Why Clean Water Matters: Rick Nyles

By Rick Nyles

I’m fortunate to live in Pennsylvania, second only to Alaska in miles of running water. For a trout angler and guide such as myself, my home state provides me a chance to fish my favorite waters and search for new destinations.

Yet while thousands of Pennsylvania’s streams support healthy populations of wild trout, this is also a state with a sad legacy of mistreatment of our waters. It’s heartbreaking to see streams that are lifeless due to toxic runoff from abandoned mines.

Thanks to sensible water protections, such as those afforded by the Clean Water Act, and to work by groups such as Trout Unlimited, we are making progress in restoring some damaged streams while protecting others.

As a fisherman, this has created more places for me to fish. And, as a fishing guide, it’s good for my business, Sky Blue Outfitters.

The EPA recently announced that it is reviewing the Clean Water Rule, which provides protections to headwaters under the Clean Water Act. This is a reasonable rule supported by science, and one that helps ensure clarity and consistency that’s good for states and industry alike.

I support the Clean Water Rule, oppose any changes to it, and urge fellow anglers to visit TU’s Action Center and join me in Standing Up for Clean Water.

Headwaters, even those that don’t flow year-round, are critical to the health of our larger rivers. What goes into those small streams eventually ends up downstream, after all. Why would we not want to afford protections to those waters?

Rick Nyles is the owner of Sky Blue Outfitters, a TU Gold Business.

By Mark Taylor. A native of rural southern Oregon, Mark Taylor has lived in Virginia since serving a stint as a ship-based naval officer in Norfolk. He joined the TU staff in 2014 after a 20-year run as a newspaper journalist, the final 16 as the outdoors editor of the Roanoke Times. A graduate of Northwestern University, he lives in Roanoke with his wife and, when they're home from college, his twin daughters.