The Orvis/TU 1000 Miles Campaign: Tabor Brook

The Orvis/Trout Unlimited 1,000 Miles Campaign’s goal is to reconnect 1,000 miles of fishable streams by repairing or replacing poorly constructed culverts throughout the U.S. Check out the Tabor Brook project below.

The Tabor Brook Culvert.

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Drift-Boat Auction to Benefit Skagit River Wild Steelhead

Master craftsman Ross Duncan built this one-of-a-kind drift boat specifically for this auction.

photo courtesy Ross Duncan

Orvis has teamed with the Wild Steelhead Coalition to auction off a one-of-a-kind, McKenzie-style driftboat, hand-built by master craftsman Ross Duncan. The 17-foot boat is constructed with BS1088 marine plywood and white oak, and it is full of great features. This is simply a gorgeous watercraft that rows, holds, and maneuvers beautifully. It is a brilliant fishing machine.

Here’s the best part: all proceeds will go toward WSC habitat restoration and steelhead research projects on the Skagit River. The retail value of a boat of this quality would be well over $12,000, and bidding will start at $5,000. The auction will run until October 30. This is a unique chance to get an incredible boat and to help preserve wild steelhead.

Click here to read about all the boat’s features or to place a bid.

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UPDATE II: Virginia’s Public-Access Controversy Continues to Raise Questions

Private Sign on the Jackson

The case in Virginia hinges on the question of whether or not landowners also own the river.

photo by Beau Beasley

Editor’s Note: Author and conservation writer Beau Beasley first broke the story of a fly angler in Virginia being sued for fishing on what the state claims is public property, and we have posted about it twice (here and here). He has covered the lawsuit North /South vs Crawford from the beginning, and his open letter to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has brought much needed light to several questions concerning anglers that fish in Virginia waters. He has agreed to allow Orvis News to post his letter, and provided us a response from VDGIF. The author can be reached through his website.
First, here’s Beau’s Open letter: . . .

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Four Conservation Videos Worth Your Time


James Prosek paints fish from life as a way to help preserve them.

photo courtesy The Nature Conservancy

In the course of putting together this week’s Friday Film Festival, I ran across several great videos with conservation themes, so I thought I’d do a mini Conservation Film festival over on this blog. I hope you enjoy the videos.

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Video: Protecting the Sacred Headwaters

Although Pebble Mine gets most of the press, it’s important to remember that there are many fragile watersheds under siege from mining and exploration interests. Perhaps we need to have a larger discussion of mines, in terms of “how many and where,” as Wade Davis suggests here.

Click here to learn more.

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Fish-Ladder Restoration in Vermont Employs Crowd-Funding Model

Workers perform maintenance on a Mill Brook culvert.

photo courtesy

Last August 28, Tropical Storm Irene dumped over 11 inches of rain in parts of Vermont in a very short time, causing massive flooding across the state. Rivers breached their banks, washing away homes, flooding towns, and forever changing the landscape. In Pomfret, Vermont, a fish ladder leading to Mill Brook was completely destroyed during the. . .

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Return of the Kings on the Elwha

Spawning king salmon have been sighted twice upriver from the former dam sites on the
newly free Elwha River on the Olympic Peninsula.

photo courtesy U.S. Geological Survey

By their very nature, dam-removal projects require a certain amount of faith. Fisheries biologists can guess how fish stocks will react to freed sections of river, but no one really knows if the fish will come back—especially if they have been gone for almost a century. The recent destruction of two dams on Washington’s Elwha River is a case in point. But in this situation, it seems that, if biologists’ predictions were wrong, it’s that they. . .

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Video: “Against the Current,” Battles Over Water in the American West

Against the Current from Metamorph Films on Vimeo.

Here’s a great video—made by Metamorph Films for Trout Unlimited—that explores the issue of water rights and trout conservation in the West. Using the Yellowstone River as an example, the film shows how ranching and trout conservation are often in conflict. But there are ways to irrigate crops and maintain stream flows, allowing ranchers and environmentalists to work together. It actually ends up working better for the ranchers, but it requires a willingness to look for solutions.

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Watch the “Frontline” Episode on Pebble Mine

Watch Alaska Gold on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

If you didn’t get a chance to watch PBS’s “Frontline” last night, they’ve put the whole thing online. This is a great exploration of the issues involved, both pro- and anti-mine. But there’s plenty here to scare the crap out of anyone who understands how valuable the Bristol bay ecosystem is for salmon, trout, and ever other species in the region. Take some time tonight or over the next few days to watch this, and if you feel. . .

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PBS’s “Frontline” Covers Pebble Mine Tonight!

Watch Alaska Gold Preview on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Pebble Mine is receiving a lot of attention from the national press of late. Two weeks ago, Dan Rather reported live from King Salmon, Alaska, with a panel of experts. (You can dowload the program here for $1.99) Tonight, television’s best investigative-journalism show, PBS’s “Frontline,” takes a hard look at the issues raised by the proposed open-pit mine. The episode, called “Treasure Hunting: The Battle Over Alaska’s Mega Mine,” lays out the. . .

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