Trout Unlimited’s own Chris Wood is among the latest group of inductees into the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame.
Wood, who started at TU two decades ago, and took the reins as president and CEO in 2009, has grown the organization into an internationally respected conservation powerhouse with an annual budget approaching $80 million and a national staff of 260 employees.
“Chris is an evangelist of fishing, and fisheries conservation,” said Steve Moyer, TU’s vice president for government affairs and himself a FWFHOF inductee in 2014. “He loves to fish, and generously and routinely takes people fishing on the Potomac River each spring. His fishing excursions include members of Congress, federal agency leaders, friends, kids and veterans.”
More importantly, Moyer noted, Wood understands that good fishing is the product of healthy rivers and streams, and, under his leadership at TU, the organization as worked tirelessly to protect public lands and waters, restore rivers and streams and shore up the Clean Water Act to ensure everyone who fishes can share the pastime with coming generations of anglers.
Over the last 18 months, while the world as endured its worst pandemic in a century, TU has continued to thrive under Wood’s guidance. Working closely with Indigenous tribes and local communities, it led the effort to beat back the ill-conceived Pebble Mine in Alaska, and it was instrumental in working with Congress to pass the Great American Outdoors Act that protected public lands and waters, and cemented in place angling opportunities for Americans from all walks of life.
Wood is joined in this year’s FWFHOF class by former TU employee Dave Kumlien, a Montana fishing guide who started the Whirling Disease Foundation and later helped it merge with TU. Kumlien is also an outspoken advocate for veterans and helped found Warriors and Quiet Waters, a foundation that helps the country’s veterans experience the healing powers of fishing.