Vol. 24, No. 8 June 1, 2016

Community Partners of the Year: WSSI, VDGIF,
and NVATU Honored by Reston Association

Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. (WSSI), Northern Virginia Trout Unlimited (NVATU), and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) were honored on April 12 as Reston Association’s Community Partners of the Year; the group has teamed with Reston Association (RA) for six years to sponsor the Reston Kids' Trout Fishing Day. The annual event – the largest of its kind in the Commonwealth – attracts hundreds of kids with their families to a one-mile long reach of Snakeden Branch that WSSI restored seven years ago as part of the Northern Virginia Stream Restoration Bank (NVSRB).

Each year WSSI helps RA prepare for the event through behind the scenes tasks like trimming willows along the stream bank, putting up signs, and purchasing 500 rainbow trout to stock the stream. Many WSSI staff also participate in the main event by registering the young anglers, handing out fishing gear, helping kids fish, and cleaning catches. VDGIF helps stock the rainbow trout in the stream, loans fishing rods and equipment for the day, and helps kids fish. NVATU teaches children about the trout and other fish, and also distributes the rods and helps kids fish. Many of the children are first time anglers and the day is an exciting and busy one for all! It’s a wonderful opportunity for children to connect in a memorable and meaningful way with their watershed.

RA’s Watershed Supervisor, Nicki Belleza, with the Community Partners of the Year (left to right): George Paine from NVATU, Scott Petrey of WSSI, and John Odenkirk representing VDGIF.
For more information about the Fishing Day, please contact Scott Petrey.