What Does the Florida Keys Fishing Guides Association Do?
The FKFGA exists to support the current and future wellbeing of south Florida fisheries and ecosystems, and the livelihood of backcountry fishing guides which work in that environment. The FKFGA supports restoration projects, sponsors an individual’s travel to speak on our behalf about conservation issues, and gives grants to local schools for students to participate in research projects. We donate funds to local organizations like the Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center, the Barley Fay Festival (named after Mary Marley of the Save Our Everglades Foundation), and the Sea Grass Outreach Program. An elected Board of Directors oversees the disbursement of funds collected from dues and donations.
The FKFGA is also one of the main fundraising organizations for the Guides Trust Foundation (GTF). The GTF’s mission is to assist guides or persons related to the local fishing industry in times of need, or in the event they become injured and unable to work. Our biggest fundraiser is the annual Swamp Guides Ball.
The FKFGA Board of Directors makes recommendations to the GTF when we are approached for assistance. In recent years the GTF donated about $25,000 in $5,000 increments to assist guides and their families. The donations are used to pay monthly living expenses and other needs while out of work. Every applicant must meet certain criteria before being considered for assistance.
We are also active in making recommendations to Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park about areas that need protection, and ways to enhance their fisheries.