NPAA to Tackle Invasive Species Threat
The members of the National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) are tackling one of the most serious threats facing fresh water. Working in conjunction with new marketing partner, the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network, the NPAA members will be educating the public about the very real impact of aquatic invasive species.
"Aquatic invasive species have the potential to permanently alter our native aquatic ecosystems and adversely affect the sport and forage species upon which anglers depend for recreation and livelihoods," said University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute Fisheries and Invasive Species Specialist Philip Moy, Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
Eight Sea Grant programs are in the Great Lakes region (31 nationally), funded federally and by states to support research and outreach. Moy said, "We will work with the NPAA and other partners to help professional tournament organizers and anglers spread the word."
NPAA Executive Director Pat Neu said, "We will make educational materials available to our members to help them understand and explain the severity of the invasive species problem." This will start with a special all-members training session at the NPAA conference this coming January 7-9. Handouts will be distributed and available all season long. Mailings will keep all members informed. Members will speak from tournament stages, at thousands of seminars, in guide boats and wherever they travel. A special segment will be incorporated into all NPAA youth fishing clinics.
Moy said, "For the most part, once they become established, aquatic invasive species are impossible to eradicate. Preventing their spread is the most effective way to protect our favorite fishing spots." Sea Grant's goal is to educate all anglers. "This is a real problem," Moy said.