Good fishing takes a conservation community

By Dakota Krupp
Finalist in the TU Teen Essay Contest

Conservation is defined as the act of protecting something in particular. Conservation of our streams and waterways has a direct impact on a sport that I love, fishing. At the Trout Unlimited 2018 summer youth camp in Waupaca, Wisconsin. I learned that conservation has a huge impact on me as an angler.

I learned that conservation can’t be accomplished by one or two people, but that it takes all anglers, working as a team, practicing good ethics, to protect what we love. Conservation efforts take place on and off the stream.

When a fish is caught, a good ethical and conservative action would be to keep the fish in the water as long as possible, so that it can stay healthy, handle it carefully and let it go as quickly as possible. This allows the fish to continue to live a strong and healthy life which will allow other anglers to have the same enjoyment that you had, by possibly catching the same fish, or offspring of that fish. It is good practice to always leave the stream as good as, or better than when you arrived by not leaving anything behind and picking up trash or other debris that you may come across while fishing.

Conservation not only takes place when you catch a fish, but also while you are off the stream or at the stream for a workday. Modern day society threatens streams, fish, and other animals that rely on our waterways to survive. Cities are growing, new roads are being made, farmers are spreading dangerous chemicals, and without teamwork from all anglers, most of the streams that many fish and even anglers call home could be destroyed. If no one practiced conservation, we would not have any fish in our local streams to catch, or even any streams left to fish in.

Conservation is important to trout fishing, because it keeps the streams fishable, and the fish in those streams catchable. Without conservation efforts, trout fishing would be virtually impossible. With modern day conservation efforts, we are clearing areas around streams to make them fishable and improving streambeds to create a more ideal habitat and structure for trout to hide and reproduce.

Fishing is one of my favorite hobbies and an enjoyable way to spend my time. I hope to someday pass this down to younger generations, and without all anglers practicing conservation, other generations will not be able to enjoy the hobby that many people love, called fishing.

Dakota Krupp attended the Wisconsin Trout Camp and is a member of the Central Wisconsin Chapter of Trout Unlimited. His favorite stream is the Onion River near Plymouth, Wisconsin.

Editor’s Note: Each year Trout Unlimited Camp and Academy graduates are invited to enter the TU Teen Essay Contest to share their camp experience or write about things they learned. This year we asked participants to answer the prompt “Why is conservation important to fly fishing?”. Of the 18 entries a grand prize winner and three finalists were selected. Prizes included a Temple Fork Outfitters BVK rod and reel, a TFO tenkara rod and a TFO Bug Launcher Office Rod. If you know a teen interested in attending a TU Camp, visit the TU Camps Page to see a list of our 25 regional camps across the country and find information on how to apply. Once teens have attended a TU Camp, they may be ready to attend the TU National Teen Summit, an annual conference for young leaders in TU. Applications are available to download through March 1, 2019 at


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