The cold, clean waters where trout and salmon swim are important to everyone, anglers or otherwise. Of course, Trout Unlimited is about protecting, reconnecting, restoring and sustaining trout and salmon habitat that is the foundation of fly fishing. The vast majority of fly anglers in North America fish for trout, and a good percentage of them started with trout. (What was your first species on a fly?)
However, these fish are also critically important bellwethers of healthy aquatic ecosystems, and the impacts on our headwater lakes and rivers are felt for many miles downstream in all directions—from places where we fish for sport, to communities that want clean drinking water.
While there are a number of worthy organizations that advocate on issues like public lands, climate change, and clean water (as does Trout Unlimited), no other group has the actual “boots-in-the-water” bandwidth to get projects planned and implemented like TU. TU has a staff of scientists, attorneys, policy experts, communicators, and others who direct grassroots programs from Alaska to the Appalachians.
More importantly, Trout Unlimited has over 300,000 members and supporters nationwide who volunteer the resources and efforts needed to get stuff done. In the past 10 years, TU volunteers spent $92,524,260 to implement its mission locally, including over 11,000 unique conservation projects, and over 15,300 youth education projects. Last year alone, the TU community donated 734,824 volunteer hours, and protected three million acres of habitat, reconnected 737 river miles, and restored another 361 river and stream miles.