A Guide to Starting and Running Fisheries Friends Groups


*This condensed, online version of the Tacklebox has been edited for your convenience. For the complete guide, please contact us!
Written by Jacob Pinkney for National Fisheries Friends Partnership | © 2017

Who We Are

Founded in 2008, the National Fisheries Friends Partnership encompasses a group of passionate, driven, and capable volunteers who all share a love for the environment, fish, and hatchery work. Many of these individuals represent various volunteer organizations (also known as Fisheries Friends Groups), while others serve in various support roles at fisheries and hatcheries nationwide.

The concept for the NFFP originated after the passage of the National Fish Hatchery System Volunteer Act of 2006- a bill created to enhance what was then a fledgling volunteer program of the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Fisheries and Aquatic Conservation department (hereafter referred to as USFWS/FAC), and to promote community partnerships. Structurally, the organization is meant to act as both a formal vessel in which localized volunteer groups can connect- and as a means to engage community members and policy makers to promote restoration, conservation, and education related to aquatic species.

Where We Come From

Current members of the NFFP Board hail from around the nation, but all have played an integral role in implementing grassroots friends’ group programs in their respective regions. These men and women- many of whom are teachers, biologists, and conservation advocates- possess both a deep understanding of the economic and environmental benefits of health ecosystems, and a passion for environmental sustainability and aquatic preservation and restoration. The diverse backgrounds from which the NFFP Board members draw their experiences is a large contributing factor to the organization’s fluid and efficient operation.

What We Do

As stated in the mission of the USFWS/FAC, the work of the NFFP is simple, yet undeniably important: “To work with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefits of the American people.” In doing this, the organization aims to be a voice and provide a means of support for the volunteer-run friends’ groups that actively work at various fisheries on a day-to-day basis. This support includes hosting fundraising events, workshops, and retreats- all while maintaining a strong commitment to interacting and engaging with communities.