Flats Stewardship Award
The Flats Stewardship Award Is Presented To A Scientist, Resource Manager, Conservationist Or Partner Organization Who Has Demonstrated A Commitment To The Effective Management, Sustainable Use And Conservation Of The Flats Fishery, Including Species And Habitats.
Captain Tommy Locke
2019 Flats Stewardship Award
Image Courtesy David Mangum
Captain Tommy Locke
2019 Flats Stewardship Award
A native of Florida based in Boca Grande, Capt. Tommy Locke started guiding in the early 1980s for world-record tarpon on fly. Known as a great teacher as well as an exceptional guide, Locke has taught countless anglers how to catch giant tarpon on fly, as well as many other game fish that inhabit the rich waters of Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island Sound.
Locke is a vocal advocate for Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, working with marine biologists to conserve local fisheries, supporting water quality initiatives, and promoting BTT's mission among Boca Grande guides and customers. He advocated for no-wake zones along tarpon travel routes and for the prohibition of the "Boca Grande jig," which tended to snag tarpon rather than hook them in the jaw.
Locke has also fished extensively throughout the Keys and across the state of Florida. He has been guiding in the Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament in Islamorada for more than a decade, has appeared on several fishing shows, conducted seminars, and served as a product advisor. He is a goodwill ambassador for practicing flats etiquette in the Boca Grande region.
2017 Flats Stewardship Award
Image Courtesy BTT
2017 The Flats Stewardship Award
A founding member and longtime Vice Chairman of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, Russell Fisher loves nothing more than a day on the water “hunting” for bonefish. Born and raised in Marshalltown, Iowa, Fisher is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and received his MBA from Harvard Business School. He served as Chairman of Jasper Textiles (trade name Outer Banks) for more than 30 years.
Fisher began fishing throughout Florida in the 1970s where he developed an obsession for tarpon. In 1997, he joined with Tom Davidson Sr. and a small circle of other concerned anglers to create what is now Bonefish & Tarpon Trust. A civic leader who has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations, Fisher has made a profound impact on BTT, from his involvement as a Founding Member to his many years as Chair of the Science Committee, which formulated and guided the organization’s research programs. In so doing, he has distinguished himself as a leading steward of the flats.
2014 Flats Stewardship Award
Image Courtesy K. Wright
2014 The Flats Stewardship Award
Former Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissioner Kenneth Wright worked tirelessly and successfully to secure catch-and-release-only status for bonefish and tarpon in the Sunshine State and to enact a ban on the use of the “Boca Grande jig," which snagged tarpon instead of hooking them in the lower jaw.
Wright has been called on to lead groups that shape statewide environmental policy and regional development, serving as vice-chair of the Florida Transportation Commission and a member of the statewide Steering Committee for the Florida Transportation Plan. Wright was past chair of the Florida Environmental Regulation Commission and served on the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council.
A partner in the Orlando office of Shutts & Bowen LLP, Wright is a member of the Government Relations Practice Group who focuses on government relations, land use/environmental law, and administrative and regulatory law. He is a past member of the BTT Board of Directors and serves now on the organization’s Advisory Council.
2011 Flats Stewardship Award
Image Courtesy Rodney Baretto
2011 The Flats Stewardship Award
Miami native Rodney Barreto serves on BTT’s Board of Directors and is President and CEO of The Barreto Group, Inc., a diversified company specializing in corporate and public affairs consulting, real estate investment, and development. Barreto is the founder of Floridian Partners, LLC, a consulting firm that develops and manages effective corporate and public affairs strategies designed to achieve specific business results.
Barreto served on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for 10 years, a record seven of those years as Chairman. In recognition of his leadership, the Commission established the “Rodney Barreto Award,” which is given each year to the agency's “Employee of the Year” for outstanding achievement.
After leaving the Commission, Barreto became a member of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the FWC's citizen-support organization which provides assistance, funding and promotional support to the health and well-being of Florida’s fish and wildlife resources and their habitats. Barreto is a member of the Florida Council of 100 and serves on the boards of the Baptist Hospital Foundation, Goodwill Industries of South Florida, and Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation.