Nebraska City NE - How long can you fish? Find out in the 2011 24-Hour Fish-A-Thon, September 9 - 10, and you could also help improve the waters you fish in. In its third year, anglers across North America compete to see who can raise the most money - and catch the most fish - while creating awareness about the problems facing our waters. Teams also compete for prizes such as the fishing trip of the lifetime.
"Anglers will fish around the clock and across North America to raise awareness of problems facing our fisheries, and money to help solve those problems," said Teeg Stouffer, executive director of Recycled Fish, a national non-profit organization of "anglers living a lifestyle of stewardship both on and off the water, because our lifestyle runs downstream."
The 24-Hour Fish-A-Thon is open to freshwater anglers in all 50 states and Canada. To participate, anglers begin by becoming a Fish-A-Thon Ambassador at www.recycledfish.org , and sign up their team of two to four anglers, along with a $25 registration fee. After they receive their Fish-A-Thon welcome kit in the mail, each team member's next step is to secure donations from family, friends, co-workers and the public in general. Donations in the past have ranged anywhere from $5 - $500.
Next they go fishing! Lines are cast Friday, September 9 at 7 pm until Saturday September 10 at 7 pm. During the event anglers are also encouraged to pick up any trash and use tackle that is easier on the environment, such as lead-free weights or biodegradable baits and lures, and practice good catch-and-release tactics.
"Fishing for 24 hours can be quite the challenge. It's like the marathon of fishing", said Ben Leal, Program Director for Recycled Fish. "One of the great things about this event is not only does it helps raise funds for Recycled Fish, it also helps raise awareness on a specific body of water that each team is fishing on. This year each teams message will be, "We are more than sportsmen...We are stewards."
Every team raising a minimum of $100 will get a complimentary 24-Hour Fish-A-Thon shirt for all team members, plus additional prizes like tackle, apparel and gift cards.
Participating anglers take photos of their fish and self-score their catch at the online Angling Masters Fish Calculator, then submit their score to the Fish-A-Thon judges. Top prizes go to the team with the most funds raised and the team with the highest score based on their best five fish photos. Prizes are also given for the best photos, the most "unusual" trash picked up and more!
About Recycled Fish:
Recycled Fish is the national non-profit organization of "anglers living a lifestyle of stewardship both on and off the water, because our lifestyle runs downstream." The Recycled Fish "Sportsman's Stewardship Pledge" invites anglers to embrace the Stewardship Ethic and join the organization, free of charge. The SAFE Angling Program - Sustaining Angling, Fish and Ecosystems - is a way to help anglers embrace a lifestyle of stewardship on the water. It involves catch and release fishing, including the use of single barbless hooks, biodegradable lures, and non-toxic lead-free weights. Recycled Fish also strives to educate anglers about invasive species, habitat loss, waterway litter and pollution prevention, urban fisheries, and increase participation in recreational fishing for both adults and children. For more information on the 501(c)3 group go to: www.recycledfish.org