New Board Members for Bonefish & Tarpon Unlimited

There’s a new energy that seems to be coming out of Bonefish & Tarpon Unlimited in the past year or two. Their new operations director, Dr. Aaron Adams, is doing more in membership and contributor development (not to mention research). And the whole organization seems very much more committed to bringing together all the forces needed to extend research on bonefish, tarpon and permit into new areas. Just this past year, for example, they discovered that the most likely area for tarpon spawning to occur is exactly where proponents of off-shore oil drilling want to expand oil company operations in the Florida gulf.
BTU has recently added some key new board members, among them Matt Connolly, former leader of Delta Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, and Bill Klyn, the head of Patagonia’s fly fishing division. They’ll also be holding press conferences and releasing new data at the Fly Fishing Retailer show, which starts tomorrow in Denver.
Read the extended entry for the full press release.


Revitalized Bonefish & Tarpon Unlimited Group Announces New Board Appointments, Initiatives
Contact: Dr. Aaron Adams, BTU Director of Operations and Research, (239) 283-1622 or aadams@mote.org
DENVER, CO, SEPT. 12, 2008 – Armed with new vision and new energy, Bonefish & Tarpon Unlimited (BTU); the Key Largo based conservation organization will descend on Denver during the Fly Fishing Retailer show Sept. 14-16, 2008 to cast its latest research information and future plans upon show attendees.
In its 10-year existence, BTU, whose goal is to ensure healthy populations of bonefish, tarpon and permit for the future, has been a leader in sponsoring and funding research projects that will help achieve this goal. From proper handling of bonefish and tarpon to studying the movements of these coastal fish, BTU and its members are steadfast in their mission to preserve these gamefish and their unique habitats for environmental, recreational and economical reasons. It’s been documented that each bonefish in the Florida Keys has an economic value of an astounding $75,000, thanks to sportfishing interests.
Tom Davidson, a highly accomplished Canadian businessman and noted sportsman-conservationist serves as the visionary chairman of the BTU Board of Directors. Davidson recently initiated actions to further develop BTU and its mission. “We have recruited an all-star team of additional board members whose skill sets compliment our founder board members perfectly. This is a revitalized organization, one whose new energy will help sustain and improve bonefish, tarpon and flat’s species populations throughout the world.”
Tarpon and bonefish fisheries are coming under rapidly increasing pressure from a wide variety of land and water based activities. In the 1960s, Port Aransas, TX, was the tarpon capital of the world; today, there are very few fish caught there. Without proper conservation and research of these species, the fishery stands to diminish even more. A major new awareness campaign is underway to heighten the understanding of issues impacting coastal fisheries that will include participation from such notables as Chico Fernandez, Lefty Kreh, Rick Ruoff, Stu Apte and Flip Pallot.
The list of BTU’s directors reads as a who’s who of the outdoor industry. Matt Connolly, former leader of Delta Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership; Adolphus Busch, prominent conservationist and Anheuser-Busch heir, Jerald Ault, professor of marine biology and fisheries at the University of Miami; Chris Dorsey, president of Orion Multimedia, America’s largest producer of outdoor adventure television programming; Chico Fernandez, famed fly fishing writer and video producer; Bill Klyn, the head of Patagonia’s fly fishing division; James Range, a widely recognized authority specializing in national environmental policy as well as the chairman of the board of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership; Mick Kolassa fisheries conservation advocate and a founder of an international marketing consultancy; Mike Cassidy of ESPN Outdoors and legendary fly fisherman and inspirational conservation advocate Lefty Kreh are just a few of the organization’s leaders.
“Thanks to Tom Davidson’s visionary leadership, the multi talented board and staff BTU are poised to become the authoritative source on the flats and its extraordinary fisheries. While BTU has made significant discoveries already, we have just scratched the surface in our research of bonefish and tarpon.” says Matt Connolly who serves as the organization’s president. Russ Fisher of Lake Forest, IL one of the group’s founding board members said “There’s a new sense of urgency to further understand these uniquely important fish and ramp up our research and conservation efforts.”
At the Fly Fishing Retailer Show, which is part of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association and held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, BTU will unveil its findings and plans for attendees. BTU will also hold press conferences each evening during the show, with topics including bonefish and tarpon research findings, current research projects with governments in Belize, the Bahamas and Gulf Coast U.S. states, fish migration patterns, catch and release techniques and other topics.
Go to www.tarbone.org or call Bonefish & Tarpon Unlimited at (305) 367-9764 or (662) 715-9500.

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