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Yellow Dog Community & Conservation Foundation

The Yellow Dog Community and Conservation Foundation works to enhance communities, build partnerships and support conservation in places where great fishing is found. We achieve this by providing targeted grants to directly support priority conservation needs, vital community projects, and educational efforts in international angling destinations. The Foundation also provides support for certain events and builds partnerships to leverage funding for specific projects and impact.

Yellow Dog Community & Conservation Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.


Full Overview

The Yellow Dog Community and Conservation Foundation is a project started by the owners and staff of Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, a Bozeman, Montana-based destination angling and travel company that has been sending anglers all over the world since 1999. Yellow Dog customers have always received one-on-one personal attention, excellent customer service, full travel support, and detailed and extensive pre-trip materials specific to the destination or destinations where they fish. While the company has always been focused on providing its customers with the best service, preparation and support in the business, Yellow Dog has also worked tirelessly to support the communities, fisheries, and ecosystems that we all rely on for great fishing.

The Yellow Dog team wanted to do more to create a path where more funds could be raised, and more resources dedicated to the organizations, projects and individuals that are truly making a difference in the areas and regions in which we work, fish and travel. Thus was born the Yellow Dog Community and Conservation Foundation (YDCCF).

The fact that the Yellow Dog team spends so much time in the world’s great fishing destinations on a regular and ongoing basis has allowed us to identify the projects, groups and efforts that are truly making a difference for anglers and for fisheries. From large-scale conservation efforts to small, local, grass-roots undertakings, YDCCF provides direct financial support to these groups while also giving anglers the ability to have an impact on the places and destinations that they love and care about.

In many of the locations in which we operate, even modest donations and small levels of direct support have a significant impact. Whether it’s the purchase of laptop computers for a grade school on Andros Island, funds that support enforcement and monitoring of catch-and-release flats fishing in Belize, or support for angler access initiatives throughout the US West, the Yellow Dog Community and Conservation Foundation is able to support the important work that positively impacts fishing around the world.


We created The Yellow Dog Community and Conservation Foundation (YDCCF) in 2016 as a means of providing direct support to communities, fisheries, and ecosystems where great angling is found. In our first five years, YDCCF has granted over $1 million to over 60 projects worldwide, funding projects both large and small that focus on conservation, education and community growth, and resilience. Learn more about our Community and Conservation grant program by clicking here.

2020-2021 Grantees

Punta Allen, Mexico: In partnership with lodges in the community we are nearing completion of construction on a dormitory for teachers to give them more suitable quarters and increase teacher retention. This dovetails with work we have been doing for several years to ensure a quality education for the children of Punta Allen. In addition, other projects such as establishing a recycling center in the community have received seed money.

Belizean Guides Fund, Belize: After six months without work in 2020, fishing guides in Belize were suffering. YDCCF ran a month long campaign to raise funds to support the guide community and generated enough to give every guide a substantial check to see them through.

Bristol Bay Defense Fund, Alaska: Bristol Bay, Alaska reigns as one of the most pristine and unique places on planet earth. Its clear cold rivers support some of the strongest remaining salmon runs in North America. Despite strong local management, the sustainability of Bristol Bay fishery is under imminent threat from the proposed Pebble mine. YDCCF supported the Wild Salmon Center in pursuing permanent protections for the Bristol Bay watershed.

Snake River Basin, USA: The Association of Northwest Steelheaders are stepping up their efforts by mobilizing citizens and teaching them how to be more effective at connecting with legislators to compel their support for Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson’s Columbia Basin Initiative, which includes plans to remove the lower four Snake River Dams.

Delger and Onon Watersheds, Mongolia: In collaboration with the Wild Salmon Center and Mongolian River Outfitters we are supporting river patrol rangers, ongoing stream monitoring and some new river regulation signage in the Delger and Onon watersheds.

Rio Matavén, Colombia: Our partner Release Fly Travel is working with five indigenous Piaroa communities who are collectively managing a burgeoning world-class Peacock Bass fishery. The community is receiving education on the basics of fly fishing, guide etiquette, and even fly tying. Next up is English language training to better communicate with international anglers.

2019 Grantees

Patagonia Fly Fishing Expo, Argentina: The Patagonia Fly Fishing Expo takes place in San Martín de los Andes, Argentina. The expo convenes fly shops, outfitters, guides, lodges and many other businesses to network and explore opportunities to continue to promote the sport of fly fishing.

Montana Wilderness School, Montana: The Montana Wilderness School is a grassroots outdoor education public charity whose mission is to provide empowering expeditionary wilderness courses to youth that foster personal growth and cultivate a conservation ethic through connecting with remote landscapes and wild places

Guiding for the Future, Montana: The Guiding for the Future program was designed and implemented under the direction of the Fishing Outfitters Association of Montana. G4F emphasizes ethics, conservation, and a commitment to stewardship as core responsibilities of professional fishing guides. The program aims to inspire dedicated stewardship of aquatic ecosystems while increasing the knowledge and professionalism of fishing guides, outfitters, and the fly fishing industry as a whole.

