Take Action

Anglers for Clean Water

About ACW

Showing off his catch. Photo copyright Karine Aigner/iLCP
Photo © Karine Aigner/iLCP

Find out more about Anglers for Clean Water (ACW), a new project from CBF's Fisheries Program, and how you can get involved.

Keep the Bay on Track

Fisherman throwing net at sunset. Image by Nancy Loving
Photo by Nancy Loving

The Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint means healthy habitat for aquatic life. Find out what the Blueprint is and why it's our last, best hope for real restoration.

Whose Fish Are They?

Spawning shad. Photo by Jay Fleming
Photo by Jay Fleming

Texas, Indiana, Kansas, Alaska, and 17 other states are backing Big Agriculture's efforts to derail Chesapeake Bay restoration.


Help save our fisheries for the next generation of anglers.   Join us today

"If sportsmen and environmentalists worked together, they would be invincible" ~Ted Williams, outdoors writer

Anglers for Clean Water (ACW) is a new project from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Fisheries Program. Our aim is to grow and strengthen the natural partnership between environmentalists and anglers by reaching out each month to established angling clubs across the Chesapeake Bay watershed to inspire, educate, equip, and mobilize them to be advocates for clean water. Find out more.


VIMMS press release  Photo courtesy of ChesMMAP program


VIMS Study Shows "Dead Zone" Impacts Bay Fishes

(VIMS Press Release) A 10-year study of Chesapeake Bay fishes by researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science provides the first quantitative evidence on a bay-wide scale that low-oxygen "dead zones" are impacting the distribution and abundance of Atlantic croaker, white perch, spot, striped bass, and summer flounder, and others that live and feed near the Bay bottom.   Read Now (PDF)

Fishfinder screen capture


How to Fish "Bad Water" & What Anglers Can Do About It

Bad water costs our Bay a huge loss in summertime fish habitat. You can see it on your fishfinder and sonar if you know what to look for. Over the past 10 summers more than 80 percent of the Bay has qualified as "bad water;" it does not meet the EPA's water quality standards for dissolved oxygen.

Read More (PDF)

Video screen shot of Nutrients in the Bay


Nutrients in the Bay

Dr. Walter Boynton, a longtime researcher and teacher at the University of Maryland's Chesapeake Biological Laboratory in Solomons, is a plain-spoken scientist who has done some of the most valuable studies on which the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint is built. He also comes from a New England fishing family, so his commitment to clean water and healthy fish habitat is central to who he is and how he lives. In this eight-minute video on Spark101.org, Dr. Boynton lays out clearly the problems that nitrogen pollution causes in the Chesapeake ecosystem. Watch Video on Spark101.org


Careful anglers think about the fish they keep and the fish they release. Angling is a recreational activity done for fun and sport. One key to maintaining healthy fish populations is making sure angling is done carefully, legally, and in a way that helps them thrive.

Fishing on Mattawoman Creek. Krista Schlyer/iLCP

The Zen of 'Careful Catch'

A little TFC (tender fish-handling care) goes a long way toward preserving all species for future anglers. In this Angler's Almanac article, John Page Williams urges, "Let's Be Careful Out There."


Tools and tackle for practicing "careful catch" technique

Planning Ahead

One key to careful angling is planning ahead. Before putting a line in the water, decide what you will keep for trophy or dinner. Have all the tools and tackle necessary for properly releasing fish.


This fish-eye view of an angler shows a rarely seen perspective from underwater grass beds at Havre de Grace, Maryland.  Photo by Octavio Aburto/iLCP

Catch and Release

Catch-and-release fishing can be an effective way to conserve fish if certain precautions are taken. Check out these tips and tools.

Read More

A northern puffer fish, picked out of crab nets, expands just before it is released back into the waters of the Chesapeake Bay at Tangier Sound, Maryland. Photo by Karine Aigner/iLCP

Take the Anglers' Pledge

As recreational anglers, we know about tides and currents, bottom characteristics, and the best conditions of both for catching fish. We also know that pollution, loss of habitat, and overfishing reduce the numbers and health of the fish in our waterways. Show your stewardship of our waterways and fisheries-take the Anglers' Pledge.


Photo credits: (from top) Krista Schlyer/iLCP, CBF Staff, Octavio Aburto/iLCP, Karin Aigner/iLCP


Algal bloom encroaching on a waterfront home. Photo by Andrea Moran/CBF Staff Pollution

What causes water pollution? What does water pollution cause? From polluted runoff from land to dead zones and algal blooms in our waters, everything has consequences.  Learn more

MenhadenForage Fish

To Come   They are the little fish that big fish eat and they are facing their own challenges.

Oyster reef ball and fish. Photo c Michael EversmierHabitat

To Come   Habitat lost. Habitat restored. Take a look at how land use is compromising marine habitat and how efforts such as oyster restoration are bringing habitat back. 

A northern puffer fish, picked out of crab nets, expands just before it is released back into the waters of the Chesapeake Bay at Tangier Sound, Maryland. Photo by Karine Aigner/iLCPMaking Progress

To Come    Is it all bad news or are we making strides with the Clean Water Blueprint? 

Lesions on a smallmouth bass. Photo courtesy Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission/C. Yamashita  Health

To Come    Water quality impacts both marine life and human life. What health issues do we all face and what can we do about them?

Photo credits: (from top) CBF Staff, CBF Staff, ©Michael Eversmier, ©Karine Aigner/iLCP, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission/C. Yamashita 

Find out what other issues are affecting the health of the Bay.



  1. Abide by fishery regulations.
    Overfishing reduces next year's catch and disrupts the Bay's food web.
  2. Carefully release unwanted fish.
    Undersized and unwanted fish must be conserved to maintain healthy fisheries.
  3. Dispose of old fishing gear on shore.
    Fishing line and nets discarded overboard entangle and kill marine life
  4. Collect all trash for disposal on shore.
    Trash cans should be standard gear. We must not treat our waters like a dump.
  5. Keep oil and gas out of the water.
    Oil and gas are toxic to fish. Be careful when filling tanks asnd changing oil.
  6. Contain human waste for on-shore disposal.
    Pollution from human waste reduces water quality and closes areas to fishing.
  7. Use antifouling paints with care.
    These and other paints and solvents are very toxic to marine life.
  8. Prevent cleaners from washing overboard.
    Even common cleaning products cause pollution.
  9. Save old antifreeze for on-shore disposal.
    Antifreeze can be very toxic to fish.
  10. Avoid boat speeds that cause large wakes.
    Boat wakes contribute to shoreline erosion and the loss of seagrass beds.

Click here to take the Angler's Pledge




1-888-SAVEBAY / 1-888-728-3229

BBB Accredited Charity

Bids & ProposalsPrivacy Policy

© 2014 Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
All Rights Reserved.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is a nonprofit,
tax-exempt charitable organization under
Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.