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Anglers help with Salt Marsh restoration

by The Sportfishing Conservancy 17 Jan 2018 13:46 UTC
A group including representatives of local fishing clubs, The Sportfishing Conservancy and young fishermen from the Santa Barbara/Carpinteria area present Chet Work, Director of The Land Trust of Santa Barbara County © The Sportfishing Conservancy

The Sportfishing Conservancy recently brought together a band of local angling clubs, youngsters and dignitaries for the most important and most satisfying part of the non-profit organization's annual No Motor Tournament — presenting a check to the group responsible for restoring and protecting one of California's few remaining coastal estuaries.

Tom Raftican, President of The Sportfishing Conservancy and Director of the No Motor Tournament, invited Chet Work of the Land Trust of Santa Barbara County, representatives from local fishing clubs and some young fishermen to the very spot where tidal flow from the Pacific Ocean enters and leaves the Carpinteria Salt Marsh. After a lesson from Chet Work to teach both youngsters and adults about the true importance of this natural habitat, the group presented the Land Trust with a check for $700 — proceeds from the 2017 event. Over the past eight years, the No Motor Tournament has helped raise nearly $10,000 that has been used to help fund a wide range of conservation activities at the marsh.

"Our goal is to manage the Carpinteria Salt Marsh as naturally as possible," said Work. "We undertake a lot of activities, such as removing weeds and non-native plants, re-planting native species, and even excavating channels and removing sediment from the marsh when necessary. Other Land Trust activities at the salt marsh over the years have included putting in a trail system and monitoring non-native animal species that can upset the habitat's natural balance. "This type of grass-roots financial support from the local sportfishing community is vital, so that we can continue to do this important work," said Work.

The No Motor Tournament was created to give recreational anglers a way to help support this meaningful habitat.

Estuaries like the Carpinteria Salt Marsh provide important spawning areas and protective habitat for juvenile fish — including many of the species we fish for in the open ocean. This family-oriented, catch-and-release event brings together anglers of all ages and skill levels to fish the Santa Barbara coastline from the beach, kayaks, float tubes, SUPs or any human-powered craft. After fishing all morning, the event concludes with a tri-tip luncheon/awards ceremony at Danny's Deli in Carpinteria, highlighted by a range of valuable raffle prizes provided by sponsors and local businesses.

"We want to say thanks to all the local fishermen who turn out for this event each year. The No Motor Tournament is a great way for families to have fun out of doors, while also helping to protect and enhance this critical habitat," said Raftican. "We especially love seeing the youngsters turn out to fish with their families and friends — and hope that even more will join us next year."

To learn more about ongoing restoration efforts at the Carpinteria Salt Marsh, visit www.sblandtrust.org. To learn more about the efforts and activities of The Sportfishing Conservancy and plans for the 2018 No Motor Tournament later this year, visit www.sportfishingconservancy.org.

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