, when and how. They are hydrologists, studying riffles and stream flow. They are naturalists, observing clouds and sunlight and the circulation of air as their rods flick back and forth across the big sky. They are, in a sense, climate scientists. And some, but not all, are deeply concerned about the effects of a warming climate on the cold-water species that inhabit blue-ribbon trout streams.

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