The Healthy Taimen Festival, Mongolia: The Healthy Taimen Festival’s goal is to generate greater awareness and appreciation of the benefits and importance of taimen conservation. The festival also provides at leas 300 local children with health screenings and treatments. These community events reinforce the potential value and benefits associated with protecting taimen.

Taimen Conservation Fund, Mongolia: YDCCF provided a grant to assist The Taimen Fund (TTF) for their Riverkeeper program in the Eg Watershed, Hovsgol Province, Mongolia.  The River Keeper Program is an ambitious anti-poaching project spanning a total of seven different villages throughout the Eg Watershed, along approximately 120 miles of river. The Riverkeepers employed in the program are local herders that spend a great amount of their time caring for their animals along the riverbanks of the Eg River and its tributaries.

Anglers Benefitting Louisiana’s Estuaries (ABLE), Louisiana: Through ABLE’s Marsh Dawgs program, twelve local high school are given the opportunity to engage in a four-day experiential learning adventure across coastal Louisiana. Students learn about the history of the coastal zones; public policy issues surrounding coastal restoration efforts; economic and cultural resources along the coast; basic marine biology; fishing skills; and how to operate basic GPS equipment.

Silver Creek Alliance, Idaho: YDCCF supported a project to construct an ADA compliant wheelchair access at Kilpatrick Bridge in Blaine Country Idaho on Silver Creek.

Free Voice Media, Idaho: Each year approximately 10,000 people float the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Despite best attempts to adhere to leave no trace ethics, equipment and personal items inevitably fall into the river. YDCCF awarded a grant to Free Voice Media and their efforts to clean up the river by utilizing SCUBA equipment and removing trash that has included tables, fly rods, ice cream makers, oars and parts of boats from the river bottom.

Torres del Paine Legacy Fund, Chile: Last year YDCCF awarded funds to the Torres del Paine Legacy Fund to protect and minimize the impact on Chile’s famous national park through the construction of boardwalks and educational signs. In 2019 YDCCF awards another grant for the organization’s ongoing monitoring of the ecological restoration efforts in the park.

Bristol Bay Fly Fishing & Guide Academy, Alaska: The Bristol Bay Fly Fishing & Guide Academy (Guide Academy) trains young residents of rural, southwest Alaska to be highly-qualified for jobs as fishing guides in the region’s growing tourism and recreational fishing industry. The program’s curriculum is built around instilling a conservation ethic in this important generation of future Bristol Bay leaders.

New Venture Fund, Alaska: Various factions of the Bristol Bay campaign bring advocates to Washington, DC throughout the year to educate members of Congress on the Pebble Mine issue. In-person meetings with persons directly, or indirectly, affected by this project is a very powerful tool. Meetings will be held involving Alaska Natives, commercial fishing interests, Bristol Bay lodge operators, recreational fishing industry representatives, and sportsmen and women from around the country.

2018 Grantees

Cast Hope, Chico, California: Cast Hope brings kids and mentors together through the sport of fly fishing. YDCCF’s funding will assist Cast Hope to host two fishing clinics and provide fly fishing equipment for 50 at-risk kids of San Diego County, California. Each youth will receive a rod, necessary flies, leaders, tippet, etc.

Greater Gallatin Watershed Council: The Greater Gallatin Watershed Council (GGWC) works with local volunteers, landowners, and community partners to bring water quality monitoring, stream restoration, and watershed education to the Gallatin Valley with the goal of improving water quality for all. YDCCF funds will help GWC to hire a Big Sky Watershed Corps (BSWC) member and provides critical capacity for GGWC to implement the Gallatin Restoration Project Inventory, an effort to bring stream restoration professionals and stakeholders together to share resources, form connections and develop partnerships that will lead to the comprehensive and durable health and enhancement of our rivers and streams.

Madison Conservation District, Ennis, Montana: YDCCF awarded a second grant to the Madison Conservation District to conduct Phase II of the Lower Jack Creek Restoration Project to restore and enhance riparian vegetation along Jack Creek and to improve in-stream habitat within Jack Creek by re-establishing riffle and pool stream structure. Implementation of this project will restore an ecologically functioning riparian corridor along the lower reach of Jack Creek that will allow for natural channel migration and sediment transport processes, and provide for improved in-stream habitat and increased shading along the stream channel resulting in a net increase in aquatic resource functions and services.

Montana Wilderness School, Bozeman, Montana: The Montana Wilderness School provides empowering expeditionary wilderness courses to youth that foster personal growth and cultivate a conservation ethic through connecting with remote landscapes and wild places.  YDCCF awarded a grant to assist with scholarship funding for deserving undeserved Montana youth ages 14-18 from Park County and Gallatin County to attend an MWS Expedition focusing on fishing.

