As we move towards the summer of 2023, it is my intent to use this brand new "run. fish. beer. blog." to document the important happenings within Running Rivers and our various programs. Admittedly, I am new to blogging and may end up being terrible at it, but given that I love to write and we have a lot happening at Running Rivers these days, I thought I'd give it a shot. Apologies if I prove to be overly verbose (as I have been often called by my Board Members and wife) and/or irritating, or if blogs are no longer and effective communication tool and I missed the memo that states that I should instead solely craft wacky 8-second videos including cats. But here goes...
I will lead off this blogging experiment with the important announcement that Running Rivers recently received a generous grant from Colorado Parks and Wildlife's Partners in the Outdoors program to support the delivery our Colorado Flyathlon program in 2023! The stated goal of CPW's Partners in the Outdoors Program is to create a platform for networking and collaboration to advance and balance outdoor recreation and conservation in Colorado. At Running Rivers, we firmly agree with the charge contained in Colorado's Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) that “recreationists need to be a part of the solution for stewardship of our natural resources”. By design, our Flyathlon races create epic outdoor experiences that simultaneously build an ethic of stewardship and responsibility in our Flyathletes while raising money via the use of an “incentivized crowdfunding” model to employ our race participants to crowdfund for conservation.
With this CPW funding, in 2023 we will be able to substantially elevate our two Colorado-based Flyathlon events, the Middle Creek Flyathlon and the Lake Fork Flyathlon, with a goal of reaching more people and raising more money for native fish through our Conservation Through Recreation approach!
And though we are beyond excited for this "new" partnership, the truth is that Colorado Parks and Wildlife has always been an integral partner in Running Rivers' mission to advance native trout conservation in Colorado. For example, within the past five years, we have partnered with CPW (and our other Conservation Partners) to help support all sorts of important cutthroat trout projects in Colorado including a massive effort to reintroduce Rio Grande cutthroat trout throughout the northern watershed of Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, a multi-year project to evaluate the success of native trout stocking in high mountain lakes in and around Colorado's San Luis Valley, and a brand new project to protect important populations of the green lineage Colorado River cutthroat from further non-native brook trout invasion. We truly love getting our hands dirty (and/or fishy) with the aquatic biologist colleagues at CPW for the benefit of Colorado's unique and spectacular native trout species!
We look forward to a great 2023 Flyathlon season which I expect will be bigger and better than ever, in large part thanks to the support of our incredible Partner in the Outdoors, Colorado Parks and Wildlife!
For more information on the Flyathlon program, please visit this link. If you would like to support a Colorado Flyathlete in their effort to "crowdfund for conservation", please visit the fundraiser page for either the 9th Annual Middle Creek Flyathlon (benefitting Rio Grande cutthroat trout projects) and/or the 7th Annual Lake Fork Flyathlon (benefitting Colorado River cutthroat trout projects). Or if you want to support the Running Rivers organization in general, click here!
Dr. Andrew Todd is the Founder of Running Rivers and the Flyathlon. Dr. Todd is a slow but stubborn trail runner, a decidedly average fly fisherman, an enthusiast of dark and mysterious barrel aged beers, and a guardian of three fierce adventure terriers