World Trout® Initiative

Overfishing and destruction of habitat threaten trout populations worldwide. Humans are the cause, though may also be trout’s saviors.

In 1999, on a trip to Yellowstone, James Prosek and Patagonia owner Yvon Chouinard met. Hearing the stories of James’ efforts to catch various trout around the world, and the dramatic challenges these fish are facing, Yvon was motivated to help.

The World Trout Initiative’s mission is simple: To identify the individuals and groups that protect native fish, to tell their story and to support their conservation efforts by placing money into their hands. By telling a compelling story and providing the angler and interested parties with a call to action, we felt we could make something happen.

The stunning artwork that James Prosek used to document trout around the globe for his books, “Trout of North America” and “Trout of the World,” offered an ideal opportunity to both raise awareness and funds. Patagonia set to work using this artwork to create t-shirts to raise funds for grassroots groups working to protect trout and their habitat. As the program has grown, we have used artwork from various artists and five dollars from the sale of each shirt goes to that end. Since its inception in January 2005 through October 2012, World Trout has given away $627,300 by selling almost 100,000 t-shirts.

The money has been used to support such groups as: The Native Fish Society, The Snake River Fund, Obirame Restoration Group, California Trout, Wild Fish Conservancy, Balkan Trout Restoration Group, The Quivira Coalition, Atlantic Salmon Federation and the Bone & Tarpon Trust. World Trout supporters have also sought out these grassroots groups to donate funds and volunteer their time directly to the group.

For more info or to apply view our Grant Guidelines.