The National Fisheries Friends Partnership…

…unites leading fishing, conservation, recreation, industry and business groups in a unique coalition
to support and promote conservation and restoration of fish, other aquatic organisms, plants and the habitats they need to thrive.

We strengthen national policy and funding for fisheries by facilitating a diverse national coalition of partners.

At the grassroots level, we build the capacity of our member organizations to engage their communities and key members of Congress in aquatic conservation and restoration work.

And to strengthen public commitment, we craft and communicate a broader, more compelling story about why it’s important to conserve fish, wildlife and plants living in and around the water.

Message from the Chair

Hello Friends. This is an exciting time for after several years of talking and working the National Fisheries Friends Partnership is pleased to come online. These last few years have seen representatives of Fisheries Friends Groups from every region of the United States coming together to talk about various concerns and issues affecting the hatcheries, fish and wildlife conservation offices, fish health centers, and the various aquatics programs. Each of the members of NFFP comes from a grassroots Friends organization and is dedicated to supporting and advocating for not just our individual stations and regions but for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in general. Throughout this period we have received tremendous support from the Washington D.C. office, for which we are extremely grateful.

Our mission is to build a local and national network of supporters advocating for the conservation of aquatic species and the ecosystems in which they live. Our work is for both the sports enthusiast as well as for the environmentalist. The heritage of fishing continues to be handed down from father to daughter, from grandparent to grandchild. We understand well that it’s not just the catching of a large fish, but it’s the drive to the north woods cabin, or the smell of early morning coffee before heading out on to the lake, or the song of a loon in the early evening while talking about the day’s fishing around a campfire.

Just as fully understood is the interaction among the different parts of the ecological system including food chains, water quality indicators, the health of forage populations, the effects of invasive species and so forth. Variations in climate and the quality of air certainly play an important role as they interact with the hydrosphere.

Economically, the fisheries play a very important part in creating and preserving jobs and adding money to a community. Every taxpayer dollar invested in the fisheries program returns $28 to the economy. It isn’t just bait shops that benefit but it’s the waitress at the local cafe earning a living by serving early morning breakfasts to fishermen and the gas station making a profit on the gas used to fill a vehicle and the boat it’s pulling. And it’s the 8000 jobs created in the Service. Motels depend heavily not just on the fishing public but on the nature watchers who also spend their tourist money on guides, books, binoculars, waders and so forth. 68,000 American jobs can say thanks to the national fisheries program.

Finally, Governmental units make their investment back in the way of income taxes on the jobs created or sustained by the fishing community and in sales taxes generated by the sale of fishing related equipment and licenses. This is one program of the federal government that truly pays for itself and then some.

These things and so much more is understood by the National Fisheries Friends Partnership. We have come into existence for the purpose of supporting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stations and hatcheries. We look forward to helping local friends groups develop and to providing a network for communicating needs and issues.

I hope you will join us in our efforts to preserve our country’s fishing heritage, our nation’s waters, and to strengthen this part of the economy. Elsewhere on this site you will find information on how to become a member of NFFP and we can also lead you to your nearest hatchery Friend’s Group. They need you and welcome you.

Here we are. We are here for you!

Bob MacCord, Chairperson