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Yadkin River Keeper

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Rally Planned for End of 200+ Mile Paddle; $100 Award Given for Best Sign

Winston - Salem, NC, May 01, 2010 --( The Yadkin Riverkeeper, Dean Naujoks, is coming down the homestretch of his 200+ mile paddle of the Yadkin River. The Tour de Yadkin ends Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 1:00 pm with a rally at the Swift Island boat launch on Lake Tillery. The public is invited to attend the rally and support Yadkin Riverkeeper’s efforts to promote the recapture of the Yadkin River for the citizens of North Carolina and require Alcoa to clean up toxic PCB’s. Free food and drinks will be provided. UNC-TV will be filming the final leg of the tour.

Naujoks is documenting his 26-day journey in an on-line journal posted on the website, including daily entries and photos. Photos taken of a possible state record-breaking flathead catfish at York Hill (near Salisbury) on the Yadkin River has drawn a lot of attention and prompted an inquiry to find the Angler identified as Ron who resides in Salisbury. His catch, estimated at over 80 pounds, was captured by Naujoks as he padded by and witnessed Ron struggling to bring the very large fish onshore.

After landing the fish, Naujoks took several photos and shot video. The official state record flathead catfish is 78 lbs. Naujoks had seen pictures of a massive 72 lb. catfish caught further up the Yadkin River last year. “The giant catfish I saw above High Rock Lake was definitely bigger than 72 lb flathead caught last year near Idols Dam in Davidson County,” Naujoks said. “Ron said he thought it was closer to 100 pounds.”

The Tour and journal have brought important attention to not only the beauty and value of this significant natural resource, but the threats impacting the river. “The Yadkin River is such a beautiful but under appreciated public resource. More needs to be done to ensure clean water for future generations. If we don’t act now, we risk loosing the ability to act for an entire generation. Fifty years is too long to simply give Alcoa water that future generations will need,” Naujoks said from his kayak on Badin Lake today as he watched anglers harvesting fish next to PCB fish consumption public health advisory signs.

Yadkin Riverkeeper invites the public to attend a rally at the completion of the Tour and bring signs of support for clean water or opposition to Alcoa’s attempt to control our water. UNC-TV will be filming as the Yadkin Riverkeeper paddles down Lake Tillery for the finish of the roughly 200 mile, 26-day event. The public is encouraged to bring homemade signs to the rally, and Naujoks will be giving away $100 to the person with the most creative and meaningful sign.

About Yadkin Riverkeeper®:
Yadkin Riverkeeper’s mission is to respect, protect and improve the Yadkin Pee Dee River Basin through education, advocacy and action. It is aimed at creating a clean and healthy river that sustains life and is cherished by its people. To achieve this vision, it seeks to accomplish the following objectives: sustain a RIVERKEEPER® program, measurably improve water quality, reestablish native bio-diversity, preserve and enhance the forest canopy, bring legal action to enforce state and federal environmental laws, and teach and practice a “river ethic” of ecological respect to all ages. For more information, visit or call 336-837-7669.

About Dean Naujoks:
Dean Naujoks is the Yadkin Riverkeeper, employed by Yadkin Riverkeeper Inc. since the fall of 2008 to manage and implement a river advocacy program for the Yadkin Pee Dee River watershed in North Carolina that will keep it a healthy and vibrant river for residents and businesses in the long term. Yadkin Riverkeeper is a licensed member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, which connects and supports local Waterkeeper programs to provide a voice and champion clean water for waterways and their communities worldwide. A longtime water quality advocate, Naujoks became the first Upper Neuse Riverkeeper in 2001 at the nonprofit Neuse River Foundation. His job there was to monitor conditions and advocate for protection of the Neuse River from Falls Lake to Goldsboro. He was appointed by Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker to serve on the joint government PCB Task Force to address PCB contamination in Crabtree Creek from Ward Transformer. A graduate of N.C. State, Naujoks created his own major in environmental policy and sustainable development. He also worked for the NC Wildlife Federation from 1991-1999. Naujoks received American Rivers’ 2009 National “River Hero” Award on behalf of his efforts.

Contact Information
Yadkin Riverkeeper
Dean Naujoks

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