Friday 5: Protecting Hermosa, Connecticut River salmon, and a little love for the BTT

It was a big week for fish and fishing. Here are five things to consider as you head into the weekend. Stay cool, stay hydrated ... and enjoy the 'hopper hatch:

1) This week, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennett introduced a grass-roots-driven bill to protect one of the last, best places in Colorado--the Hermosa Creek watershed near Durango. Not only would the bill tailor the area's management as prescribed by the folks who live in the watershed, it would provide the opportunity to expand native Colorado River cutthroat populations--and the chance to fish for them--in that area. It's a win-win for everyone in southwest Colorado, because this is their bill. Congratulations to the TU-ers on the ground who help make this happen. Nice work.

USFWS halts efforts to recover salmon in the Connecticut River.

2) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced this week that efforts to restore native Atlantic salmon to the Connecticut River aren't working, and therefore, aren't going to continue. Rather than look at this glumly and completely give up hope, the real answer to bringing salmon back to the Connecticut lies in continuing the effort to improve habitat and fish passage. A lesson can be learned from the great efforts going on right now on Maine's Penobscot River. This is sad news, but the fat lady isn't even warming up yet.

3) It's nearing the end of July and things across the country areĀ unusually warm. That means 'hopper season is arriving early, and that means some of the best dry fly fishing of the year is right in front of us. Looking for a quick and pretty easy

Darth Hopper

pattern for 'hoppers? Here you go.

4) Remember back in June when we announced the winners of the TU/Simms/Yellowstone Park Foundation/Outdoor Blogger Network essay contest? Well, winners Steve Zakur and Marc Payne are headed to Yellowstone next week to collect on their grand prizes--the chance fish Yellowstone and get to know some of the challenges facing the park's fabled fisheries. They'll be in the Yellowstone area start Tuesday afternoon, and stuck with a few of us taskmaster tour guides through Saturday afternoon. We plan to keep them busy. We hope the fish cooperate. Wish them luck (and by that I mean, wish all of us some luck!).

Glenn Pittard shows off my spotted sea trout caught in south Florida last week (notice the missing tail fin--sucks to live with sharks, huh?). Pittard works for the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust. And, of course, since we were catching "trout," I could tell the boss I was working.

5) And finally... a little fisheries conservation cross-pollination occurred last week in southwest Florida. I attended the annual ICAST show in Orlando, and then drove a few hours south to visit with my friend and counterpart at the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, Glenn Pittard. Glenn owns a flats skiff, and I need all the practice I can get casting from one, so we turned a hot, south Florida day of fishing into a lengthy discussion of fisheries conservation issues. BTT is the leading conservation group working to protect inshore game species like bonefish, tarpon, permit and snook. Glenn and I had a great time on the water, and I like to think we at least took a crack at taking on some the challenges that come with working in the communications arena for conservation non-profits. Glenn has a lot of respect for the work TU does on behalf of trout and salmon conservation, and I've become a great admirer of the work BTT does (largely because I've caught the saltwater fishing bug--I love my trout, but ocean-dwelling fish pull hard). And I think that's wellspring of all great conservation--if you value something, you want to see it protected, right? So, my hat's off to BTT for making it possible for me to (maybe one day) catch a bonefish.

Have a great weekend.

- Chris Hunt

Comments

 
said on Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Thank god the CT River Salmon program is dead. What really needs to happen is not stocking of parr but the improvement of habitat most notably the removal of several dams. This will be a tough battle cause even anglers like some of these dams - one creates a fantastic tailwater on the Farmington. I look forward to the next incarnation of Atlantic Salmon restoration.

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