How we live every day - our lifestyle - has a big effect on our fisheries, as much or more than catch and release. The time has come for a Lifestyle of Stewardship to emerge among anglers, and Recycled Fish is leading the movement.

What does a "Lifestyle of Stewardship" look like?

Imagine "Joe Angler." In a week’s time, Joe goes through his typical cycle of living, and at every opportunity, he makes a decision that benefits fisheries.

Maybe Tuesday looks like this:

Joe rolls out of bed, and the faucet he turns on to brush his teeth is a low-flow faucet

He’s got a low-flow shower head in the shower, and a low-flow toilet too. (Fish need water to swim in, and we’ve got a water crisis in our country. If anglers aren’t helping conserve, then how can we expect ‘the other guy’ to?)

Joe kisses his wife as she shuttles the kids out the door for school, and he grabs an organic apple from a bowl on the counter. He walks out to the end of his driveway, where he meets his carpooling ride to head to work. At the office, he makes a stop by the break room to grab a ceramic coffee mug instead of disposable paper or Styrofoam cup.

Mid-morning, he’s choosing not to print the e-mail that he can just as easily read onscreen, and he’s using recycled paper to print the report that does have to get printed. Next to the office trash can is a set of recycle bins, and those always fill up faster than the trash can.

Once home, Joe had a short to-do list, which included changing out a burned out light bulb. He replaces his incandescent bulb with a CFL bulb.

Joe’s wife wants some evening down-time and there are still a couple hours of light left after dinner, so he’s taking his kids fishing for a few hours. They spend the first 5 minutes picking up trash before starting to fish. Everybody does a quick spray of insect repellant - the natural, chemical free kind.

He’s got his kids using lead-free sinkers and he’s pinched down the barbs on their hooks.

While the kids explore under shoreline rocks and watch their bobbers out of the corner of their eye, Joe’s sneaking in a few casts for bass, using a biodegradable molded bait rather than a plastic one.

Every time the kids catch a fish, they’re practicing catch-photo-release and Joe’s teaching them the how and why. They’re keeping their fish out of water for less than a minute.

Once home, everybody’s washing up with biodegradable, phosphate-free soap, and Joe’s turning on their energy star dishwasher, which has phosphate-free soap in it, too.

That’s what it’ll take - all 40 million of American anglers living a lifestyle of stewardship at every turn, so a legacy of healthy lakes, streams and seas will be here for generations to come. The benefits are clear - a lifestyle of stewardship means a healthier place for us to live NOW. It saves us money, it feels good - feels right, and it is the missing ingredient in consistently catching more and bigger fish.

Our lifestyle runs downstream, and at Recycled Fish, we’re standing with our fellow stewards to live a lifestyle of positive impact.