Q&A with Kelly Barlow, CalTrout Board Chair
It was a CalTrout mail solicitation that first got my attention! I was inspired by the work being done, and after attending a few CalTrout events and, more importantly, meeting CalTrout Executive Director Curtis Knight, I was ‘hooked’.
I grew up in a rural farming community north of Sacramento. After college, I made my way to San Francisco with my high school sweetheart (now my wife) looking for work in the finance industry. Thirty years later, after helping build a highly respected investment firm, the outdoors beckoned and I was fortunate enough to be able to retire. I’m now focused on spending time with family, being outdoors as much as possible, and doing what I can to help make the world a better place.
It goes without saying that water is a scarce resource in California and that our fish and waterways are facing many challenges. CalTrout has a legacy as a trusted partner that works collaboratively with all stakeholders to come up with solutions for the challenges we face. I believe that CalTrout will continue that legacy, but on a larger scale.
I am constantly inspired by CalTrout’s team and their passion for their work. You can’t help wanting to get involved! What excites me the most is the knowledge that CalTrout’s work is LASTING and is having a tremendous impact, not only for fish, but for the entire ecosystem that depends on our waterways.
CalTrout is fifty years old, but we are only getting started! Because of our amazing team and our great supporters, we have the opportunity to continue building an organization that will make enduring impacts to California waterways for another fifty plus years.
Over the past five years, CalTrout has grown significantly, and, as Board Chair, I will use my experience from both public company and non-profit boards to help us focus strategically on four main pillars: science, policy, restoration, and education. We have an amazing group of dedicated board members, and it’s my goal that we can use our diverse and wide-ranging experience to help the CalTrout leadership team continue it’s amazing work for decades to come.
This is an impossible question, but if I had to pick a favorite I would have to give a nod to the Upper Sacramento River. I fished the Upper Sac quite a few times as a kid and it’s where I fell in love with being in a river and, especially, fly fishing.
I am most connected to California's rivers and fish when I’m literally standing in a river, fishing, or just sitting on a rock enjoying the incredible beauty of the mountains. There is nothing better to me, other than knowing that we can ensure that same opportunity for others in the future.