South Florida Anglers, Call to Action!
Finally, Anglers have a real opportunity to show how we can BENEFIT our habitats while being fishermen and women. But we need to take this first step.
During the month of June, Anyone who fishes in the Lake Worth Lagoon can enter the FREE Lake Worth Lagoon Fishing Challenge and possibly win great prizes while contributing to a brighter fishing future.
“Palm Beach County has done some amazing restoration projects over the past 20 years or so. They’ve improved our fishing in the lagoon, and now we can help them by simply going fishing,” Said Snook & Gamefish Foundation (SGF) Chairman Mike Readling.
“Basically, all anyone has to do is visit their website, http://www.lwli.org/FishingChallenge/, follow the registration info, then download the free iAngler Tournament app.”
Readling thinks the Challenge is a ground breaking way for smartphone technology to let everyday anglers start mapping habits in a functional way. “Combining this data with other inputs, we hope that habitat managers like Palm Beach County and others will be able to get a handle on things like which restored habitats are functional for various species, or which completed projects are drawing anglers and their tourist dollars to various regions, or which unrestored habitats are already functional. There are a host of questions this info can start to answer, and it is great that we can all participate for free while possibly winning a prize. Palm Beach County has opened the door for us to contribute, now we need to step up.” Anglers can view what the County's objectives for this first-of-it's-kind event by clicking the "about" tab on the top of their event page.
The West Palm Beach Fishing Club, with a long pedigree of outstanding conservation work, is providing a good number of prizes, including rod and reel combos and high-end fishing coolers. Coastal Angler Magazine is also a sponsor. SGF is providing the technology via the iAngler Tournament mobile app and database.
“SGF has contributed data to Florida stock assessments for six years now. Finally, the data is also going to be used directly to protect and improve habitats. This is a big step for the power of recreational anglers as we demonstrate how we can be accountable for ourselves,” Readling said.
Accountability is a critical need for recreational anglers as we face many challenges to fishing. Helping improve habitat is important and obvious, but showing that recreational anglers can make it happen is just as critical.
Whenever we are confronted by groups who intend to limit recreational harvest without scientific cause, or close recreational fishing to areas without sound supporting science, accountability is our best defense. Until now, we have not had a vehicle that allowed us to garner the needed clout.
That is where projects like the Challenge come in. By simply registering, then fishing and recording the necessary information for the fishing trip, every single angler who fishes the lagoon can contribute. Better data, better habitats, better partnerships, and new empowerment for anglers are here, all we need to do is rally the troops and go fishing.
This June, when school is out and you are looking for something to do with and for your kids, don’t pass up this opportunity to get involved, reconnect with local nature, and do your part towards a #brighterfishingfuture.
Questions? Call Brett Fitzerald, 561-707-8923 firstname.lastname@example.org