The Jim Range National Casting Call is an annual fishing event at Fletcher’s Cove in the C&O Canal National Historical Park in Washington, DC. The event is intended to provide government decision makers with the opportunity to fish for shad in the Potomac River and learn about the importance of collaborative fisheries conservation. Nearly ten years ago, the concept of the event was developed by conservation visionary, Jim Range, and renamed in his honor after he passed away on January 20, 2009.
Hosted by the American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA), the Jim Range National Casting Call celebrates a precious natural resource and the country’s recreational fishing heritage at a location used by our forefathers and Native Americans for the same purpose – fishing for American Shad. Shad served as a food resource for many generations, but the fishery faced substantial declines due to overfishing and loss of spawning habitat. The abundance of shad that Jim Range National Casting Call participants will find provides a model of conservation success through partnerships that can be used in fisheries nationwide.
The event spotlights AFFTA’s strategic and core partner, the National Fish Habitat Action Plan (NFHAP), a public/private collaboration working to protect, restore and enhance our waterways and fisheries across the country. Each year NFHAP honors exceptional individuals or partners who have demonstrated a commitment to fish habitat conservation, science, or education. During the event’s luncheon, NFHAP Board members present the nation’s “10 Waters to Watch,” some of the nation’s most promising aquatic habitat projects demonstrating the results of conservation efforts under the National Fish Habitat Action Plan.
The Jim Range National Casting Call includes a morning on the Potomac River with top fly fishing guides fishing for spawning shad. Onshore activities include fly tying demonstrations, displays from some of the nation’s top conservation organizations, and recognition of local students who have participated in shad restoration on the Potomac.
The 2011 Jim Range National Casting Call will be held Friday, April 15 at Fletcher’s Cove in the C&O Canal National Historical Park in Washington, DC. Visit www.nationalcastingcall.com for complete information.