The results are in for the 2011 Recycled Fish 24 Hour Fish-A-Thon presented by Scheels and Griffin Fishing Charters, and it was a record setting year in every way.

In all, this year’s 24 Hour Fish-A-Thon raised $17,500. More than 2000 fish were caught, photographed and released, including some sensational catches. The largest bass and catfish in the event’s three-year history were captured and released in this year’s event. Bluegills represented the most numerous catch at 45%, followed by largemouth bass, catfish and trout.

With approximately $8,000 raised, Team Bear Trail (Alaska) comprised of Nanci Morris Lyon and Kate Taylor, raised more than the entire 2010 24 Hour Fish-A-Thon raised in total. 50% of funds raised by their team will be dedicated specifically to the campaign for Bristol Bay to prevent Pebble Mine. Their success also earns them an all expense paid fishing trip to Griffin Fishing Charters on the Mississippi Delta near New Orleans, Louisiana.

The teams removed over 13,000 pieces of trash with cigarette butts being the most numerous item removed. Plastic bottles and “other plastics” represented 20% of the items. Fishing-related trash represented only 3% of what was removed, but Recycled Fish Ambassadors did remove an estimated 4,000 feet of fishing line from the areas they fished.

The 24 Hour Fish-A-Thon is about raising awareness for the problems facing our waters, and giving people ways to help solve those problems. With over 500 individual donors, an estimated 26,000 grassroots interactions and roughly 256,000 (and growing) media impressions, it was a successful year.

At the same time, the 24 Hour Fish-A-Thon is fun! There’s some friendly competition and some exciting prizes.

Top Fishing Team: Team Bass Addicts – Delaware (43,103 points) Ted, Kevin and John win an all-expense paid trip to Minnesota’s North Woods to fish the waters of Lake Vermillion at Spring Bay Resort. This team fished the flooded Delaware River but high water pushed bass into a backwater where they capitalized on high fish density.

Runner-up fundraising team: Team Playland 1 – Pennsylvania ($2,715)

Buddy Johns and his team earned a $100 DICK’S Sporting Goods Gift Card and an Abu Garcia Vendetta Rod & Cardinal Reel Combo. Team Playland would have won the fundraising prize in 2009 or 2010 by nearly $1000, proving that the bar has been raised every year.

Trash Collection Award: Team Savuka Kayaks – Nebraska

This paddle-powered husband & wife team not only organized a lake cleanup to remove a dumpster load of trash from the Fremont Lakes, they landed in the Fremont Tribune for doing so.

Sportsmanship Award: Team Dragon’s Custom Rods – Nebraska

Arron and Erin Slater and their family – including mom Le Anne Slater – put more time into the 24 Hour Fish-A-Thon than any other of our volunteers. They sponsor the event with their business (not reflected in their fundraising total) and are generous with their time to Recycled Fish year-round. The family also volunteers as Youth Fishing Instructors for Nebraska Game & Parks.

The Recycled Fish 24 Hour Fish-A-Thon is made possible through the support of Scheels of Des Moines, Griffin Fishing Charters in Louisiana, Spring Bay Resort in Minnesota , FishTales Outfitting in Montana, Dragon’s Custom Rods, Curt Redden, Berkley, Shakespeare, Scott’s Elite Lures, and other Recycled Fish partners.

To see photos of the biggest fish caught by species and other awards in the 2011 Recycled Fish 24 Hour Fish-A-Thon, visit http://www.recycledfish.org/blog/event-news/24-hour-fish-a-thon-results-2011/.

About Recycled Fish:

Recycled Fish is the national non-profit organization of “anglers living a lifestyle of stewardship both on and off the water, because our lifestyle runs downstream.” The Recycled Fish “Sportsman’s Stewardship Pledge” invites anglers to embrace the Stewardship Ethic and join the organization, free of charge. The SAFE Angling Program — Sustaining Angling, Fish and Ecosystems — is a way to help anglers embrace a lifestyle of stewardship on the water. It involves catch and release fishing, including the use of single barbless hooks, biodegradable lures, and non-toxic lead-free weights. Recycled Fish also educates anglers about invasive species, habitat loss, waterway litter and pollution prevention, urban fisheries, and increase participation in recreational fishing for both adults and children. For more information on the 501(c)3 group go to: www.recycledfish.org.

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