2019 GROGA Green River Clean Up
The Green River Outfitters and Guides Association (GROGA) has been hosting an annual Green River cleanup for the past couple of years. For this year’s event, GROGA invited Fish For Garbage to combine forces and co-host the event together. Volunteers were encouraged to float the “A section” of the Green River starting just below the Flaming Gorge dam. Flotation devices of all kinds were encouraged and individuals could also walk the banks to collect trash littering the river ecosystem.
The coveted “A Section” of the Green River in Dutch John boasts some of the best fly fishing in North America, not to mention it is also extremely popular for rafters and kayakers. However, with heavy traffic always comes some form of human impact on the landscape.
For this event, we encouraged participants to spend the weekend recreating in and along the Green River, participating in our event, and getting to know other like-minded individuals to build a sense of community.
As soon as we arrived on Friday night, our camp hosts at Dripping Springs campground informed us that our group had already reserved over half of the campground – roughly 30 sites. By Saturday night, we basically took over the entire campground. As we settled into camp, we made new friends who had come to volunteer and reminisced with old friends around the campfire. We were all excited about the cleanup, not to mention the fishing that would inevitably be involved.
At 7:30 am on Saturday, Fish For Garbage joined GROGA and the US Forest Service to create a combined check-in station for event participants. As we began setting up our tent, drift boats already started lining up. The river runs for 7 miles from the dam to Little Hole, the designated “take out” area. GROGA divided the stretch into sections and assigned groups accordingly to cover as much ground as possible. By 10:00 am, over 25 boats had launched into the river with 75 volunteers aboard, including a dive team to safely get down into deep pockets of water. Many volunteers also walked the banks and collected an enormous amount of trash in the parking lots and lunch pull-outs.
At the end of the day, we removed roughly 1,000-1,500 pounds of waste. Some highlights included several large sections of docks that had been rotting in the river for years, beverage containers of all shapes and sizes, and even a sentimental family heirloom that was lost by one of the FFG board members (miraculously recovered by the dive team).
To cap off this amazing day, GROGA, FFG, and the US Forest Service celebrated the day’s impact and the immense effort of all our amazing volunteers. Salt City BBQ had an incredible meal waiting for us as we came off the river, including pork, chicken, baked beans, coleslaw and hot dogs for the kids. One of our amazing MVP volunteers even brought locally-grown corn on the cob to share. In the end, we celebrated our collective impact, and it wouldn’t be a proper FFG event without giving away great prizes from our proud sponsors.
We would like to thank everyone who participated from volunteers to sponsors:
Sponsors: Traeger, Uinta Brewing, Brighton Anglers, Coalatree, US Forest Service, Cabelas, Chums, Orvis, Redington, Tacky Fly Fishing, Rising Fishing Tools, Brighton Resort, DropJaw Flies, Blackstrap, USAC, Fish On Energy, Mondo Fly Fishing, Rainy's Flies, Skullcandy, Hatch, Blue Halo, ClackaCraft, Howler Bros, Sawyer, Red Canyon, Cedar Springs Marina, Trout Creek Flies, Flaming Gorge Resort, Old Moe Guide Service, Dutch John Resort, WRFlyfisher, Canyon Coolers, Smith Optics & Stealthcraft Boats.
Casting Competition run by Charlie Card