Longtime fishing outfitters from the Bitterroot Valley, Eddie Olwell of Fishs Eddy O and Jack Mauer of Wapiti Waters, were co-recipients of the Outstanding Outfitters of the Year award for 2014 from the Montana Chapter of the American Fisheries Society for their contributions to the protection and enhancement of fisheries in Montana. Mauer and Olwell received the award at the AFS annual banquet in Great Falls on February 26.
The Montana Chapter of the American Fisheries Society was chartered in 1967. Among its objectives are conservation, development and wise utilization of the fisheries, promotion of the educational, scientific and technological development and advancement of all branches of fisheries science and practice, and exchange and dissemination of knowledge about fish, fisheries and related subject.
Olwell and Mauer are fishing outfitters that spend most of their time on the rivers in the Missoula area, but their home water is the Bitterroot River, which has benefitted immensely from their efforts. They have both been active on the Board of the Bitterroot Chapter of Trout Unlimited, each serving as Chapter President and they both frequently donate float trips to raise funds for conservation efforts.
For years Mauer has attended most of the meetings of the Bitterroot Conservation District. His opinions are respected by the Supervisors and he represents a very positive image from the fishing community. Olwell was on the Ravalli County Streamside Setback Committee and is presently an active board member of the Bitterroot Water Forum.
“When an issue comes up that affects water quality, stream processes or any factor important to the fishery of the Bitterroot, Jack and Eddie are always there to make thoughtful comments that support many of the same goals as AFS,” wrote FWP fisheries biologist Chris Clancy in his letter of nomination.
“True to form, when the Ravalli County Commission recently voted to allow homes to be built in the Bitterroot River Floodplain, they both attended more than one meeting to oppose this action. Very few individuals put the time and effort into protecting the natural qualities of rivers like Jack Mauer and Eddie Olwell,” wrote Clancy.
The American Fisheries Society (AFS) is the world’s oldest and largest organization dedicated to strengthening the fisheries profession, advancing fisheries science, and conserving fisheries resources.
Notes from friends – thanks to all who have called and sent notes: