First two anglers complete Native Trout Challenge and win surprise of Orvis Helios 3 fly rods
The first two anglers to complete the Western Native Trout Challenge Expert Caster and Advanced Caster levels have been verified by the Western Native Trout Initiative. In addition to the standard certificate and awards for completion, these first two completers will also receive a Orvis Helios 3 rod to commemorate their accomplishments. Scott Lyons of California completed the Expert Caster level (catching six species across at least four states) and Stephen MacMillan of Nevada completed the Advanced Caster level (catching 12 species across at least eight states).
“Encountering a native species in its natural environment is truly special,” said Simon Perkins, Orvis COO. “Congratulations to Scott and Stephen for being the first two of our nine winners! The Western Native Trout Challenge promotes angling for these beautiful fish in beautiful places in the western U.S., while raising awareness and support for the need to conserve them.”
Launched in May, 2019, the Western Native Trout Challenge invites anglers of all skill levels to celebrate the legacy of our western native trout species with a lifetime, self-paced challenge to catch up to 23 species of native trout across 12 western states. In addition to earning bragging rights and prizes at the Expert, Advanced and Master Levels, participants will help the Western Native Trout Initiative (WNTI) conserve 21 species of native trout. Registration is $25 per adult and is free for those 17 and under. The vast majority (92%) of the fee goes toward helping conserve native trout populations for future generations to also enjoy. More than 400 anglers have registered for the program to date.
The 12 states where these native trout can be found are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. The state fish and wildlife agencies in each of the 12 states are partnering on the effort, along with the U.S. Forest Service, the federal Bureau of Land Management and Trout Unlimited.
The Western Native Trout Challenge is complementing a similar effort in some states. Anglers can participate in the Western Native Trout Challenge at the same time they participate in state specific programs, including the Arizona Trout Challenge, California Heritage Trout Challenge, Nevada Native Fish-Slam, Utah Cutthroat Slam and the Wyoming Cutt-slam.
Learn more, and register at WesternNativeTroutChallenge.org
Follow the action on:
- Twitter: @WNativeTrout
- Instagram: @WesternNativeTrout
- FB: /westernnativetrout
The Western Native Trout Initiative (WNTI) is a program of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and a recognized National Fish Habitat Partnership that works to cooperatively restore and recover 21 western native trout and char species and sub-species across their historic range. The program funds efforts that raise awareness of the importance of native trout and focus limited financial and human resources toward the highest-impact, locally-led, on-the-ground projects. Since its inception in 2006, WNTI has directed more than $35 million in federal, public and private funds to support 147 priority native trout conservation projects. WNTI and partners have removed 96 barriers to fish passage, reconnected or improved 1,199 miles of native trout habitat, and put in place 35 protective fish barriers to conserve important native trout populations.