25 April, 2008
Today, R.L. Winston Rod Co., on behalf of the World Trout organization, presented its first check for $1,460 to Trout Unlimited for the Jefferson River Project and their work to revitalize the Jefferson River watershed and its rainbow and brown trout fishery. In 2006, Winston Rod joined the World Trout program and pledged $5 from the sale of their Rainbow and Bull Trout t-shirts and Prosek books to help aid conservation efforts. Winston used James Prosek’s rainbow trout on its World Trout Rainbow t-shirt with the Jefferson River Project in mind. When told of the donation, James Prosek commented, “I’m so very pleased with Winston’s association with World Trout and the money they’ve given for trout conservation, and, by default, for the preservation of clean water. I hope that we can build on the efforts through Winston to help protect our existing cold water wildernesses and resuscitate those on the brink of destruction.”
Sarah Davies, Laura Ziemer and Bruce Rehwinkel of Trout Unlimited received the check on behalf of the Jefferson River Project. Bruce Rehwinkel remarked, “Winston Rod Company’s t-shirt sales to support the Jefferson River restoration work are another great example of our community coming together to improve this river.”
Trout populations on many rivers face over fishing and destruction of habitat. In 1999, Artist/Author James Prosek met with Patagonia owner Yvon Chouinard and formed the World Trout program to do something to address the dramatic challenges trout face around the world. World Trout’s mission is to identify the individuals and groups that protect native fish, tell their story, and support their conservation efforts.
Arising from the initial efforts of James Prosek, Patagonia and others, World Trout is now an ongoing program involving several companies and individuals interested in helping raise funds to directly combat the declining natural resources and populations of trout. Each participating company is encouraged to either identify new and deserving conservation programs or to supplement existing successful groups.
Jefferson River Project
The Jefferson, Big Hole, Beaverhead and Ruby Rivers surrounding Twin Bridges near Winston in Montana make up some of America’s finest wild trout fisheries, but the entire Missouri Headwaters watershed suffers from dewatering, altered flow regimes and degraded tributary and mainstem habitat. In 2001, Trout Unlimited (TU) launched the Jefferson River Project to work cooperatively with landowners, local businesses and public officials to restore the Jefferson. The three key components of the project are:
- Restore and protect instream flows by improving irrigation delivery, implementing the voluntary drought response plan for the river, and using stored water to improve streamflows and restore mainstem river habitats.
- To strengthen the Jefferson River Watershed Council and help it prosper as the steward of the river.
- Restore tributary habitats (and passage to tributary habitats) to increase wild trout spawning and rearing.
The Jefferson River, more than our other local rivers, has been particularly hard-hit from the effects of inconsistent water flows. However, the results of the Jefferson River Project work have been promising. Sampling in the spring of 2007 demonstrated that rainbow trout populations in the Jefferson River have doubled every year since 2003; from less than 100 fish in the three mile sample stretch near Waterloo to more than 600 in 2007.
Winston, Trout Unlimited and World Trout
The R.L. Winston Rod Co. has long been a proud supporter of Trout Unlimited. In fact, the purchase of each Winston Rod is accompanied by a one-year introductory membership to Trout Unlimited as a way of broadening awareness of anglers to the importance of conservation efforts. Winston would like to thank its dealers and customers for purchasing these beautiful new World Trout t-shirts, and on their behalf is delighted to make its first donation on behalf of World Trout to Trout Unlimited’s Jefferson River Project.