Projects – 2023

With the generous support of AFTCO, the following conservation project was funded for 2023.

The FishAmerica Foundation is grateful for the generous support of AFTCO. This was the first project funded by AFTCO and we look forward to future projects together.

Learn about the projects funded in 2022.

North Carolina Aquatic Plant Nursery

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (Commission) was awarded $25,000 to help in constructing their aquatic plant nursery. In 2014, the Commission decided to make establishing native aquatic vegetation in reservoirs a priority. Since that time, the Commission has planted over 20,000 plants in 11 waterbodies across North Carolina. The primary goal of these projects is to establish self-sustaining and expanding native plant communities in reservoirs that can provide habitat for juvenile and adult fish, improve water quality and clarity, reduce rates of shoreline erosion and sediment resuspension, and providing competition with invasive plant and algal species as well as establishing plants communities that can withstand climate change. Initial revegetation eorts used plants transplanted from local waterbodies, purchased from commercial vendors, and/or grown in an unused fish hatchery raceway. The construction of a larger facility will increase plant production capability as well as provide a better capability to overwinter plants and create sustainable on-sites sources of material. The capacity of the nursery will expand over time from 4,000 plants in 2022 to 6,000 plants in 2023 to 12,000 plants by 2024.

> Read the full report

Harris Lake

Harris Lake

Harris Lake – Planting Water Willow

Hyco Lake

Hyco Lake

Planting Aquatic Vegetation

Lake Gaston

Shed at Sykes Depot

Quaker Lake

With the generous support of Grizzly, the following conservation projects were funded for 2023.

The FishAmerica Foundation has partnered with American Snuff Co. and their Grizzly brand since 2014. Their donations have contributed to programs that build essential reef habitat, that develop fisheries management and access plans, and prevent the littering of our waterways.

Learn about the projects funded in 2022.

Granite Creek, Missoula, Montana

The Clark Fork Coalition of Missoula, Montana, was awarded a grant for improving road crossings on eight sites of Granite Creek, a coldwater tributary to the Lolo River.  The purpose of this project is to increase the habitat for native fish populations including Bull Trout, Westslope Cutthroat Trout and other salmonid species. In 2009, the National Forest acquired more than 32 square miles of timber lands in Upper Lolo Creek watershed as part of the larger ‘Montana Legacy Project’ in Western Montana. This land acquisition provides an opportunity for restoration and enhancement opportunities in the basin. Working with the U.S. Forest Service, the Clark Fork Coalition improved fish passage in tributaries of Granite Creek and reduced chronic stream sedimentation.  Specifically, eight road crossings along Granite Creek road (FS 9942) that impeded fish migration and contributed to higher sediment loads in the creek were replaced with larger culverts integrated with the streambed and allowing passage of fish into critical spawning and rearing habitat.  Since 2006, road decommissioning and other road treatments have reduced overall sediment inputs and hydrologic impacts at a large scale in the Lolo Creek headwaters by removing stream crossings replacing culverts, culverts and installing dozens of large wood jams.  The entire project area lies on accessible public land and is open to angling. Wild fish populations are expected to increase because of the project, leading to more opportunity for angling success. This project is a collaborative project with the Clark Fork Coalition, the Missoula District of the Lolo National Forest, Montana Department of Environmental Quality and Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks.

> Read the full Granite Creek Fish Passage Final Report

Before restoration

Placing streambed material

After restoration

Jockey’s Ridge, North Carolina

The North Carolina Coastal Federation was awarded $73,860 to protect and restore a 725-foot section of the estuarine shoreline on Roanoke Sound, North Carolina,  that is resulting in loss of fish habitat and degradation of water quality. This project installed an adaptive management strategy to stabilize the eroding shoreline, provide coastal habitat and protect water quality, educate and engage the public, and provide safe access for over 1.9 million visitors to this public resource. This stretch of shoreline is exposed to high wave energy as well as erosion from foot traffic from the adjacent popular sound-side walking trail. Pre-project monitoring of the site showed greater fish diversity at the adjacent wetland fringe site as compared to the estuarine beach site, with eight of the ten most commercially or recreationally important species found at the wetland site (including  Red Drum, Sheepshead, Striped Mullet, Blue Crab, Atlantic Croaker, Southern Sea Mullet, and Spot). Working in conjunction with Jockey Ridge State Park and other partners, this group installed  a durable granite cap on the existing oyster sill to achieve a fixed height that is not dependent on oyster colonization. This will provide consistent sill height, shoreline stabilization, and new wetland habitat through additional community plantings of aquatic vegetation.  The project engaged over 100 local students and volunteers

> Read the full Jockey’s Ridge Final Report

Construction lasted approximately 5 weeks in Spring 2023 and included the use of several long arm excavators, a track dump truck, ATV and turbidity booms.

This project is already inspiring plans for similar habitat restoration projects in the area.

The River City Community Development Corporation YouthBuild program participated in a day-long field trip to Jockey’s Ridge State Park in May 2022 to learn about the park, estuaries and living shorelines.


Campers from the Coastal Studies Institute helped in planting marsh grasses along the shoreline at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in June 2023.



The following conservation projects were funded with the generous support of the Brunswick Foundation.

The FishAmerica Foundation has partnered with the Brunswick Foundation. Their donations have contributed to programs that build essential reef habitat, that develop fisheries management and access plans, and prevent the littering of our waterways.

Learn about the projects funded in 2022.

Green Lake Aquatic Structure

The Green Lake Sanitary District (GLSD) was awarded $15,000 for a fish structure project in Green Lake, Wisconsin. This is a 7,920-acre lake that has a maximum depth of 236 feet. Visitors have access to the lake from public boat landings and public beaches. Popular fisheries include Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Trout, Walleye and Catfish. The Lake Management Plan states that the loss of near shore vegetation and coarse woody debris has detrimentally impacted fish populations. The Plan indicates that habitat protection and restoration are key to help improve fish population numbers to reach their full potential. The addition of complex woody habitat consisting of 8-10 “fish condos” and 25-30 fish cribs will increase fish habitat as a partial means to address this problem and be used in providing educational opportunities about habitat importance for the youth and general public.

> Read the full report.

Fishing in Schools

The Fishing Education Foundation was awarded $25,000 to support implementation of the National Fishing in Schools Program (NFSP) in 9 schools. NFSP provides two all-inclusive standards-based fishing programs, both fly fishing and spin casting, that provide all the tools a school needs to implement an effective fishing program into their daily PE curriculum. Schools receiving grant awards are required to participate in NFSP for a minimum of  3 years.  The objective is for each school to provide on the water fishing experiences for students. If desired, a condition of grant award could be the requirement for the school to agree to conduct such an event.  NFSP calls these events, “F.I.S.H. Event” (Fishing in Schools Happening.) The awarded schools taught a total of 1,112 students.  A survey evaluates all participating students before and after their participation in the program to find results as to a student’s participation in the sport before and after the program if they purchase equipment and their intent to participate in the sport in the future.

> Read the full report.

Bobby Ray Elementary School
McMinnville, TN

East Prarie High School
East Prarie, MO

Pine Island Elementary
Pine Island, MN

Griffin School
Olympia, WA

Fishing in Schools Final Report

National Fishing in Schools Survey Report

Project Website