World Trout, an on-going conservation effort to preserve native trout species worldwide, was founded by artist and naturalist James Prosek and Yvon Chouinard, avid fly fisherman, climber, and founder of Patagonia, Inc., the outdoor apparel company. Each year, World Trout will highlight the efforts of various grassroots environmental organizations working to protect native trout populations and their habitats. A portion of the sales of Patagonia’s World Trout t-shirts featuring James Prosek’s artwork will be designated for these organizations. Patagonia is encouraging other companies to join the World Trout campaign as well as 1% For the Planet, a non-profit consortium of businesses donating one percent of sales to environmental non-profits. Participating companies can pledge one percent of sales to World Trout beneficiary groups or other local, regional, or national environmental non-profits.
Chouinard and Prosek initially spawned the preservation effort while fishing Slough Creek in Yellowstone Park last year. Their shared passion for fly-fishing coupled with a drive to generate awareness around preserving our natural water resources led to the initiative. Patagonia and Prosek officially launched World Trout at the Fly Fishing Retailer Show in Denver, Colorado, September 15, 2004.
“Patagonia is deeply committed to supporting environmental conservation initiatives like World Trout,” said Chouinard. “With Prosek’s extensive knowledge and Patagonia’s global reach, we’ve created a program that will support local grassroots efforts focused on preserving native trout species.”
Prosek has spent the past eight years (1996-2003) documenting the physical diversity of the trout of Europe, Asia and North Africa through watercolor representations. His extensive research is recorded in Trout of the World, an illustrated history of the native trout he encountered during his travels abroad. As an individual, he has worked to generate awareness of the threats to native trout species, such as dams, development, wars, pollution, overfishing, and irrigation. Three of Prosek’s watercolors from Trout of the World, will be featured on Patagonia t-shirts, and proceeds from each shirt will be donated to grassroots groups working on these issues.
“The existence of wild trout means clean water, arguably our most precious resource,” said Prosek. “Their disappearance would not only be a physical loss, but also a loss to the human imagination.”
The beneficiary groups of the World Trout campaign will rotate each year, in order to increase the visibility of the broad range of grassroots organizations dedicated to trout protection and restoration. 2005 recipient groups were the Penobscot River Restoration Trust in Maine, the Greenback Recovery Program through Colorado Trout Unlimited, and the Obirame Restoration Group in Hokkaido, Japan, which is working to save the native sea-run Huchen. Each group received $13,000 in the initial year. 2006 tees will raise money for the Yellowstone Park Foundation, the Balkan Trout Restoration Group and the Friends of Wild Salmon. Because of efforts of World Trout, the Balkan Trout Restoration Group was founded.
Patagonia, Inc. designs, markets, and distributes outdoor gear and apparel through its catalog, retail stores, wholesale dealers, and web site (www.patagonia.com). The company donates one percent of sales to the restoration and protection of the natural environment and has granted over $20 million in financial and in-kind donations to grassroots environmental organizations since 1985. Known for its commitment to quality and environmental responsibility, Patagonia offers products made from organic cotton, hemp, and recycled materials. For more information, visit the Patagonia website.
Since its inception in January 2005 (through Nov. 30, 2008), anglers have purchased 71,543 trout T-shirts and raised $357,715. World Trout funds have supported groups like: Penobscot River Restoration Project, Greenback Conservation & Restoration Programs of Colorado Trout Unlimited, Obirame Restoration Group, Trout Unlimited Driftless Area, Stripers Forever, The Golden Trout Project, Wild Steelhead Coalition, Montana River Action and Societa Valsesiana Pescatori Sportivi. World Trout supporters have also sought out these grassroots groups to donate funds and volunteer their time directly to the group. For more information or to apply for World Trout funds, go to patagonia.com/worldtrout.
Using the tools of his trade, artist James Prosek does more than capture the wild beauty of Atlantic fish—
he paints a compelling case for protecting them.
Watch this short video about the on-going conservation
effort to preserve native trout species worldwide.