FAIRVIEW, Pa. In a joint effort, FishUSA®, America’s Tackle Shop®, and the American Fishing Tackle Company (AFTCO) are collaborating to give back to the fishing communities of the Great Lakes region by supporting the Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System (GLATOS). At a time when Great Lakes anglers are experiencing record-breaking fishing opportunities, the retailer, manufacturer, and network of researchers is aiming to further enhance the region’s fishing resources long into the future.
GLATOS is a bi-national network of researchers who study how different fish species behave in the Great Lakes. Researchers capture a number of fish, surgically implant an acoustic telemetry tag, and release the tagged fish back into the water. The tag tracks each fish’s movement over time and transmits information to acoustic receivers placed throughout the Great Lakes.
Mark Haffley, Biologist with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and GLATOS researcher, says, “Better understanding fish movement and fish migration in Lake Erie is crucial in proper management of each species. As the Great Lakes change, so does the behavior of the fish within them. Studying their movement and spawning locations give us the best chance to make the proper management decisions to benefit not only the resource but the fishermen that utilize them.”
There are currently 69 active GLATOS projects throughout the Great Lakes and connecting waterways. Within these projects, dozens of species and thousands of fish have been tagged. The receivers have registered hundreds of millions of detections from the migrating fish.
From a Great Lakes fishery standpoint the three-way partnership represents a big step forward for everyone involved.
“Scientists and biologists study the species we like to fish for, and their research helps set regulations so that fish populations remain healthy for recreational and commercial anglers”, says Justin DiRado, FishUSA’s Social Media & Community Outreach Manager. “Fishing license and equipment purchases help fund state fisheries agencies, and private businesses are working to offer better fishing equipment for anglers so they can enjoy those resources even more. Everyone is interacting every day, so we have to work together to create the best situation for the fishing industry and the environment. Forming this partnership between AFTCO, GLATOS, and FishUSA benefits anglers, scientists, managers, manufacturers and sellers of fishing gear, not to mention it improves the resources we’re all supporting.”
“You have a situation where researchers always need funding support for their work. AFTCO is a household name in saltwater fishing, and we’re diving head-first into the freshwater fishing market. What better place to make a statement than supporting the Great Lakes and the biggest freshwater [fishing] market in the country?” says Matt Florentino, AFTCO’s Marketing Director.
“FishUSA is elated to be partnering with AFTCO and GLATOS, and we look forward to an exciting campaign with these outstanding organizations. Although our FishUSA.com website serves customers across the U.S. and globally, a significant number live and fish across the Great Lakes region home, and our Pro Shop and headquarters are only a few minutes from the shores of Lake Erie,” states Jeff Parnell, the company’s President and CEO.
The three-way partnership formally begins in the spring of 2019. Through the partnership, a portion of proceeds from AFTCO and FishUSA sales will go to GLATOS to fund fisheries research in a region that supports thousands of jobs, millions of anglers, and a multi-billion dollar fishing economy. AFTCO performance apparel can now be purchased at FishUSA, co-branded apparel is in production, and contributions are already being made to GLATOS.
FishUSA, America’s Tackle Shop, caters to anglers nationally and internationally with products for the spectrum of species and fishing techniques. Launched in 2000, the company’s website, www.FishUSA.com, includes tens of thousands of SKUs and is operated by FishUSA, Inc., a privately-held company based in Fairview, Pa. The company also operates a full-service pro shop in Fairview providing anglers with access to the company’s entire product line.