2023 Wild Fish for All Scholarship Recipients
We are happy to announce and congratulate the two amazing 2023 Wild Fish For All Scholarship Recipients!
It was incredibly difficult to select the two recipients of this year’s Wild Fish For All Scholarship from all the remarkably qualified students who submitted applications, but we are proud to announce Anna Hosford and Roberto Ponce Velez, both undergraduate fisheries students at Oregon State University, as this year’s winners.
In her essay, Anna described her commitment to the area’s wild, native fish through her Wasco heritage, “Right now is a critical time for these fish populations, and they need as much help as they can get. It’s now our time to step up and return the favor to help restore them to their homewaters.” Anna is just finishing up her last year at OSU and has a bright future ahead of her. In addition to her studies, she’s worked as a fisheries technician for the Burns Paiute Tribe, the US Forest Service, and has helped with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Bull Trout spawning surveys. Anna responded to the news of her well-earned win, “This scholarship will help me complete my undergraduate degree by easing the costs that come with higher education. It will also put me in a good place to start looking into graduate school programs for the coming year. I am honored to receive this scholarship!”
Roberto, a third-year student at OSU, also has a long-standing and close connection with the wild, native fish of Oregon, “As our climate continues to change, our native wild fish face uncertainty. They can't speak out, but I can! I want people to see native fish as more than glimmers in water, but instead, the keys to further understanding our relationship with the natural world. Native fish have taught me lessons no language could, filled holes therapists couldn’t seal, and revealed emotions I was too afraid to once feel. More importantly, they have taught me that I, too, belong. Where introduced species fail to take hold, the humble native fish remain as a reminder that they are here to stay, but for how long? For as long as I walk this earth, I plan to face that strong current of uncertainty with them.” Last summer, Roberto conducted research on Great Basin Redband Trout, a subspecies of rainbow endemic to the Goose Lake Basin. Roberto is happy to have the scholarship to help pay for rent and textbooks.
Knowing there are students as bright and dedicated as Anna and Roberto gives us hope for a strong future for wild, native fish throughout the Pacific Northwest!
Native Fish Society and the Tualatin Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited believe that supporting diverse voices builds a groundswell for the revival of abundant wild fish in the Pacific Northwest. To elevate these diverse voices and break down barriers to racial and gender diversity in fisheries conservation, we created the Wild Fish For All scholarship.