AFFTA Fisheries Fund Awards $31k in Grants


AFFTA has increased its charitable influence in the fisheries world this summer, awarding more than $30,000.00 to non-profits and water restoration projects around the country. Funds will go to restore fisheries, provide educational opportunities and help fund research projects.


In June, the AFFTA Fisheries Fund (AFF) Board awarded $31,500 to non-profits across the country in support of projects aimed at fisheries restoration, research, education, and assisting underserved communities. AFF is proud to have provided more than $265,000 in support of partner organizations working to enhance fisheries, restore habitat, and increase awareness.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers – New Mexico Stream Access Stewardship & Education

Through targeted stream access restoration projects, an education campaign, and collaboration with a variety of stakeholders, work to enhance the public’s understanding of how to thoughtfully recreate on New Mexico rivers and streams while being good stewards of our riparian and aquatic ecosystems and fisheries.

Bighorn River Alliance – Side Channel Reactivation Project – Montana
Habitat Restoration

Based on the successful reactivation of two side channels in 2021 (which AFFTA Fisheries Fund provided financial support in 2020), work to reactivate 12 side channels that have become disconnected or are increasingly low functioning, restoring a total of 5.5 miles of critical spawning and juvenile rearing habitat.

Flathead Rivers Alliance – Fisheries Conservation and Stewardship Messaging – Montana
(Education/Responsible Recreation)

Expand responsible recreation messaging, focusing on fisheries conservation and stewardship, surrounding the 219-mile Three Forks of the Flathead Wild and Scenic River, targeting visitors and residents alike in northwest Montana.

Menikanaehkem – Menominee Reservation Youth Initiative – Wisconsin
(Education/Underserved Communities)

Support for an Indigenous youth leadership initiative providing wellness to at-risk youth through the revitalization of their connection to nature using fly fishing as the “hook” to share the therapeutic experiences of the outdoors.

Mianus Chapter of Trout Unlimited – Downtown Trout – Connecticut
(Education/Underserved Communities)

Launch “Downtown Trout” in the heart of Stamford, Connecticut, designed to increase outdoor participation among urban families by offering free, weekly fishing and environmental education opportunities for local youth and families.

Native Fish Coalition – Inter-Stream Movement of Sea-Run Brook Trout in Maine

Research to determine whether wild native sea-run brook trout in a multi-stream estuary system demonstrate inter-stream movement. As sea-run brook trout represent a unique life history strategy, migrating between freshwater, brackish water, and saltwater, this understanding is vital for proper management.

North Umpqua Coalition – Establishing an all-wild steelhead watershed (Oregon)
(Species Restoration)

Wild summer and winter steelhead in the North Umpqua River face threats from the climate change impacts of fire and drought. With the destruction of the Rock Creek Hatchery by wildfire, work to designate the river as a wild steelhead-only watershed.

Trout Unlimited — Alaska Fish Habitat Mapping and Community Science Project

Provide continued support to survey water bodies in southeast Alaska for anadromous fish use and add these data to the Anadromous Waters Catalog (AWC) to ensure prioritized anadromous fish habitats receive basic protections under state law. At present, the AWC is incomplete, and many important species and water bodies are left unprotected.

“We are delighted to provide support for these important projects while we also recognize the need to grow our grant funding as we were unable to provide support for many other quality projects,” observed Whitney Tilt, AFF Executive Director. “For 2022, we grew our grant funding by 30 percent, and we plan to keep that growth in 2023 and beyond, thanks to the support of the fly fishing industry.”

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