News : Current New Release|
R.L. Winston Rod Company Joins ‘Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!’ Campaign to Help Sustain Pristine Fisheries
March 30, 2006 -- Fly fishing and sustainability, where’s the connection? For the lay person, it may not be obvious, but for the R.L. Winston Rod Company, the connection lies with consumer education, which led to Winston’s partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force through the “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!” program.
In the U.S., participation in fly fishing continues to grow. To maintain this upward climb, quality fly fishing experiences need to be maintained. However, what are the keys to a quality fly fishing experience? According to Winston, quality fly fishing experiences have many inter-dependent parts; however, three of the most important are the correct equipment, the requisite skills and healthy aquatic resources. This combination prompted R.L. Winston Rod Co.to formally join the “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!” campaign.
Winston figured that if they could influence at least two of these variables, namely the equipment issue and healthy aquatic resources issue, the company had a really good chance at providing and sustaining quality fly fishing experiences for its customers. And with aquatic invasive species like Whirling Disease and New Zealand Mud Snails directly impacting quality fly fishing experiences and indirectly implicating fly fishermen as one of the carriers of these harmful aquatic organisms to various western waters, Winston decided to take action.
After investigating the issue, Winston discovered the “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!” campaign and knew partnering with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service was the right thing to do. With the focus on conserving our natural resources through the promotion of environmentally-responsible recreational behaviors, Winston plans to incorporate the “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!” program into their marketing. According to Winston, “Participating in Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!” just makes good business sense for the fly fishing industry. With numerous environmental issues impacting our fisheries, helping to educate our customers about specific, relevant issues and what they can do is a key component of sustainability for our industry.”
As the 187th member of the growing “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!” campaign, R.L. Winston brings strong leadership to the table to help promote the campaign’s conservation message. Winston’s support for and involvement with the campaign will help to educate millions of anglers about invasive species’ threats across the country and what they can do to stop the spread.
The majority of foreign plant and animal species that have found their way to North America are benign, but a small percentage cause significant environmental impacts and costly infrastructure damage. Zebra mussels clog industrial and marine water intake equipment, Chinese mitten crabs damage commercial fishing nets and the Round goby continues to impact Great Lakes’ sport fisheries. However, two of the more prominent species of concern are impacting trout fisheries in the West, which in turn, impacts the fly fishing industry. With Winston’s corporate headquarters situated in Montana, Winston is very aware of the aquatic invasive species’ threats to fly fishing. “New Zealand Mud Snails and Whirling Disease are impacting blue ribbon trout fisheries throughout the West. This campaign is tailor-made for our industry to educate our customers and all anglers about their role in conserving our fisheries.”
R.L. Winston is among a list of partners that includes Federal and State agencies, universities, other businesses and national, regional and local conservation organizations. As the primary funding agency for the campaign, the Fish and Wildlife Service works to promote “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!” and tap into the communication networks of its partner organizations. “R.L. Winston becoming a campaign partner is great,” said Mamie Parker, Assistant Director for Fisheries and Habitat Conservation and co-chair of the ANS Task Force. “Their involvement shows the value of ‘Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!’ and the conservation commitment and leadership of the fly fishing industry.”
More information about the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! campaign is available at the "campaign web site."
R.L Winston has been designing premium fly fishing rods for over 75 years. Winston premium fly rods are not mass produced; they are hand-crafted by fishermen and craftsmen whose lives revolve around creating fly rods that are the epitome of quality and performance. For more information about R.L. Winston, please go to the
"company’s web site."
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 542 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies. More information about the Fish and Wildlife Service can be found at the
"agency’s web site."