The National Wildlife Federation’s recent report on wildlife and fisheries shows that as many of 1/3rd of America’s species face the risk of extinction. The New England brook trout in the eastern half of the country is only 10 percent of what it used to be. Seventeen different state wildlife agencies are working to restore them. The conservation of aquatic life is of critical importance, with no time being more important than now.
There are a lot of different fish and wildlife conservation methods. Many groups like the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Trout Unlimited, Bass Unlimited, and many others work on creating proper ecosystems and habitat. Water quality, forage fish, aquatic insect life and spawning grounds are all part of their total approach to the conservation of aquatic life. Marine conservation is the focus of other groups like NOAA, the Ocean Conservancy, and Oceana, among others. They’ll balance commercial and recreational needs, assess the ocean’s health, and set legal lengths and daily limits.
In a nutshell, fish conservation means we have more fish to catch. Anglers work hard to make sure that fish and wildlife conservation is successful. Some of us pick up trash along the banks, others work with interest groups to create habitat. Others raise awareness and money so that these fish and wildlife conservation groups can fund research or political lobbying efforts. When we buy gear, our purchases fund the Sportfish Restoration Program and 100 percent of these funds goes to conservation of aquatic life across the country
But I’m preaching to the choir. You’re all anglers who are part of the solution. What we need is help and support from non-fishermen and women. Maybe the best way to get them interested in fish and wildlife conservation is to take them fishing and boating. Once you’re hooked on our favorite sports you’ll want to do everything to make it thrive. And remember that by purchasing your fishing license You are protecting, preserving and enhancing the sport of fishing today and for generations to come.