Participants in Recycled Fish’s 24 Hour Fish-A-Thon provided an impressive victory for fisheries conservation this year.
Forty-two teams from 27 states raised more than $20,000, while catching, photographing, and releasing more than 2,000 fish. Additionally, participants collected dozens of bags of trash from in and around the waters that they fished.
Team Playland of western Pennsylvania and Team Extreme Philly Fishing led the way in fund-raising, as they engaged in a friendly cross-state competition.
“We’ve never seen anything like it,” said Teeg Stouffer, Executive Director of Recycled Fish (RF).
“These teams sandbagged donations until the final hours of the months-long fundraising effort. Both Team Playland and Team Philly Extreme had already raised thousands, but both began submitting hundreds of dollars in the final day and both made large donations in the final hour of fund-raising, pushing us to our highest total in the history of the event.”
Team Playland edged Team Extreme Philly in that category, while Team J&J Kalico Kings won the angling competition, catching and releasing 126 assorted saltwater fish in San Diego Bay.
Team Extreme Philly took second place there as well. Members caught more than 500 in the Schuylkill River. White perch made up the bulk of the catch, but a mix of sunfish, catfish, juvenile striped bass and others made for a lively 24 hours of fishing in urban Philadelphia.
“While many prizes were awarded, the real victory is for healthy fisheries,” said Stouffer.
“Already this year 24 Hour Fish-A-Thon funds have gone to help fund the installation of a fish barrier at Big Creek Lake in Iowa from Team Fishfeeder’s efforts. In Minnesota, Team Flippin’ & Pitchin’ used some of its funds to assist in the White Bear Lake Cleanup last weekend.
“Dozens of other local projects to help solve specific issues across North America will receive funding from the efforts of 24 Hour Fish-A-Thon anglers and the people who generously donated to their teams.”
Sponsor Berkley, meanwhile was “thrilled” with results, according to Roxanne Coleman, Senior Field Marketing Manager at Pure Fishing.
“The folks at Recycled Fish are making a difference. These guys work hard to encourage the rest of us to stop ignoring the environment. If you spend time in the outdoors you need to support this program.”
To learn more about the teams, the fish they caught, the funds they raised, and the prizes that they won, go here.