Rainbow trout. (Happy Nguyen)
Trout Unlimited has been a leading organization in the fight to protect Bristol Bay for almost two decades. We bring our organizing tools, science-backed policy expertise, nationwide network, and legal proficiency to this effort. We have established a vast group of anglers, businesses, and conservationists from around the world who speak up for Bristol Bay time and time again. In 2020, we appealed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deny the key permit for the proposed Pebble Mine and were successful. In 2021, our lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency helped put Clean Water Act protections back on track. Those protections were finalized for the headwaters of Bristol Bay in early 2023. We won’t stop until permanent, watershed-wide safeguards are in place.
Sockeye salmon spawning in Bristol Bay waters. (Flyout Media)
Salmon are hung in a traditional smokehouse. Bristol Bay’s many Indigenous communities subsist off the productive fisheries of their homewaters. (Michael Melford)
Bristol Bay’s rich salmon runs support large populations of trophy rainbow trout. (Flyout Media)
A brown bear feeds on Bristol Bay salmon. (Happy Nguyen)
Defending Clean Water Act Protections
Trout Unlimited was instrumental in getting Clean Water Act protections for the headwaters of Bristol Bay. In October 2021, we won our lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency, which prompted the agency to restart its process to protect Bristol Bay. We are ready to defend these protections in court once again in the face of litigation from the State of Alaska.
Seeking Permanent Protections
Bristol Bay won’t be safe until watershed-wide, permanent safeguards are in place. While the Clean Water Act protects from the damage of the Pebble Mine, there are still thousands of acres of mineral claims and leases in the watershed that could threaten the region’s rivers and fish in the future. Industrial mining of any kind in Bristol Bay would bring irreparable harm to critical salmon habitat. We are committed to working in the region until the families and businesses who rely on Bristol Bay’s fisheries can rest easy from the threat of industrial-scale mining.
Bristol Bay Fly Fishing and Guide Academy
Trout Unlimited is a proud partner of the Bristol Bay Fly Fishing and Guide Academy, which merges job training, salmon, and river education with recreation and conservation principles. The program educates, prepares, engages, and inspires Bristol Bay young adults to get jobs in the local, thriving recreational fishing industry and champions healthy salmon in their home rivers.