PORTLAND, OR—Native Fish Society (NFS) and its founder Bill Bakke were awarded the Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award by the American Fisheries Society (AFS) in recognition of Bakke and the organization’s pioneering work in the recovery and conservation of wild, native fish across the Pacific Northwest.

The “Sully” award honors outstanding contributions. As the leading grassroots, science-based fish conservation group in North America, NFS and Bakke were recognized for providing a strong, science-based voice for sound policy decisions in aquatic resource conservation.

“It is a tremendous honor to receive this award,” said Bakke. “Throughout my 50-year career as a wild fish advocate and through the successes of Native Fish Society, I’ve learned that communities of passionate citizen scientists working in coordination with on-the-ground partners can together solve problems affecting wild, native fish and shift resource managers toward the conservation-focused management of fish and their habitats.”

Bakke’s contributions and accomplishments include securing the Oregon Wild Fish Management Policy in 1978, the first in the nation to protect native fish species; founding Oregon Trout (now The Freshwater Trust) to provide a conservation voice for native fish; and pioneering the use of the Endangered Species Act to protect wild salmon and steelhead for more than two decades.

In 1995, Bakke started NFS to address widespread declines in wild, native fish by exposing the science behind fish declines and empowering citizen scientists to become the leading voices for conservation in their home watersheds. With a network of 80+ locally-based volunteer River Stewards across the Pacific Northwest, NFS advocates for the conservation and recovery of wild, native fish species and empowers communities to become effective voices for their homewaters.

More at Native Fish Society

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Tom Bie is the founder, editor, and publisher of The Drake. He started the magazine in 1998 as an annual newsprint publication based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He then moved it to Steamboat, Colorado (1999), Boulder, Colorado (2001), and San Clemente, California (2004), as he took jobs as managing editor at Paddler, Senior Editor at Skiing, and Editor-in-Chief at Powder, respectively. Tom and The Drake are now both based in Denver, Colorado, where The Drake is finally all grows up(Swingers, 1996) to a quarterly magazine.

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