One man can make a difference! A year ago I set out to promote conservation through education on a creek right across the street from my "front porch". The creek is a tributary named Four Mile Creek and is set in a nature preserve owned by the Town Of Webster in New York State. As a NYS licensed and DEC registered fly fishing guide and an active TU member, I practice and promote catch and release tactics at all times. This small creek is a world class fishery offering opportunities to catch King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Brown Trout, and Steelhead. I fish this creek over 75 times in any given year and see fish spawning by the hundreds in both spring and fall seasons. Funny thing...... the DEC does not stock this creek. These fish are imprinting on there own at crazy rates.
I spent many hours collecting data from my local DEC biologist regarding the natural reproduction of trout on other local tributaries in the area and compiled a data set and final slide presentation for use to present to the Town of Webster (PROSAR GROUP). I also managed to get the NYS-DEC biologists to come to Four Mile Creek and scientifically confirm the natural reproduction of King Salmon and Brown Trout ( wild strain) after months of my asking and planning. As a result, fifteen representatives for the PROSAR GROUP with varied backgrounds and diverse interests voted in favor of my proposal to promote a catch and release fishery on our town creek based on new found date confirming wild trout in our waters. I also influenced the towns decision using information available via the New York Dept. of Health explaining the health risks to young children and pregnant women who might be eating these fish (PCB, Mercury levels).
In the end, a few signs placed on the creek, a kiosk posted with educational information and state fishing regulations and a few educational classes on catch and release tactics sponsored by the town and myself have provided a wonderful environment for this world class fishery to thrive. www,ontariofly.com.