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Welcome BTT Youth Ambassador Castan Conley

Welcome BTT Youth Ambassador Castan Conley! “As a fly fisherman, I search for fish that have speed, intelligence, and raw power,” the Miami 10th grader shared. “For these reasons, my top three species of fish to target are, bonefish, snook, and jack crevalle.”

Castan’s dad taught him to fish at a young age living in Wisconsin, which “opened the doors for a lifetime of passion and love for the water, and he’s been supporting my obsession since day one.”

Since moving to Miami, Castan has become an accomplished saltwater angler and conservationist. “Living near Biscayne Bay has shown me how conservation can truly help an environment in a short period of time. When we moved here in 2016, the flats of the bay were muddy, brown, and lifeless. Over the years, we have seen it become an environment full of life, with bright green grass flats and huge bonefish.”

Castan has been involved in several conservation and research projects, including mangrove clean-ups and research of the mangrove diamondback terrapin. “These amazing turtles, perfectly adapted to the coastal environment, were once hunted and their habitat destroyed. We had no idea they were nesting on our beach for years! When we finally spotted them and shared pictures online, marine biologists went crazy. We started studying them, facing down rain and watching hatching at 3 AM, just to understand these elusive creatures.”

This experience opened Castan’s eyes to the importance of education in conservation. “After seeing how fascinated my neighbors’ kids were by the terrapins, I knew I had to get them involved. I taught them how to measure and collect data, then took them right into the field to see the terrapins in action. It’s been incredibly rewarding to not only learn more about these turtles myself but also pass on that curiosity and passion for conservation to the next generation.”

Castan sees fly fishing as another way to learn about the natural world around him. “It’s more than just a challenge– it’s a way to connect with the fish on a deeper level. By researching the fish I catch, I understand their role in the ecosystem. Ultimately, I want to be a fly fisher who respects the catch, respects the environment where I caught it, and actively works to conserve both. That’s why I want to teach the next generation how to enjoy this amazing sport while protecting the environment that sustains it.”

From fly fishing to research, Castan says, “Conservation fuels everything I do, and I know I can make a real difference.”

Keep up the great work, Castan!


Learn more about the BTT Youth Ambassador Program.

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