Editor’s note: The TU Costa Five Rivers Program is sending five college students on a native trout odyssey across America this summer. Meet Austin Burroughs, one of the five lucky participants.
I am Austin Burroughs and I am currently a senior at the Florida State University, finishing up my bachelors in science in environmental studies. Here at school, I serve on the executive board for the FSU fishing club, helping to plan events and volunteer where needed. Outside of campus, I volunteer with Captains For Clean Water, an organization that is fighting the political and environmental issue to send clean water back south through our dying Everglades.
Along with these endeavors, I run the White River Fly Shop here in Tallahassee at the local Bass Pro Shops, where, for the last four years, I have helped educate, teach and welcome newcomers and experienced anglers into the fly fishing community.
With my childhood split between living in Alaska and Florida, I have been able to see and fish a wide range of fisheries and ecosystems. Growing up with the ability to experience big rainbow trout chasing down mice patterns, chunking crab patterns at tailing redfish here in our marshes, to DIY bonefishing in the Bahamas, I am beyond stoked to get the opportunity to learn even more this summer about fish I’m not familiar with.
After graduating college, I hope and plan to work in the environmental conservation industry, working to protect and preserve some of these ecosystems that have taught me so much throughout my life.
I cannot wait to target and highlight the importance of the sixteen species of native trout that my partners and I will be seeking, paired with promoting the conservation efforts put into place to protect these vital species located on some of the nations most beautiful public land. Between the lifelong friendships that will be forged along this trip to the incomparable adventures that we will experience, this Native Odyssey will truly be life-changing. I cannot wait to share with you all.
— Austin Burroughs