AFS—American Fisheries Society
Each year the Fisheries Administration Section of the American Fisheries Society (AFS) recognizes outstanding fisheries projects completed with Sport Fish Restoration funds. These awards are intended to both highlight the importance and effectiveness of the Sport Fish Restoration program and recognize excellence in fisheries management, research, and education. Recipient History
The Sport Fish Restoration Program also known as the Dingell-Johnson or Wallop-Breaux Program, after its primary Congressional sponsors, is funded by an excise tax collected on fishing tackle, boats and motorboat fuel. The program revenues are then returned to the states to enhance fisheries management and boating programs.
2016 Sport Fishery Development and Management Outstanding Sport Fish Restoration Project of the Year
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) Conserving Texas Rivers Initiative
The Conserving Texas Rivers Initiative, a 10-year conservation project, was initiated to support landscape-scale restoration and protection of fish habitats in Hill Country rivers. The initiative is designed to provide technical guidance, tools and resources to build and sustain long-term capacity among local conservation partners (particularly local watershed alliances, private landowners, and fly fishing clubs) to Hill Country rivers.
In the first five years, the Conserving Texas Rivers Initiative conducted 54 river conservation workshops attended by over 1,500 landowners, provided onsite technical guidance on aquatic habitat management strategies to landowners that steward more than 123,000 acres in Hill Country watersheds, and restored and protected 50 springs that contribute flows to Hill Country rivers.
2016 Research and Surveys Outstanding Sport Fish Restoration Project of the Year
Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s (IDFG) YY Male Brook Trout research project
This 8-year collaborate research project between IDFG fisheries research and hatchery production staff developed a method to eradicate undesired invasive trout populations. The construction of an YY male broodstock began in 2008 and was completed in less than five years. A field study was initiated in July 2014 with the first stocking of YY males into four Idaho streams. Recent 2016 genetic results confirmed successful spawning of stocked YY Brook Trout males with wild females. The process to produce an YY Male Broodstock can be used as a template for similar efforts by other natural resource agencies for Brook Trout as well as other species. Population modeling results suggest that combining YY male stocking and a manual removal program in alpine lakes and streams could eradicate an undesired Brook Trout population in much shorter time periods than when either technique is used alone.
2016 Aquatic Education Outstanding Sport Fish Restoration Project of the Year (two recipients this year)
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) TrophyCatch program
The TrophyCatch program brings together various industry vendors and service providers (such as Bass Pro Shops, Phoenix Boats, Mercury Marine, Rapala and SpiderWire) to promote bass angling in Florida, incentivizing anglers to go fishing and to document and release trophy catches, as well as promoting tourism and travel. An online submission system automatically archives submission data for immediate access and manipulation, providing information not only on largemouth bass catches but also on human dimensions information from anglers. A number of trends, such as annual and geographic patterns in trophy bass catches, are already evident in the earliest stages of data interpretation. A total of over 4,000 approved submissions have provided more data on released trophy bass than could be collected during the same period using standard fisheries sampling techniques. A specific study has been initiated on one site identified by TrophyCatch as a producer of some of the largest bass in the state
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ Hooked on Fishing Program
The Hooked on Fishing Program (HOF) has developed a strong presence among Montana youth and teachers the past 20 years. HOF is offered as a classroom or outdoor component once a month during the academic year to help students develop an awareness and appreciation for Montana fish, aquatic resources, and fishing. Over 70,000 students have participated. Every classroom and field activity includes aquatic invasive species, native fish, and fishing regulations and ethics components. All lessons are correlated to state teaching standards in appropriate areas.