TU Costa 5 Rivers – Community Building for College Anglers

The Trout Unlimited Costa 5 Rivers program is creating the most empowered, educated and conservation-minded generation of college fly anglers in history. As the cornerstone of Trout Unlimited’s Headwaters Youth Program, we welcome young anglers of all skill levels and educate them about local, regional and national issues important to native trout and salmon.

5 Rivers clubs are active on over 70 college and university campuses in the US and Canada. Our efforts to connect clubs with each other and with the mission of Trout Unlimited, would not be possible without the dedicated support of our partners, especially Costa Sunglasses. Costa has been the industry powerhouse behind 5 Rivers since its inception in 2012, and its continued support has enabled us to expand our reach and explore new opportunities to connect with club members. Also, thanks to a recent grant from Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, six 5 Rivers clubs received grants for fly fishing equipment and sample supplies to help them organize youth education projects in their communities.

As pandemic restrictions are eased across the country, we’re redoubling efforts to connect students with each other and cultivate meaningful outdoor experiences. Here are some examples of the 5 Rivers community in action:

  • In April, we hosted the Midwest meeting in Viroqua, WI. Midwest club members learned about the ecology of the Driftless region, built future trout habitats, picked up trash and caught some wily Driftless trout.

  • In September, we hosted the Rocky Mountain Gathering near Steamboat Springs, CO. Colorado club members gathered at Stagecoach State Park to fish, camp and donate to the Yampa through a service project with Ian Wilson, Trout Unlimited’s Yampa and White Rivers project manager.

  • In the spring of 2023, we will host the Midwest Meeting in the Driftless region of Wisconsin and the Southeast Meeting in the southern Appalachian highlands.

  • In August 2023, we are revitalizing the Costa Ambassador Summit for the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. At the Summit, students will deepen the experiences initiated during regional meetings and channel their energy into a collaborative service project with program partners Indifly and Shoshone and Arapahoe Tribal Fish and Game.

This year, we will also be awarding grants from the 5 Rivers Community Fund, thanks to a generous donation from the S. Kent Rockwell Foundation, to empower 5 Rivers clubs to create positive change in local streams and rivers through hands-on conservation. projects. The S. Kent Rockwell Foundation has been an outstanding partner of the TU Headwaters youth program for several years, and we are excited to offer this opportunity to the 5 Rivers clubs.

The 5 Rivers program may look different than it has in years past, but the spirit of the program remains as fiery as ever thanks to the individual club members and leaders who keep Stoke alive on their campuses. These students are the future leaders of the fly fishing industry and conservation field, and there is no doubt that the impact they are making now will continue to ripple throughout their communities long after their involvement in the 5 Rivers program.

If you want to find out more about TU Costa 5 Rivers or find your local club. CLICK HERE!

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