Lahontan cutthroat trout
By John Zablocki
It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. But we think they are worth much more than that. Photography may be our most powerful tool for cataloging and celebrating the incredible diversity of North America’s trout and salmon. That’s why we are launching the TU TroutBlitz Project.
You don’t have to have a PhD to make a valuable contribution to science. The late Dr. Bob Behnke, considered by many to have been the world’s foremost authority on native trout, recognized a certain Johannes Schoffmann of Austria as the “world’s authority on brown trout and their relatives.” Johannes was a baker by trade, but spent a lifetime traveling throughout Europe, Asia, and North Africa to catch and photograph native trout. Much of what the world knows about the diversity and distribution of trout comes from this one man armed with a camera.
Sadly, Johannes’ photographs may be the only record the world has that many of these unique fishes even existed.
In North America, most anglers are familiar with rainbow, brown and brook trout, but how many have ever seen a Whitehorse cutthroat, Mexican golden trout or a Sacramento redband? When an angler has seen these unique fish, it is usually through a painting of a single-type specimen. But a single image can never capture the incredible diversity found even within a single subspecies. That’s why we need citizen scientists--ecological anglers--to get involved in the TU TroutBlitz. TroutBlitz is a citizen science project aimed at cataloging the rich diversity of North America’s native salmonids, including trout, steelhead, char, whitefish and salmon.
Through photography and angling, TU’s members--and non-members--can build a single, easily accessible, geo-referenced photo library of native salmonids across their geographic range. In addition to documenting native trout biodiversity, TU members can contribute to scientific understanding of the introduction and non-native species by providing geo-referenced photos of these fishes when afield. In order to make TroutBlitz successful, we need your help. With just a fly rod, camera, and GPS, you can make a valuable contribution to science.
All the info you need to get started on TroutBlitz can be found at the TroutBlitz interface.
Be sure to read the ‘About’ section after clicking on the link. There you will find a link to the TU developed manual that gives you all the info you need to get started. It’s easy. It’s fun. It’s important.