Winter Speaker Series

2021 Zoom Speaker Series

Native Fish Coalition: Protecting, Preserving & Restoring Native Fish

Emily Bastian, National Vice-Chair & Bob Mallard, Exec. Director, NFC

April 14, 2021 at 7:00 pm
Register Here for Zoom Presentation

Emily Bastian

Friends of Merrymeeting Bay’s (FOMB) fourth presentation of their 24th annual Winter Speaker Series, The Native Fish Coalition: Protecting, Preserving & Restoring Native Fish, features Emily Bastian, NFC National Vice-Chair and Bob Mallard, Executive Director, NFC. This event will be held via Zoom and registration is accessible via hyperlink at the top of FOMB’s web page - The event takes place Wednesday April 14th at 7 pm.

While most, but not all Native Fish Coalition (NFC) members are avid fly fishers, and some make all or part of their living in the recreational fishing industry, NFC is a conservation organization not a fishing organization.  They believe wild native fish have intrinsic value and are an integral component of a healthy environment.  As anglers, NFC also believes low-impact fishing for wild native fish represents fishing in its purest and finest form. They believe if you take care of wild native fish, fishing will take care of itself.  When NFC uses the term “native” they mean indigenous or historically present, occurring naturally in specific waters.

While much of NFC’s focus is on salmonids, being salmonid exclusive would ignore the big picture, and the fact all native fish are dependent on each other to at least some degree.  Some species provide food for other fish, others provide a buffer for juvenile anadromous fish returning to sea, and some help lessen predation on less numerous fish species via their sheer abundance. NFC and FOMB are currently working together in a broader coalition to require all federally listed endangered and threatened species found here to be listed on Maine’s endangered species lists, a practice in effect until 1996.

Emily Bastian is a founding member of Native Fish Coalition and has served in various capacities for the national organization and Maine chapter. She works in the Hunting and Fishing department at LL Bean, the first woman to hold the position of department lead. Emily is a registered Maine guide and has fly fished since she was eight years old.  She is a degreed Ecologist and has worked as a National Park Ranger, Maine Game Warden, municipal law enforcement officer, field biologist, and in fly fishing retail.  Emily worked for Maine Audubon from 2011 to 2016 where she was responsible for the Maine Brook Trout Survey Project which identified previously unknown populations of wild brook trout in remote ponds and coastal streams.  She was also the General Manager at Appalachian Mountain Club’s (AMC) Gorman Chairback Lodge, as well as the General Manager at Trident Fly Fishing in Windham, Maine.  Emily has taught fly fishing and archery at L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools and holds a second-degree black belt in karate.  She enjoys hiking, backpacking, hunting, and cross-country skiing. 

Bob Mallard has fly fished for over forty years. He is a former fly shop owner and a Registered Maine Guide. Bob is a blogger, writer, author, fly designer, and native fish advocate.  He is the publisher, Northeast Regional Editor, and a regular contributor to Fly Fish America magazine.  Bob is a staff fly designer at Catch Fly Fishing, an Ambassador for Epic fly rods, and on the Scientific Anglers pro staff.  He is also a founding member, former National Vice-Chair, and current Executive Director and Maine Board member for Native Fish Coalition.  Bob’s writing, photographs, and flies have been featured in Outdoor Life, Fly Fisherman, Fly Fish America, American Angler, Fly Rod & Reel, American Fly Fishing, The Drake and many other related publications, magazines and books. Bob is the author of several books: 50 Best Places Fly Fishing the Northeast and 25 Best Towns Fly Fishing for Trout (Stonefly Press,) and his most recent, Squaretail: The Definitive Guide to Brook Trout and Where to Find Them. Bob can be reached at .

FOMB normally hosts their Winter Speaker Series October-May, the second Wednesday of each month. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the current series is abridged and virtual, running January-May. The FOMB May 12th presentation, “River History & the New Environmental Movement” features Scot McFarlane, River Historian. This event takes place 7:00 pm with the Zoom access link available at a week or so prior to the presentation. 

Speaker Series presentations are free and open to the public. Visit to see speaker biographies, full event schedules, video recordings of past presentations, become a member, and learn more about how you can help protect beautiful Merrymeeting Bay.

Watercolors by
Sarah Stapler