In 2005 we launched World Trout to help raise money for grassroots groups working to save individual trout and salmon species. To date, sales from those shirts have raised almost $550,000.
Identify the individuals and groups that protect native fish, tell their story and support their conservation efforts.
Trout in this world are held at human’s mercy due to over fishing and destruction of habitat ranging from logging to war, immense climatic changes to it being a basic food source.
We are fortunate in our world to have special individuals and groups working tirelessly to preserve indigenous trout. Artist/Author James Prosek had illustrated this point with a story about his first trip to the Zeta River in Serbia-Montenegro to search for the rare softmouth trout. After 3 weeks of searching and finding absolutely nothing, they felt the trout was extinct. Reports from locals, including the President of the local fisheries club lamented the loss of the softmouth trout. A tip about a single man protecting these fish in his local, spring fed tributary prompted a scientific team to return. Because of this single man’s passion, the team discovered to their dismay, hundreds of fish. As a side note, with the commitment by the University of Lubjiana that is the recipient of revenues from World Trout, this scientific team has become a viable project with an official name – Balkan Trout Restoration Group.
In 1999, a trip to Yellowstone was arranged to that finally put together James Prosek and Patagonia owner Yvon Chouinard. Hearing the stories of James’ efforts to catch various trout around the world and the dramatic challenges these fish are facing, Yvon was releasing a native fish and simply said, “let’s do something about it.
Since conservation efforts require organization, money and a positive political climate, the decision was to make this initiative simple as Yvon’s statement and place the money into the hands of the actual groups working to protect the fish. By telling a compelling story and providing the angler and interested parties with a call to action, we could make something happen.
World Trout Initiative
Using the stunning artwork that Prosek had documented during his global travels for his books Trout of North America and Trout of the World, these would then be reproduced on t-shirts and sold throughout Patagonia’s global distribution network. Specific grassroots individuals and groups would be chosen each year and $5.00 from the sale of each shirt would be divided equally and donated back to the chosen groups. The average angler now has a simple call to action to purchase great art on a t-shirt knowing his money would go directly to support an important cause.
World Trout is an ongoing program that is not a Patagonia initiative, but everyone’s initiative. It is an avenue that all companies and interested parties should participate to raise funds that directly combat the declining natural resources and populations of trout. As we learned from the story in the Balkans, conservation can be done anywhere in the world by passionate individuals with no resources other than human will. Our call to action can be as simple as buying a t-shirt to support these groups You can step up to joining in the protection of your local waters and their fish. As a company, join us in selling your own version of World Trout t-shirts. Then step up your commitment that will be recognized and applauded by your customers by joining 1% for the Planet. This initiative has concerned businesses giveback 1% of their net sales to their choice of environmental initiatives. This becomes an ideal solution for these grassroots groups who can then rely on long term funding.
In 2006, Patagonia was joined by Abel Reel and created a limited edition etched cutthroat fly reel with proceeds supporting the Yellowstone Park Foundation. Cortland Line Company used the Co Greenback artwork to support the Co Greenback Restoration Project. Filson used salmon t-shirt to support Washing Trout’s efforts in the N.W. If you would like to participate in World Trout, please contact Bill Klyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.