TroutBlitz: Fishing for science

May 22, 2015


Jack Williams, TU senior scientist, (541) 261-3960

Wayne Richey, (480) 242-8649

Chris Hunt, TU national communications director (208) 406-9106


TroutBlitz: Fishing for science and prizes

Anglers can help TU catalog wild and native trout all across North America, and win flies for doing it

WASHINGTON, D.C.Just in time for Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of trout season across America, Trout Unlimited is relaunching its citizen science effort, TroutBlitz. And, anglers who participate regularly throughout the summer have the chance to win fly boxes stuffed to the gills with fly patterns supplied by TU corporate partner

TroutBlitz is a unique program designed by TUs Science Team to encourage anglers to record evidence of their trout catches both photographically and via mapping coordinates. TUs science team uses the data collected from anglers to learn more about native trout water, non-native trout proliferation and the health of entire watersheds. Its easy to participateanglers are asked to simply photograph the fish they catch and enter some very simple data through the TroutBlitz interface.

We can use the data generated for countless conservation efforts aimed at protecting trout, salmon and their watersheds, said TU Senior Scientist Jack Williams. We can identify waters where native trout persist, waters where it might be possible to reintroduce native trout and large tracts of intact habitat that need to be protected in order to ensure healthy trout and salmon populations into the future.

Williams and his team of TU scientists crafted the plan using a simple-to-navigate iNaturalist interface. The idea, Williams said, was to find ways to boost TUs knowledge and understanding of where and how wild and native trout persisted, and how TU could help protect or restore important trout populations.

And we wanted to make it fun, he said. Whats more fun for anglers than actually fishing? We think this effort will involve anglers in science and conservation in a meaningful way, and draw attention to some of the challenges trout and salmon face all across North America.

Wayne Richey, a manager at, loves the idea behind TroutBlitz, noting that it will provide important data to TUs Science Team that can be used to help restore rivers in his home state of Washington.

Weve seen what happens here in western Washington when we dont care for our rivers, he said. The get dammed, dewatered and trashed. Trout Unlimited is an important partner for us, because they protect and restore the habitat our customers depend on for good fishing. And TU just keeps making our fishing better. Thats why were happy to donate some truly great fly assortments to this effort.

The first assortments awarded to TroutBlitz anglers include the attractor pro guide assortment that features 72 attractor flies and carries a retail value of $155.39 and the 36-piece dry fly caddis assortment valued at $77.99. The angler who catalogs the most trout observations between Saturday, May 23, and Tuesday, June 30, will win attractor assortment. The angler who catalogs the highest number of species observations will win the caddis assortment.

Two new assortments will be announced each month through October.

Were really grateful to Wayne and his team for their help, Williams said. We hope that the prizes will serve as incentive to getting anglers out into the field this summer and fishing for science.

Trout Unlimited is the nations oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North Americas trout and salmon and their watersheds. Follow TU on Facebook and Twitter, and visit us online at