January 1, 2006

The Clean Angling Pledge

“I pledge to Inspect, Clean & Dry my equipment to the best of my ability after every on-water use”

What is the Clean Angling Pledge?
The Clean Angling Pledge (CAP) is an individual statement of commitment to helping to protect our fishery resources from invasive species that might be inadvertently introduced by anglers, boaters or other recreationists.
Many of our waters are being attacked by plants, animals and/or microbes that have been introduced and are now established to the point that they are having significant impacts. These invaders often have no natural controls and quickly expand to cause harm. Most of these invaders have been unintentionally introduced, many by anglers pursuing a good day of sport. As anglers we all feel an obligation to protect the waters that we depend on and most recreationists would gladly take the time to perform the simple actions needed to reduce the chance that they are spreading the problem.
The CAP provides both an education message, what can you do and how do you do it, as well as a personal call to action. People who take the pledge will spread the word and help to teach the desired behavior to others.

What happens when someone takes the Pledge?
When someone pledges the first thing that happens is they get an immediate feedback in the form of a pop up window that thanks them for pledging. This is followed up by an Email sent to them that congratulates them on taking the pledge and offers them the opportunity to receive the free Clean Angling News electronic newsletter. If they accept the offer of the newsletter, it will be delivered to them monthly. It is filled with information about invasive species issues of interest to anglers, boaters and other recreationists and reminds everyone that controlling invasives is up to all of us..
Any person who does not respond to the initial Email will not be contacted again. We will not spam people ever. We do not provide contact information about pledge takers to any one for any reason.
People who take the pledge are actively encouraged to spread the Clean Angling Ethic to others. To reduce the spread of invasives everyone must participate. This will only happen when many people are promoting Clean Angling. We hope that the people who pledge will form the backbone of a new movement to popularize the ethic of Clean Angling.

Inspect, Clean & Dry seems kind of simple, shouldn't we recommend the use of disinfectants?
No. It is very intentional that the Pledge is based on cleaning with water only. The range of species infesting our waters is broad. Plants, animals, insects, microbes, crustaceans and mollusks are all common invaders and each has its own tolerances. Any chemical that is effective at killing all of the possible invaders will also be destructive to the environment and, quite possibly, to our equipment.
By using water only, we focus on what people have at hand. There is nothing special to remember, no special gear, special chemicals or special instructions. Instead, the simple actions of inspecting, cleaning and drying have proven to be very effective at reducing the spread of invasives.
The goal is to make Cleaning a habit that is an automatic part of every fishing trip. If we can get every angler to clean after every trip we will dramatically reduce spread.

How can I promote the Pledge?
There are a lot of ways to promote the pledge. The first and best is to take it and live it. Start cleaning your gear after every trip and you will soon have others following your example.
The pledge can easily be promoted in other ways. If you have a business, website, club or organization we can provide tools that help you promote the pledge. From print ads to online pledge forms to post cards, we can provide the tools you need to tell others about the pledge. Just let us know and we will help you get what you need.
The most effective way for you to promote the pledge is to embrace it as part of who you are. Personalize the pledge and use it to establish that your business is committed to protecting our fishery resources and that you are calling on all who are influenced by you to take the pledge and become part of the solution. Take our program and use it to your advantage by improving your “green” image with your consumers. Not only will you be helping to protect our waters, others will know that you care.
Every organization, company or other entity that commits to promoting the pledge in an ongoing fashion will be designated a Partner in the effort. Our partners are highlighted on the www.cleanangling.org website and receives recognition in the Clean Angling News.
The Pledge is widely being accepted as the most effective program for individuals. The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has adopted the program as their primary method for educating individual recreationists. Trout Unlimited, the Federation of Fly Fishers and many others have endorsed the program and in coming months many more companies, organizations and agencies will also be formally recognized as partners.

Who runs the pledge?
The CAP is a program of the Center for Aquatic Nuisance Species (CANS), a 501c3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to reducing the human caused spread of aquatic nuisance species. CANS is supported by grants from foundations and government as well as through contributions from private donors.

How do I find out more?
The best way to learn more is to visit the CAP website at www.cleanangling.org. Here you will find links to sources of information about invasive species as well as a sampling of the tools available to those who want to promote the pledge.
Contact us directly by phone or email and we will quickly get you whatever you need to better understand the issue and to help join the fight to slow the spread of the invaders that are threatening our fishing waters.

Center for Aquatic Nuisance Species
PO Box 1429
Livingston, MT 59047