The Western Native Trout Initiative (WNTI) has launched their “Western Native Trout Challenge” a fishing challenge designed to get more anglers out into the West to pursue native trout species. The challenge spans 21 species spread across 12 Western states. The challenge has no time limit, which means you can attempt the challenge over a year, 20 years or a lifetime and still be eligible to win. All you have to do to enter is register with a one time fee of $25 with 92% of that fee going directly back into conservation initiatives to protect the 21 species.

California Golden Trout. Photo by Cameron Cushman.

“We’re thrilled to be launching this fun way to support native trout conservation across the West,” says WNTI Coordinator Therese Thompson. “For every $25 program registration fee, $23 will go directly back to conservation projects that are helping native trout populations thrive. We want anglers to learn about these unique species and where they can go to catch them. In addition, catching the selected species helps conserve them by promoting angling and fishing license sales for native trout species, which also supports conservation efforts. It’s a wonderful way to help conserve these beautiful species, in beautiful places, at your own pace.”

Rio Grande Cutthroat. Photo by Cameron Cushman.

The 12 states where these native trout species can be found are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. WNTI is working alongside the various state’s fish and game departments as well as Trout Unlimited and the Federal Bureau of Land Management. A fully interactive map can be found online that has streams marked that are known to contain each species making trip planning a breeze!

The species on the challenge are: Alaskan Lake Trout, Alaskan Rainbow Trout, Apache Trout, Arctic Char, Arctic Grayling, Bonneville Cutthroat, Bull Trout, Californian Golden Trout, Coastal Cutthroat, Colorado River Cutthroat, Dolly Varden, Eagle Lake Rainbow Trout, Gila Trout, Kern River Rainbow Trout, Lahontan Cutthroat Trout, Little Kern Golden Trout, Redband Trout, Rio Grande Cutthroat, Westslope Cutthroat and Yellowstone Cutthroat.

Bonneville Trout. Photo by Cameron Cushman.

From WNTI:

“The challenge invites anglers to help celebrate this legacy by catching native trout and char in each of the 12 Western states, at their own pace. There are three levels of achievement: Participants who catch six trout species across four states will earn “Expert Caster” rewards. Those who catch 12 trout species across eight states will earn “Advanced Caster” rewards. And those who catch 18 species across all 12 states will not only enjoy the adventure of a lifetime, they will also be designated as a “Master Caster” with rewards to match.”

Register for the Western Native Trout Challenge, here!

Colorado River Cutthroat Trout. Photo by Cameron Cushman.

Photos Courtesy of Cameron Cushman.

Source: Western Native Trout Initiative.

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