Professional Anglers Association, a prize sponsor

Professional Anglers Association, a prize sponsor

Spring Bay Resort, a prize sponsor

Spring Bay Resort, a prize sponsor

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Recycled Fish Sizzle

Recycled Fish 24-Hour Fish-A-Thon

Across the country, anglers will drop their lines to raise awareness of issues affecting our waterways.
On August 27, 2009 - By Angelisa Belden

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA - August 24, 2009 - This fishing trip is about more than fun and relaxation. Anglers across the country will take to the water to fish continuously for 24 hours in the first ever Recycled Fish 24-Hour Fish-A-Thon on September 18 and 19, 2009. This round-the-clock fishing event features teams from across the country drawing attention to troubles facing our waters and raising money to help tackle these problems.

Recycled Fish is a nationwide non-profit organization of anglers committed to stewardship of the waters we all enjoy. Responsible fishing practices, such as catch and release, are important to creating more and bigger fish for future anglers, but healthy waters are also vital.

Complex issues like habitat loss, pollution, over-harvest and invasive species have put a strain on our fisheries. But while there are challenges, amazing experiences are just waiting to be had on our waters, which is a key part of the 24-Hour Fish-A-Thon story.

In this first-ever event, angler teams will choose a location and raise funds locally through sponsorships and pledges. Beginning on Friday, September 18, anglers cast their first line and fish continuously for 24 hours, with some teams making more than 2,800 casts!

"This event raises awareness for the problems facing our fisheries, but it also raises the money to help solve those problems," says Teeg Stouffer, Executive Director. "In this economy, grant opportunities and corporate sponsorships are hard to find, but we continue to move forward in advancing the Stewardship Ethic through many people making small gifts. Fish-A-Thon gives everyday people a way to get involved."

Fish-A-Thon angler ambassadors will model the ideals of fishing responsibly, practicing catch and release, cleaning up the areas they fish, and using SAFE angling gear like single barbless hooks and non-toxic lead alternative weights. The SAFE Angling program -- Sustaining Angling, Fish and Ecosystems -- was developed by Recycled Fish as a way to speak to an angler's "lifestyle of stewardship" on the water.

Anglers also will compete to catch more and bigger fish using the Angling Masters Fish Calculator with a chance to win amazing prizes. The angler who raises the most money wins a fishing trip of a lifetime with their choice of three Professional Anglers Association (PAA) Pro Anglers:
- PAA President and BASS Elite Angler John Crews, fishing Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia;
- PAA Pro Kurt Dove for a day on legendary Lake Amistad in Texas;
- or BASS Elite Angler Brian Snowden fishing Table Rock Lake in Missouri.

Winning anglers who prefer an extended, self-guided trip will enjoy another prize option: a trip for two to Spring Bay Resort on Lake Vermillion, Minnesota, chasing trophy muskie, pike, walleye, smallmouth bass and a host of other species. The trip includes four nights' lodging in a cabin, use of a motor boat and a travel allowance.

Whether the top fundraiser chooses the trip with the PAA Pro Angler or the self guided trip, the team who manages the best fishing will earn the other trip.

Additional prizes are won by meeting fundraising challenges, fishing challenges, and for participation. Prizes include Berkley Gulp!, Patagonia fishing packs, tackle management systems from Cabelas, apparel from TackleBoxes2Go, and a host of other items from Recycled Fish partners.

The money raised by the angling teams supports Recycled Fish in fighting issues for our waterways, including:

Invasive Species, which are harmful, non-native animals, plants, and microscopic organisms. They destroy ecosystems, outcompete native species for food and habitat, spread disease, and cost our economy billions of dollars annually for control, management, and restoration.

Litter & Pollution, which can be fatal to fish, waterfowl and wildlife; diminishes the outdoor experience, and can lead to the closure of access to our waters.

The funds also support improvement efforts in other areas, such as:

Introducing new anglers to the water, which leads to 'conservation by participation.' A portion of the proceeds from the sale of fishing equipment, boats and tackle is returned to conservation of fisheries through a special excise tax.

Awareness of Urban Fisheries, which create close-to-home outdoor adventures, accessible to everyone. These create an appreciation for the outdoors and a tangible connection to the impacts of our lifestyle on the environment.

SAFE Angling Products and Practices, from switching to lead-free tackle to biodegradable baits and lures. It encompasses better fish handling practices and actions anglers can take to reduce their impact when on the water.

Getting kids outdoors; recent studies show that fishing is a "gateway activity" that gets people (especially children) introduced to other outdoor activities. It's key to overcoming the "nature deficit disorder" that has overtaken our younger generations.

Now is the time to get involved. Fish-A-Thon teams are confirmed for this year, but contributions are still accepted by any of the participating angling teams across the country. Make your choice based upon the angler, their cause, or their region. You can learn more about each angler through their "Cabin" on the Recycled Fish website at www.RecycledFish.org/FishAThon.

Even if you're not an angler, it's easy to make a positive impact on the health of America's waterways. Fish-A-Thon anglers and the issues they address can be supported through online donations at www.RecycledFish.org/FishAThon. Each of us -- from anglers to boaters to swimmers -- has a stake in the quality of our lakes, streams and seas. Our everyday choices make a difference, because our lifestyle runs downstream.

Visit www.Recycled Fish.org and take the Sportsman's Stewardship Pledge. Whether you join with the free membership or make a $25 donation to receive a Premium Membership kit, you'll gain insight on how simple steps can make a big difference for our lakes, streams and seas. Our waters need not just sportsmen, but stewards.

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Press Contacts
Teeg Stouffer

fishrecycler@recycledfish.org

Executive Director

tel: 712-256-4907

fax: 206-260-8984

About Recycled Fish
“Recycled Fish” is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that started out talking about Catch and Release, but it’s bigger than that now. We’re a national movement of anglers who live and promote a lifestyle of stewardship both on and off the water. If we want more and bigger fish in our waters, now and for our kids, the choices we make every day matter because our lifestyle runs downstream.

Recycled Fish