Wednesday, April 16, 2014



Conservation Small Grants Program Helps Local Communities

 Crayfish Removal

Sierra Pacific Flyfishers & Wilderness Fly Fishers remove crayfish from important stream in California.

Conservation is one of the founding principles of the Federation of Fly Fishers. Contributing over 40 years of conservation work, the Federation of Fly Fishers is proud to continue protecting our fisheries and angling opportunties for the future.

To support our mission the Conservation Small Grants Program was started in 2011 by Dr. Rick Williams, VP-Conservation, and Bob Tabbert, FFF Conservation Director. With the approval of the FFF Board of Directors, the Conservation Committee began the process of setting guidelines and promoting the program to Clubs and Councils throughout the FFF organization. The FFF Board of Directors approved $22500 to support the program in 2011. Two rounds of grants were awarded in 2011 and will continue to be awarded two times each year until further notice.  To accomplish this goal, applications will be accepted twice per year.

Deadline to Apply is May 1 and November 1 of each year.

Requirements of Grant Applicants

  • Describe and quantify the problem and need
  • Describe and quantify the anticipated solutions
  • Describe and quantify the anticipated benefits

Guidelines of the Program

  • Maximum award per Council area will be $1500
  • Council must match the grants with their own funds
  • Club must receive the endorsement of the Council prior to submitting an application

Examples of Grants Funded

  • Crayfish Removal

  • Boulder cluster placement

  • Smokey Mountain Intern Program

  • Wild Fish Rescue

  • Stream Access


Grant Proposal Guidelines (PDF)

Grant Application Form (fillable PDF)


 Boulders Placement

Boulders being placed in the Delaware River at Tomannex State Forest in New York.  The boulders used for refuge and winter cover can often be used for feeding lies, if positioned near banks and under or adjacent to the bubble and scum lines that carry aquatic insects in the drift---downstream of the riffles and runs where most of them live as larva.

Grants Under Consideration for Spring/Summer 2013

Boise Valley Fly Fishers - Idaho
The project goal is to create a fishing access map (and website) that identifies all types of fishing access along the Boise river corridor from Barber Diversion (6 miles east of Boise) to Middleton, ldaho, a distance of approximately 35 miles. Maps will be sold for a modest ($2) amount at local fishing and recreation shops. Fees will make the project self-sustaining and allow updating and printing of additional map copies.

The project will cover a 35-mile section of the Boise River from Barber Diversion Dam downstream to Middleton where increasing suburbanization is threatening to decrease public access to the Boise River.

Florida Big Bend Fly Fishers - Piney Z Lake Fish Habitat Restoration
The Piney Z Lake Fish Management Area is a 193-acre lake in Leon County that is managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the City of Tallahassee Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Affairs Department to provide fishing, paddling and wildlife viewing opportunities to the community. The lake is one of a chain of natural lakes that is managed between earthen weir structures to allow draw-downs as necessary. Bank fishing opportunities were expanded by constructing earthen fingers into the lake in 19?? and the lake is accessible by canoe and kayak for fishing and paddling.

Monitoring data collected by FWC fishery staff reflect a healthy black bass population but a declining bream population in the lake due to absence of vegetation and woody structure, especially in areas near the earthen fingers where bank fishing is popular. Fishing success is declining as a result.

Piney Z Lake was vegetated with lily pads, typical of area lakes, until Tropical Storm Faye removed the majority of the lily pads in August 2008. Grass carp consumed the vegetation that remained following the storm, leaving little cover for smaller fish preyed upon by larger black bass. FWC fishery staff constructed and installed four brushy fish attractors within casting distance of earthen fingers during spring of 2013 as partial remedy of this circumstance.

The FBBFF, Florida Council and FWC have collaborated to design an experimental project to re-establish the aquatic plant community in Piney Z Lake by planting selected species of vegetation in eight plots around the shoreline of the lake during spring 2014 (Figure 1). Species to be planted will include bullrush, arrowhead, pickerel weed and soft rush. Plants will be ordered from an established nursery during fall of 2013 to assure availability for planting during spring of 2014. Plants may be supplemented, as necessary, with additional specimens transplanted from Lower Lafayette Lake.

FWC fishery staff currently maintains efforts to capture and remove grass carp from the lake to reduce impact of this plant-eating species on the planting effort. Current fishing regulations allow take of up to 20 bream per person per day, but black bass may not be taken under a catch and release regulation. Staff will propose a regulation change to allow take of one bass of a specified size as part of a strategy to reduce predation on bream and manage the black bass as a trophy population of larger specimens. Staff also has scheduled a stocking of bluegill in the lake during fall 2013. It is anticipate that these efforts in combination with planting of the vegetation plots will result in re-establishment of the aquatic plant community to the lake and restore/maintain a balanced fish population of trophy black bass and abundant bream for recreational fishing by Tallahassee and Leon County residents. The FWC conducts shock surveys each spring and fall to evaluate annual breeding stocks and production, respectively. Therefore, evaluation of both planting success and fish responses will be possible.

The purpose of this small grant request from the FBBFF is for funds from the IFFF to purchase the plant stock for planting in the experimental plots.

