Annually Olympic Fly Fishers make awards to enhance fisheries and the environment in our state. When you join our club and donate to the conservation fund we put those generous donations to work.
A challenge this year has been that, due to the pandemic, a large number of organizations have drastically reduced their activities. After a good deal of research and phone calls the Conservation team identified a number of worthy organizations. Those proposals were brought the OFF board, and unanimously approved. Here are the recipients:
Western Rivers Conservancy
We will donate $1,500 to the Western Rivers Conservancy (WRC) for a project that is in our backyard. They are purchasing an 812 acre parcel of property on the Yakima River, known as the Yakima Canyon Ranch, which sits on two sides of the river along a dramatic horseshoe bend. The ranch lies at the epicenter of some of Washington’s best fly fishing water, with outstanding river access, good camping and excellent fish and wildlife habitat in all directions. After WRC purchases the ranch, they will hold it until they can secure an appropriation from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, allowing them to convey the property to the BLM. Once that happens, this premier stretch of the Yakima will be permanently protected for the sake of fish and wildlife, and public access to four more miles of the Yakima River Canyon will be guaranteed for good.
Students Saving Salmon
The Club has set aside $1,000 for the Students Saving Salmon club of Edmonds-Woodway and Meadowdale High School. You may remember that we have supported this group in the past. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the students were not able to meet for quite a period of time. I have been in contact with their advisors, Joe Scordino and David Millette. They inform me that, with the return of students to school, that the club has had a fantastic rebound, with even more students involved than before the pandemic. They are working with the students to come up with a list of projects, and will be presenting us with a proposal in the near future.
Sound Salmon Solutions
A $1,000 grant will go to the Sound Salmon Solutions group, which includes the Willow Creek Fish Hatchery in Edmonds. Again, this is a group that we have supported in the past, and have volunteered with also. They also had some problems during the pandemic, but have come back strong, with a whole new management team. They are in the process of ramping up their education and hatchery operations. They also will be presenting us with a proposal of how we can help in the near future.
We will also be holding funds in reserve to respond to new opportunities that present themselves in the near future.
Thanks to our members who donate generously to the Club’s conservation fund so that we can continue to support these and other worthy causes in the coming year.
Join OFF and be part of the solution! If anyone has any questions, please contact me. I am happy to listen to your comments, concerns, and ideas.