I stumbled upon a website called Recycled Fish and ended up spending a quite a bit of time reading through their information. They are a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization whose mission is as follows, "We engage, educate and equip anglers to be stewards of our natural resources both when we’re fishing and through everyday living, because our lifestyle runs downstream."
Becoming a steward of our waters is pretty important stuff if you like fishing and on the water recreation. When you’re in the Boundary Waters you don’t see houses or roads on the lakeshore so a person doesn’t think about being a good steward as much as you would if you lived elsewhere. Everyone in the BWCA does their best to Leave No Trace and wash dishes well away from the lakeshore and to use latrines that are set far back in the woods. The water quality in the wilderness is quite good.
Compare the water of the Boundary Waters with the water in a chain of lakes near Brainerd, Minnesota. Dotting the shoreline are large homes with manicured lawns and weeds removed from the shoreline. Dogs defecate on the beach, cats scratch in the sand and every once in awhile I’m guessing a septic system fails. A busy highway with construction going on runs next to the lake and I bet numerous chemicals are used on or near the road throughout the year. Garbage thrown from vehicles rests in the ditches and vehicle after vehicle passes by. Being a good steward is a little more complicated in more populated areas and that brings to my mind the lakes of the Twin Cities.
The Recycled Fish website contains a fact from the U.S. EPA, "49% of fresh water is so polluted that it can’t support a healthy fishery, it’s not safe to drink, and you shouldn’t swim in it." That’s a scary thought. The website talks about Six risks facing fishing and many other interesting things and products such as the Bassroom.
I encourage you to visit the Recycled Fish website and they suggest, "If you care about more and bigger fish in our waters now and leaving clean, healthy waters for our grandkids, then take the Sportsman’s Stewardship Pledge right now. "