Gulf Coast Council
Use the links below to stay informed with the most updated information about the Gulf Coast Council and all of the activities going on within our area.
Conservation
It is the Charge of the Gulf Coast Council...
... to both educate about and help conserve those natural resources valuable to the fly fishing experience. In doing so, the GCC works through its member clubs to conduct grass-roots based projects.
Latest Information
It is our job to guide requests through the GCC Board of Directors and/or on to the Fly Fishers International Conservation Committee for funding. Requests for conservation funding for such GCC club-based projects should be sent directly to Chuck Fisk, GCC VP Conservation: c.fiskjr@mchsi.com  
 
Just a few examples of conservation projects include: restoration of a public pond, stocking of a water following a fish kill, establishing youth or handicap access, fish tagging, planting or seeding of mangroves or similiar vegetation to protect against wetlands loss. Many projects can be cooperative efforts with other organizations such as the Coastal Conservation Association, Nature Conservancy or others. 
 
NOTE: Each club can apply to receive up to $1,500 or more for their respective project from the FFI, plus additional funds from the GCC. More information about Conservation grants can be found at:
Use the links below to find out more about the Gulf Coast Council, its member clubs and its membership.
Quick Links
GCC-FFI Supports Catch and Release
At the Federation's founding meeting in 1964, famed flyfisher/conservationist, Lee Wulff, presented the idea that was to become the basis of the Federation, that "a game fish was too valuable to only be caught once". The respected leaders of the FFI realized that to preserve quality of fishing in our streams this could be met with the promotion of “Catch and Release” fishing. The public balked but slowly realized that the practice of catch and release was a useful management tool to provide better fishing for the future. 
 
Today – "Catch and Release" is a way of life and a fishing ethic that we do without even blinking an eye. The FFI still remains the leader on this subject of why, how and when.
Fish Release Basics
1) Use barbless artificial flies 
2) Land fish quickly 
3) Minimize time out of water 
4) Handle fish gently
    a) Keep fingers away from gills and eyes
    b) Wet hands when handling fish
    c) Never squeeze your fish
5) Back the hook out with a hemostat 
6) Support fish facing the current until it swims away

Catch and Release
Conservation
Catch and Release Brochures -
Please feel free to print, copy, email and share
Education
FFI Native Fish Policy
Established in 2001, Fly Fishers International's Native Fish Restoration Policy herein sets forth clear principles to enable our members, clubs and councils to speak with a consistent voice regarding proposals to restore endemic fish populations to historical habitat. A growing number of proposed restoration projects for game and non-game species challenge our ethics as sport anglers when we must choose between a popular exotic sport fishery and a conflicting imperative to restore native fish or amphibians. The policy recognizes that many proposed restoration projects are controversial among the angling community. It also recognizes that flexibility is required to handle a wide range of restoration settings and species. 
 
Most importantly, a strong native fish restoration policy maintains and enhances the FFI's moral authority to question and fight assaults on the aquatic environments we treasure. It affirms our support for the Endangered Species Act and all its tools for protecting vital habitat. The FFI Native Fish Policy Statement describes the guiding philosophy of the FFI towards native fish conservation. Specific Native Fish Policies have also been developed for steelhead, saltwater fishes and warmwater fishes. See the following link for more information:
Restoration
GCC's Ongoing Conservation Effort
After our first two Gulf Coast Fly Fairs following the councils reorganization, the HOSSFLY and Mississippi Coast Fly Fishers were given the honor of presenting checks representing 50% (i.e. $2,000 and $1,500 respectively) of the Council’s profits from the 2014/15 Gulf Coast Council’s Fly Fairs to Dr. Jim Franks, Senior Research Scientist – USM Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. Last year on March 5th, the Red Stick Fly Fishers Annual Red Stick Day, Kyle Moppert, as his final official act as outgoing GCC President and Chair of the 2016 Fly Fair, presented Dr. Jim Franks, with a check for $1,700, representing 50% of the profits from the 2016 GCC Fly Fair. Upon acceptance of the funds, Dr. Franks explained that the GCC’s donations to the GCRL have been utilized to support numerous research projects. He said that current university funding climate means that the graduate research projects of many students is “tightly funded”, and funding at most university research institutions rarely provides for “unencumbered funding”. He stated that having such funds as provided by these moneys allows for keeping the students projects funded when things go awry. When a grant has little or no surplus and an outboard motor needs emergency repairs or a geotag must be quickly replaced, then these funds are utilized.
GCC's Past Conservation Efforts
***Founded in the fall of 2006, the Gulf Coast Council (GCC) was comprised of the southern half of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and south Alabama. At that time, the Texas State Fish, the Guadalupe Bass, was facing hybridization with non-native smallmouth bass. In early 2007, the GCC and group of its associate member clubs in Texas applied to the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) for a Conservation Grant. This grant would allow the GCC to team with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to raise and stock native Guadalupe Bass fingerlings into the Upper Guadalupe River and tributaries in Kerr County, TX. The Guadalupe Bass Restoration Project funding request was awarded by the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) in the fall of 2007, and the project was soon completed. 

***For a number of years, the fisheries of Mobile Bay have been in steady decline, but artificial reefs have been proven to increase fish populations and opportunities for fisherman in the Bay. These reefs are easily accessible for fishermen with small boats or kayaks and provide recreational incentives for tourism. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Marine Resources Division (ANDR) is currently spearheading a four acre reef project in the Bay near Point Clear, AL. To bring awareness to the fly fishing community about Mobile Bay’s fisheries, the Eastern Shore Fly Fishers (ESFF) and the GCC applied to Fly Fishers International (formerly IFFF) for a Small Conservation Grant to help fund this reef creation. The FFI approved this grant of $1,500 to the GCC. The GCC has matched those funds and additional funds are coming from the ESFF ($1,000). The ANDR will be matching these donated funds ($4,000) three to one, for a total of $16,000 to use for this artificial reef enhancement. 
“It is through partnerships such as this that we are able to maximize the benefits for the marine resources and fishermen of Alabama,” said Chris Blankenship, Director of Marine Resources for Alabama.