BoatU.S. FOUNDATION FOR BOATING
SAFETY AND CLEAN WATER BY ALANNA KEATING
OUR BROTHERS’ KEEPER
Finding ways to turn anglers into the guardians of rivers
and lakes drives the founder of Recycled Fish
WHO WAS YOUR HERO WHEN YOU WERE A KID? Superman? Your local policeman? Wonder Woman? Your teacher? In the 4th grade, Teeg Stouffer was told to write a letter to his hero as part of a class assignment. While the rest of the class wrote letters to movie stars and football players, Stouffer
wrote his letter to legendary professional angler Jimmy Houston. Out of a class
of 20 kids, his was the only hero to write back. It made an impression and helped
to fuel Stouffer’s lifelong passion for fishing. At a young age when other kids’
In a decade, Teeg Stouffer’s idea has grown to a national organization.
Christmas lists included the latest games and
gadgets, he asked for subscriptions to Field &
Stream and Bassmaster magazines.
It’s not surprising then that Stouffer
found a way to combine his love of the
water with his career. While he started
out working in radio and event planning,
Stouffer’s career path took a turn one day
while fly-fishing in the Cascade Mountains.
As he recalls, “It was one of those epic
fishing days where everything was going
right.” Everywhere he thought there would
be fish, there were. Every cast was perfect.
But despite having one of the best fishing
days of his life, Stouffer had a nagging feeling that he couldn’t shake. The waterway
Stouffer was fishing that day was once teeming with salmon, and while the trout fishing
was still great, there weren’t many salmon
left. He feared that his kids and grandkids
might never get to experience this type of
day on the water. After some reflection, the
mission and concept of Recycled Fish came
to life. Stouffer knew something needed to
be done to preserve our waterways and fishing for future generations, and he needed to
be a part of it.
Fast forward 10 years and Recycled Fish
has grown from an idea in the mind of a
passionate angler to a national organization educating anglers on how to live a
lifestyle of stewardship on and off the water.
Recycled Fish started educating anglers on
catch-and-release fishing. As these concepts
began to catch on across the country, they
expanded their mission to educate anglers
on simple, practical ways to protect their
waterways every day. That’s when Stouffer
looked to the BoatU.S. Foundation for assistance through the Grassroots Grants program, which is funded by the generous
donations of BoatU.S. members. For more