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Ditch the fish and pick up trash in Utah to win epic prizes

Posted at 7:01 AM, Jun 14, 2024

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is well known for having the greatest snow on earth.

But we also have some of the best fishing spots as well.

Jared Winkler is involved in both of those worlds.

Winkler’s full-time gig is at Brighton Ski Resort and he’s an avid snowboarder.

But another passion of his is fishing and he’s found a way to pursue that while keeping our streams, rivers and reservoirs free of trash.

That’s through a nonprofit he started called "Fish For Garbage" and they have a contest going on right now to try and get more people involved in their work.

“What we do is, we rally other volunteers to get together and pick up trash around lakes and rivers," Winkler explained.

He said Utah’s fishing community is pretty tight and their passion project quickly gained momentum. With the growing movement, Winkler made his passion project an official nonprofit.

"Making it to where we can do a little bit more grant writing to help pay for supplies. I mean, garbage bags, trash grabbers, all that stuff cost money," he reflected. "So the more and more we grew, the more needs we had.”

In order to keep it growing and attract more folks to their cause, Fish for Garbage is running monthly contests where folks can win a prize for cleaning up trash.

"What we encourage is, when you‘re walking out, while you are walking down the river or the bank back to your car, just use your net and fill your net…Fill your net full of trash," WInkler added. "Take a photo of the fish you caught, and maybe just show a photo of the trash you got as well.”

Then, post it on Instagram with the hashtag; fill the net or fish for garbage and you’re automatically entered to win. June’s prize is a pizza oven.

“Our prizes are great! It’s a grand prize, the thing is over 500 bucks and you can have a nice big barbecue with your family and make everyone their own pizzas.”

Ultimately, Winkler hopes the prizes are a way to get more folks involved in keeping Utah’s world-class, fishing spots pristine, now and for future generations, including his two young daughters.

“It’s been rad to raise my little girls in the environment of; ‘Hey, we get to the river, we have fun, we clean it up' and they enjoy it, that’s just what we do.”

The drawing for that pizza oven is Monday, June 17 and technically, you don’t need to be an angler to enter for the prize.

Jared says even if you’re just out on a hike this weekend and wind up picking up some trash along a stream, take a pic, put it on Instagram with the hashtag, Fill the net or fish for garbage and you’re entered.

Fish for Garbage also conducts a couple of big events each spring and summer, where there is a need for volunteers.