I stood at the cliff’s edge, looking down on the winding river below me and watched schools of Steelhead as the migrated up a gorgeous river in Washington State. The fish moved through the cold, crystal clear water as they repeated a journey thousands of years old. Later, standing on the cobble below a large rapids, I felt the tug that every angler dreams of and landed my first wild, native Steelhead. The moment was perfect; these wild Steelhead were part of a rebuilding population taking advantage of excellent habitat for ensuring the next generation’s success.
Whether you pursue Largemouth Bass in Florida ponds, Northern Pike in Minnesota lakes, Brook Trout in Vermont’s streams, or Striped Bass in the Chesapeake Bay, most anglers can relate to that feeling, and can tell you the value of high-quality habitat. Yet, most of us lead busy lives and rarely have the chance to give back to the resource that gives us so much. One option is to support the National Fish Habitat Partnership. The National Fish Habitat Partnership “works to conserve fish habitat nationwide, leveraging federal, state, tribal, and private resources to achieve the greatest impact on fish populations through priority conservation projects.” In 2016, the National Fish Habitat Partnership celebrates its 10-year anniversary; see the infographic below for a summary of the Partnership’s accomplishments in the last ten years.
It’s easy for anyone to support the National Fish Habitat Partnership. For example, if you shop at Amazon already, consider using Amazon’s charity website Amazon Smile instead. Everything you buy will cost the same as it would through the regular website, but Amazon will donate a portion of the cost to the National Fish Habitat Partnership. Simply go to www.smile.amazon.com and select the National Fish Habitat Fund. You can learn more about the National Fish Habitat Partnership or donating to support the Partnership through its affiliated Beyond the Pond fundraising organization at their respective websites.