World Trout

World Trout, an on-going conservation effort to preserve native trout species worldwide, was founded by artist and naturalist James Prosek and Yvon Chouinard, avid fly fisherman, climber, and founder of Patagonia, Inc., the outdoor apparel company. Each year, World Trout highlights the efforts of various grassroots environmental organizations working to protect native trout populations and their habitats. A portion of the sales of Patagonia’s World Trout t-shirts featuring James Prosek’s artwork is designated for these organizations. Patagonia is encouraging other companies to join the World Trout campaign as well as 1% For the Planet, a non-profit consortium of businesses donating one percent of sales to environmental non-profits. Participating companies can pledge one percent of sales to World Trout beneficiary groups or other local, regional, or national environmental non-profits.

Chouinard and Prosek initially spawned the preservation effort while fishing Slough Creek in Yellowstone Park. Their shared passion for fly-fishing coupled with a drive to generate awareness around preserving our natural water resources led to the initiative. Patagonia and Prosek officially launched World Trout at the Fly Fishing Retailer Show in Denver, Colorado, September 15, 2004.

“Patagonia is deeply committed to supporting environmental conservation initiatives like World Trout,” said Chouinard. “With Prosek’s extensive knowledge and Patagonia’s global reach, we’ve created a program that will support local grassroots efforts focused on preserving native trout species.”

Prosek spent past eight years (1996-2003) documenting the physical diversity of the trout of Europe, Asia and North Africa through watercolor representations. His extensive research is recorded in Trout of the World, an illustrated history of the native trout he encountered during his travels abroad (updated in 2013). As an individual, he has worked to generate awareness of the threats to native trout species, such as dams, development, wars, pollution, overfishing, and irrigation.

“The existence of wild trout means clean water, arguably our most precious resource,” said Prosek. “Their disappearance would not only be a physical loss, but also a loss to the human imagination.”

The beneficiary groups of the World Trout campaign rotate each year, in order to increase the visibility of the broad range of grassroots organizations dedicated to trout protection and restoration. 2005 recipient groups were the Penobscot River Restoration Trust in Maine, the Greenback Recovery Program through Colorado Trout Unlimited, and the Obirame Restoration Group in Hokkaido, Japan, which is working to save the native sea-run Huchen. Each group received $13,000 in the initial year. 2006 tees raised raise money for the Yellowstone Park Foundation, the Balkan Trout Restoration Group and the Friends of Wild Salmon. Because of efforts of World Trout, the Balkan Trout Restoration Group was founded.

The World Trout Initiative funds only groups and efforts working to restore and protect wild, self-sustainable trout, salmon and other fish species within their native range. This includes both indigenous fresh and saltwater fish. We believe that the best way to accomplish this over the long term is by ensuring that populations have high-quality habitat and adequate stream flows, can migrate between habitats without human intervention, are not negatively impacted by hatchery and aquaculture operations, have protection from harmful non-native species and disease, and are not over-harvested.
We look for innovative groups that produce measurable results and work on long-term solutions to root causes of the problem. Efforts should be quantifiable, with specific goals, objectives and action plans, and should include measures for evaluating success. Because we are a privately held company, we have the freedom to fund groups off the beaten path that base solutions on sound science. Most grants are in the range of $5,000 to $15,000.
Since the start of the program in 2005, the World Trout Initiative has given $2 million to over 200 fish conservation groups.

For more information, visit the Patagonia website.


Take Action: Support World Trout

Visit World Trout at Patagonia
World Trout Mission Statement


Read Water Colors: Making a fine Art of Ocean Conservation in NAture Conservation

Using the tools of his trade, artist James Prosek does more than capture the wild beauty of Atlantic fish—
he paints a compelling case for protecting them.

Read the digital edition.
Visit the Water Colors website.


World Trout Conservation Video

Watch this short video about the on-going conservation
effort to preserve native trout species worldwide.



Izaak Walton Award
American Museum of Fly Fishing

Livingston Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy
Lifetime Conservation Achievement Award

Trout Unlimited Conservation Award
"Trout Unlimited Honors James Prosek for his outstanding contributions to trout and salmon conservation"