We have a chance to get the wild salmon story right. Habitat degradation over the past century has caused widespread decline of salmon runs in the Pacific Northwest. All too often, effects resulting from development has left us picking up the pieces to restore or mitigate impacts to bring salmon back. In Alaska, we are lucky that pristine habitat and salmon runs are prolific, supporting thousands of livelihoods across the state. However, the decisions we make and actions we take in the coming decade will determine whether the future of Alaska’s wild salmon is bright or bleak.
The 2018 5 Rivers Odyssey will explore two of Alaska's most important salmon landscapes: The Tongass National Forest in southeast Alaska and the Bristol Bay region of southwest Alaska. Together these landscapes encompass 57 million acres, thousands of rivers and return tens of millions of salmon each year. These fisheries are economic titans, with a combined commercial fishery value of $2.5 billion annually (not including a $174 million and $60 million dollar a year sport-fishing industry in Tongass NF and Bristol Bay respectively).
The TU Costa 5 Rivers program (TU's college program) is sending four college students from colleges around the country to explore these great places. In partnership with the US Forest Service, Costa Sunglasses, and Simms Fishing Products, these students will meet with a coalition of locals, conservation professionals, and community leaders to unearth the challenges that face Alaskan public lands and native fish if current policy is adversely changed.
We will be selecting 4 students from at least two TU Costa 5 Rivers Clubs to embark on a five week, all-expenses paid fishing excursion during the months of July-August 2018. Students will attempt to catch all five-Pacific salmon, as well as the native trout and char of the region, on public lands in the state of Alaska. Students will “take over” Trout Unlimited’s and Trout Unlimited Costa 5 Rivers social media pages during the length of the trip and will be responsible for creating their own content documenting the trip. It is imperative that applicants demonstrate excellent experience in at least one of the fields of photography, videography, and/or writing. Applicants should also possess all of the necessary equipment (cameras, editing software, camping gear, etc.) needed for the trip. Students that are selected for the trip will be outfitted with sponsor equipment and apparel.
How to Apply:
Make a short video (1 minute or less) or submit five of your photos with some of your best fishing-related content with a sample blog (500 words or less) describing why you care about public lands, clean water, native fish and the reasons you should win the trip. Please send the content to via email to Andrew.email@example.com with the title “5 Rivers Odyssey Application”. If you are missing any of content, or do not submit the application in time period outlined below, we will be unable to process your application for consideration.
Ideal candidates should:
• Possesses strong photography, videography, and/or writing skills
• Be active members in a TU Costa 5 Rivers affiliated club
• Have a passion for public lands and native fish
• Be passionate anglers
• Possess strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively in small groups in small quarters over a long period of time
• Be willing and able to hike into rugged and remote areas
• Be willing and able to primitive camp for extended periods for 7-10 days without access to indoor plumbing
• Be willing and able to use their own camping, camera, fishing and other equipment necessary for the trip
• Be willing and able to carry items that can weight up to 50lbs
• Demonstrate initiative, attention to detail, and ability to deliver all-content on time
• Budgeting skills and knowledge
• Knowledge of basic survival skills (including but not limited to how to make a fire, cook, basic navigation, etc.) a huge plus
• Experience rowing a raft with a fishing frame in class I-III water a plus
We will be accepting applications from March 25th and April 9th. We will then pick a handful of our favorite submissions for a second-round interview, and then announce our winners on April 23rd.
For more information, please reach out to Andrew Loffredo, the TU Costa 5 Rivers Coordinator, at Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Since the orginal publishing of the blog, the due date for applications has been extended one day, and the announcement of winners has been pushed back one day as well. ***