Wild Salmon Center, Portland, Oregon: YDCCF awarded a grant to the Wild Salmon Center (WSC) to support their Cold Water Connection Campaign on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.  WSC is partnering with Trout Unlimited and Coast Salmon Partnership on a multi-year project to engineer and correct 100 priority fish passage barriers, which will enable us to reconnect 150 river miles on some of Washington’s best salmon and steelhead rivers. With YDCCF’s support over the coming year WSC will: 1) complete an inventory and assessments on stream barriers in the Olympic Peninsula to fill an inventory data gap, 2) design and engineer up to 25 barrier removal projects on priority streams, and 3) develop a short film that highlights the ecological and human values of the coastal region to share with grassroots and grasstops constituents.

Cayo Rosario, Belize: YDCCF awarded a grant to Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development (ACCSD) to oppose the Belize Department of the Environment in approving the Cayo Rosario Development, and specifically the over water structures in a marine reserve.  This is an important project addressing potential development threats to the marine reserve now and in the future.

Guiding for the Future, Montana: YDCCF awarded a grant to assist the Fishing Outfitters Association of Montana (FOAM) to create a Montana “Guiding for the Future- Montana Fishing Guide Certification Program” providing advanced levels of knowledge and skill development for professional fishing guides. The program’s aim is to increase the guide’s professionalism and his/her leadership in aquatic resource stewardship, education, and advocacy. Further, the program demonstrates the commitment of guides, outfitters, fly shops, and the fly fishing industry to the conservation and wise use of Montana’s waters state-wide.

Project Belize: YDCCF has developed a new partnership with the Bonefish Tarpon Trust (BTT) to help address the gill net issue and future development pressures in Belize. Project Belize is a collaborative, multi-year program to provide information directly applicable to conservation and protection of the flats fishery and habitats in Belize. With BTT, YDCCF has commissioned an economic analysis to identify important habitats and locations for conservation in Belize, and use this information to propose fisheries and habitat protections. The next phase of the project will be to help to establish an education program to build public support and understanding of the importance of the flats fishery and flats conservation to the country of Belize.

Madison Conservation District, Ennis, Montana: YDCCF awarded a grant to the Madison Conservation District to restore and enhance riparian vegetation and improve in-stream habitat in Jack Creek, an important tributary to the Madison River. Stream and riparian restoration and enhancement activities will support existing fisheries values and provide opportunities for the re-introduction of Arctic grayling.

Angler’s Benefitting Louisiana’s Estuaries (ABLE): ABLE is a non-profit organization that engages in coastal restoration and environmental education activities in Louisiana. The organization has been heavily involved in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, where the community’s thriving commercial and recreational fishing industries are continually threatened by the degradation of its fragile coastal environment.  YDCCF provided a grant to ABLE to engage local students in environmental education programming that will encourage good environmental stewardship along the community’s vulnerable coast.

The Taimen Fund, Mongolia: YDCCF provided a grant to assist The Taimen Fund (TTF) for their Riverkeeper program in the Eg Watershed, Hovsgol Province, Mongolia.  The River Keeper Program is an ambitious anti-poaching project spanning a total of seven different villages throughout the Eg Watershed, along approximately 120 miles of river. The Riverkeepers employed in the program are local herders that spend a great amount of their time caring for their animals along the riverbanks of the Eg River and its tributaries.

Toledo Exposure & Wil Mehia, Belize: YDCCF provided a second grant to help Toledo Exposure and Wil Mehia continue their efforts to patrol Southern Belize to monitor for illegal fishing. Funding will also support two PSA’s to educate people about the setting of gillnets and how it affects the fishing and health of the fisheries.

Torres del Paine Legacy Fund, Chile: YDCCF provided a grant to the Torres del Paine Lagacy Fund to enhance appreciation of, and minimize impacts on, the unique but fragile wetland ecosystems that comprise Torres del Paine National Park. With funding from YDCCF, the Legacy Fund will construct a boardwalk in a highly trafficked but sensitive segment of the popular “W” circuit, as well as design and install interpretive displays that communicate the critical features of the surrounding ecosystems to the estimated 80,000 outdoor enthusiasts that hike this iconic trail every year.

2017 Grantees

Back County Hunters and Anglers
Bonefish E2″s Way
Bristol Bay Fly Fishing & Guide Academy
Crooked Island Redevelopment Fund, Crooked Island, Bahamas
Cuba Guide School
Guides Trust Foundation, Florida
Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association
Ocean Academy, Caye Caulker, Belize
Perry Institute for Marine Science, Bahamas:
Punta Allen Primary School
Redside Foundation
Wil Mehia and Toldedo Exposure
University of Alabama

Recent Work: The Xcalak English Project - July 2022

Xcalak is a small village on the southern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico whose primary industries are tourism and destination angling. In partnership with XFlats Lodge, the Xcalak English Project brought ESL instructors to the community for a weeklong introductory course on English for over 40 community members. The initial program focused on oral and written language development and will be supplemented with online English programming for the rest of the year to reinforce the mastery of high-frequency dialogues, vocabulary, and functional phrases that employees of local lodges need to better communicate with English-speaking clients. Improved English proficiency is proven to help with increased earning potential and personal educational growth.



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