Recycled Fish promotes stewardship
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Conservation organizations are a lot like field guides -- there's a new one every year, and it's difficult to keep track of them all. Nebraska-based Recycled Fish is a national, nonprofit organization whose credo is, "Our lifestyle runs downstream."
"We started out seven years ago promoting catch and release, but it's bigger than that now," said executive director and co-founder Teeg Stouffer. "If we want to catch more and bigger fish today and leave healthy waters for our grandkids, it takes living a lifestyle of stewardship both on and off the water. We promote the S.A.F.E. Angling concept: Sustaining Angling, Fish and Ecosystems."
Recycled Fish promotes non-toxic and biodegradable tackle, single barbless hooks and cleaning up trash.
"Our lifestyle runs downstream," Stouffer said, "so everyday choices like what we put on our lawns, whether we buy recycled paper, or turn off lights when we leave a room matter just as much as catch and release and selective harvest."
Anglers who agree that waters need stewards are asked to take the Stewardship Pledge (www.recycledfish.org). It's free, but make a donation and every dollar counts.
"For every dollar donated, we can get about 3 gallons of trash off a lake, or teach two kids about taking care of their waters," Stouffer said. "Living as a steward means making choices throughout my daily life that benefit lakes, streams and seas-- and the fish that swim in them ."
The pledge also includes promises "to learn the fish and game laws where I hunt or fish and always abide by them, to police my resource by turning in poachers and reporting polluters, and to make up for 'the other guy' by cleaning up litter wherever my adventures take me."
"Anglers are the best advocates of our aquatic resources because they are personally connected to them," Stouffer said. "Our objective is to recruit millions of anglers to be stewards of both fish and their waters."
First Published April 24, 2011 12:00 am