1) There’s good news on the Bristol Bay front. From a recent TU press release:
Sportsmen all over America stand behind the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to end the public comment period on its Bristol Bay watershed assessment on July 23, as planned, rather than extend the comment period any further.
The assessment, which was conducted over the last year and released for public review in mid-May, determined that large-scale hard-rock mining in the Bristol Bay drainage of southwest Alaska would jeopardize the world’s most commercially important sockeye salmon run and put in peril an irreplaceable sport fishery. Since the report was made public, over 1,000 people have attended EPA public hearings, and many thousands more have commented on the assessment online or through the mail. Citizens can continue to offer input on the report until the comment period ends July 23.
“The EPA is making the right call,” said Chris Wood, president and CEO of Trout Unlimited. “More than 90 percent of all of the comments at public hearings in southwest Alaska have called for the protection of Bristol Bay from industrial mining. We’ve had enough public meetings, panels and process. It’s time for the Obama Administration to take immediate action and use its authority under the Clean Water Act to protect Bristol Bay–the world’s most important salmon fishery.”
2) T&T seeling direct. Rodmaker Thomas & Thomas announced this week that it would be selling its products direct to customers via its website, www.thomasandthomas.com. That’s a good news, bad news situation for fans of the brand. On the one hand, it will make products more readily available, and probably help the company’s bottom line. On the other, it further underscores the trend of manufacturers sidestepping the specialty fly shop (though T&T did implement a dealer protection program). T&T joins Simms, Redington, and a number of other companies that recently announced online sales strategies.
3) Colorado fires subsiding, now what? The good news is that the fire-ravaged areas of Colorado are receiving heavy rains. That’s also the bad news, as sediment from runoff is now making its way into affected river systems. Do stay tuned to tu.org for updates from the field on what’s happening by way of the fire damage.
4) TROUT magazine mailed. I’m proud to say that the summer 2012 issue of TROUT is printed and shipped… as this is my first issue as editor (though the credit for the stories and art still rests firmly with former editor Steve Kinsella and the production team, including associate editor Samantha Carmichael and designer Jim Gray) I am eager to hear feedback. We’re already cranking on the next issues, and I want to know what interests you, and how we can make the magazine even better.
5) Hoppers happening early? Usually, hoppers are an August phenomenon, but as this is an “early” weather year in many parts of the country, we’re hearing reports of epic hopper fishing on rivers from Idaho to Michigan and elsewhere. Is the hopper bit on in your neck of the woods?