Fly-Fishing Industry, Government Agencies Join Forces to Address the Increasing Threat of Aquatic Invasive Species

October 18, 2006 (Bozeman, Mont.) – In an unusual fashion, representatives from the fly-fishing industry, government agencies and conservation organizations recently coalesced to address the mounting threat of aquatic nuisance species (ANS) in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA). While ANS management programs have evolved at the government level, this is the first time the fly-fishing business community, including Simms Fishing Products, Patagonia and other diverse stakeholders, formally gathered at the same table to tackle the issue.

Aquatic invasive species, which can be plants, animals or microbes, create nuisance situations in natural environments and typically do not have any natural predators or natural limitations to keep their populations in check. Once established, invasives can quickly and quietly devastate fisheries, lakes and rivers and put tremendous economic burden on local (and national) economies. In fact, the cost of invasive species (terrestrial and aquatic) in the United States currently amounts to more than $100 billion each year. In spite of federal, state and local programs to address the broad and growing threat of ANS, public awareness and education is still waning.

Water recreation enthusiasts inadvertently spread aquatic invasive species by moving from one “infected” body of water to another without cleaning their gear. Simply by adopting some basic behavior changes, namely washing fishing/boating gear and equipment before going from one body of water to another, we can significantly limit the spread of invasive species.

Leveraging the diverse marketing and communication channels of fly-fishing industry leaders, participants in the recent US Fish and Wildlife Service-sponsored workshop committed to work together on a regional basis in an aggressive awareness campaign to educate the public about ANS and to encourage behaviors that help prevent the spread.

To learn more about aquatic invasive species and how you can help stop the spread, please visit Protect Your Waters at Protect Your Waters and Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers.

For More Information, Contact:
Whitney McDowell, Simms Fishing Products
tel - 406-585-3557
- or -
Fred Brooks, Backbone Media LLC 970-963-4873