Left to Right: Chico Fernandez, Sandy Moret, Dr. Andy Danylchuk
Bonefish & Tarpon Trust will honor Florida anglers Sandy Moret and Chico Fernandez and scientist Dr. Andy Danylchuk for their contributions to flats fishery conservation at the 7th Annual International Science Symposium and Flats Expo, November 12-13, 2021, at the Bonaventure Resort & Spa in Weston, FL.
“The world of flats fishery conservation has benefitted immensely from the leadership and many contributions of Sandy, Chico and Andy,” said BTT President and CEO Jim McDuffie. “Sandy and Chico helped shape our organization from its earliest days, while Andy’s work today is greatly expanding our knowledge and future priorities in the field of tarpon conservation. We are grateful to them for their service and excited to recognize them in this special venue.”
Moret will be awarded The Lefty Kreh Award for Lifetime Achievement in Conservation, which is BTT’s highest honor. A vocal advocate for Everglades conservation and restoration for more than 40 years, Moret doubled-down on his commitment beginning in 2015 as leader of the Now or Neverglades coalition. Moret was a unifying force among the participating groups and instrumental in securing passage of SB 10, which authorized a southern reservoir to store, treat and send water south to Florida Bay.
Moret’s passion for fishing led him to become involved in Everglades and fisheries conservation. Known for his angling prowess, Moret won the Keys’ most prestigious fly tournaments—the Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament and the Islamorada Invitational Bonefish Fly Championship—eight times and was a frequent guest on Flip Pallot’s Walker’s Cay Chroniclesand Andy Mill’s Sportsman’s Adventures. An exceptional teacher, Moret founded the Florida Keys Fly Fishing School in Islamorada in the late 1980s and then Florida Keys Outfitters in 1992.
Fernandez, a renowned angler and author, will receive The Curt Gowdy Memorial Media Award, which is presented to those who advance saltwater conservation through writing, entertainment and media outreach. Fernandez began fishing in his native Cuba as a boy, became an expert fly angler after arriving in Florida, and today is known as a great teacher and communicator. Fernandez’s writing and photography have appeared in hundreds of fishing magazines and books over the decades, influencing generations of fly anglers. He remains a tireless advocate for flats conservation and BTT’s science-based programs to achieve it.
Dr. Danylchuk is the 2021 recipient of the Flats Stewardship Award. A BTT Research Fellow, Danylchuk is Professor of Fish Conservation at University of Massachusetts Amherst and also serves as Director of the Five College Coastal and Marine Sciences Program. He has authored or co-authored more than 45 scientific publications focusing on flats species, including studies on catch-and-release, movement ecology, and early observations of bonefish moving offshore to spawn. He is the Principal Investigator on BTT’s Tarpon Acoustic Tagging Project, which is rewriting the book on what is known about tarpon movement and habitat uses.
The awards presentations will take place at the closing banquet of the 7th International Science Symposium and Flats Expo. This triennial event attracts stakeholders from across the world of flats fishing who gather to learn more about science-based efforts to conserve flats species, habitats and fisheries.
Click here to register for the 7th International Science Symposium and Flats Expo.