About this blog

This blog is all about fly fishing for native trout. On it I cover trip reports, fishing tactics, conservation, the latest news about native trout species and much more. This site provides a companion to my web page Nativetroutflyfishing.com.


Monday, January 31, 2022

Western Native Trout Challenge

The Western Native Trout Initiative (WNTI) was founded in 2006 to support the conservation of native trout across the Western United States. In 2019, the WNTI launched Western Native Trout Challenge with several different tiers (Master, Advance and Expert) that award anglers for catching up to 18 varieties of native trout across 12 western states. 92% of proceeds from the program go to supporting habitat /conservation projects with direct benefits for native trout across the west, providing anglers with a fun way to make a difference for these fish.

I had not initially planned on attempting the challenge as I had already caught most of the fish recognize by the challenge prior to 2019. However, after a year of native trout hunting it turned out that I had enough trout to submit for the Expert level, in which an angler needs to catch 6 varieties of native trout across 4 states. Since I had qualified for the program  I decided I might as well go for it. 

See my qualifying fish below:

Eagle Lake Rainbow Trout - California

"Interior Redband Trout" - Oregon

Coastal Cutthroat Trout - Washington

Bull Trout - Idaho

Westslope Cutthroat Trout - Idaho

Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout - New Mexico

Upon submitting photographs of their qualifying fish, anglers receive different rewards depending on the level of the program completed. I completed the "Expert Caster" level, which comes with a certificate and a hat, with the first 100 completers getting a unique "First 100" hat. 

My Expert Caster Certificate and "First 100" hat.

All in all, the Western Native Trout Challenge is a great program, that supports crucial conservation projects across the west. If you are interested in taking part in the challenge, you can sign up here.