Friends of the Upper Deleware River/Wild Trout Flyrodders - New York - Boulder Placement
Sands Creek is a primary tributary of the West Branch of the Delaware River in Hancock, NY. The creek is possibly the most important spawning tributary for both wild rainbow and brown trout that thrive in the Delaware River system. The creek is also home to a healthy population of native brook trout and other wildlife that depend on the health of this pristine creek. In the last 50 years the most disruptive activity has been the dredging/channeling and berming of Sands Creek and its tributaries. This has increased the shear stresses on the channel and banks and has accelerated the erosional process. The Sands Creek stream/floodplain restoration project is the first of 10 sites that Friends of the Upper Delaware (FUDR) prioritized from the `Sands Creek and Cadosia Creek Watershed Assessment', done by Landstudies Inc. Site 5 is approximately just under a mile long in length and this stretch of stream has been badly damaged as a result of three significant floods occurring in 2004, 2005, and 2006 that had devastating effects on the creek, causing extreme damage to property and infrastructure in Hancock. Well meaning but improper emergency clean-up operations following these floods resulted in the loss of in-stream habitat and have created new problems when the inevitable next big storm hits the area again. Work has been started, including trench digging and soil sampling and aerial surveying as we complete the final design for Site 5. Conservation group partners are Trout Unlimited, Theodore Gordon Flyfishers, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, The Keith Campbell Foundation, Orvis, Patagonia, and the Trout and Salmon Foundation. Both the Town of Hancock and the Delaware County Department of Public Works are in, as well as support from other local individuals and foundations. We are also engaging only local contractors to do the necessary work, some of which live right on the creek providing a shot in the arm for the local economy not to mention the positive discussions this work will inspire.


Klamath Country Fly Casters - Oregon - North Ditch Fish Passage 
Construction of Permanent, Year Round Fish Passage at the North Ditch Diversion, North Fork Sprague River.  The Sprague River system was once one of the great fisheries of the West, but had been devastated over the past century by channelization and diking by the U.S. Corps of Engineers, excess water withdrawals for irrigation, stream bank overgrazing, blockage of fish passage, etc. Over the past decade an enthusiastic coalition of private non-profit and government organizations have worked with private landowners to restore the fisheries habitat within the Klamath Basin. Substantial progress has been made with marked improvements in riparian and in-stream habitat, accompanied by striking increases in fish size, number, and quality, especially in the upper Basin, where over 40 contiguous miles of the Sprague River and its tributaries, almost all of which runs through privately owned cattle ranchland, are under restoration.


Sespe Fly Fishers - California - Ventura River - Tree and Plant Placement
National Marine Fisheries Service for a local water diversion, historic runs of adult steelhead in the Ventura River were estimated to number 4,000 - 5,000. Today, the run is estimated at under 100 fish, a reduction of 98%. The decline can be traced to habitat loss caused by the construction of two dams, and other modifications of the watershed. These modifications have restricted access to historical spawning reaches, upset the sediment balance in the river, and the loss of riparian and floodplain vegetation. The result includes the lack of pools and cover habitats, as well as solar exposure that result in warm water and algal blooms. The Matilija Dam, built in 1948, is being considered for removal and this could result in substantial improvements in spawning access and habitat. Until this dam is removed, every effort is being made to sustain a population of migrating steelhead so populations can once again grow.

Grant funds will be used to purchase native trees and club members will volunteer for planting labor.  In the last 4 years the Sespe Fly Fishers have planted over 600 trees and plants in partnership with OVLC.  OVLC has managed watering systems to ensure optimal survival of the young trees.  We propose to c ontinue this productive relationship as OVLC continues their extensive habitat/native plant restoration on their project areas.


Sierra Pacific Fly Fishers - California - Rindge Dam Removal
This project seeks to increase spawning grounds for the endangered southern steelhead trout by providing public outreach in support of California State Parks (CA State Parks) plan to remove Rindge Dam from Malibu Creek ("Project"). Grant funds will be used to build public awareness of why Rindge Dam needs to be removed. The results will be speedier implementation of the project at lower costs.

Currently Malibu Creek provides app 3.5 miles of critical spawning habitat for the endangered anadromous southern steelhead trout. Rindge Dam, a 102 foot high dam built in the 1920's and filled with sediment by the early1950's, blocks the balance of the 109 sq. mile watershed. 

Southern Sierra Fly Fishers - California - Kern River Rainbow Trout Project
The primary focues of this plan is the restoration and enhancement of the Kern River Rainbow (KRR).  The KRR is one of the only eleven wild trout native to California.  Due to non-native introductions over the past century, the KRR can only be found in the upper remote isolated areas of the Kern River.  Ths plan is to re-introduce the KRR into the main stem of the Kern River. Five new wells will be drilled at the Kernville Fish Hatchery which will provide fresh cool water during the hot summer months.  This will help convert the facility into a year-round hatchery again.

Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences, The College of William and Mary - Striped Bass Research
The goal of our striped bass research is to better understand the dynamics of mycobacteriosis in Chesapeake Bay striped bass so that better fisheries management strategies can be devised. The specific aim of the proposed laboratory study is to better understand the role of elevated temperature for this lethal disease, which currently affects 50%+ of the Bay's striped bass.


Donate to the Program

You may donate to the FFF's overall Conservation program by using the Donate Button below. 




Please your inquiries to our Conservation Director.


Phone:  406-222-9369


Resources   |   Membership   |   Conservation   |   Casting   |   Tying   |   Councils   |   Store   |   Fly Fishing Fair   |   Events   |   About
Website by Jeff Reed
5237 U.S. Highway 89 South, Suite 11 Livingston, Montana 59047 406-222-9369