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Big Fish in a Big Pond

Film on Mongolian Taimen Becomes a Finalist at the 2009 Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival

A Craig Miller Productions and World Wildlife Fund film entitled Amur River Basin: Creating a Lasting Sanctuary for the Mighty Taimen has been selected as a film finalist at this year's Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. The festival, considered the highest honor of the "nature and environment" genre, will award category winners during the media industry conference held in Grand Teton Park, Wyoming at the Jackson Lake Lodge September 28-October 2. The Craig Miller/WWF film was one of 40 films selected from 425 films entered.

Amur River Basin: Creating a Lasting Sanctuary for the Mighty Taimen explores a unique partnership to conserve one of the world's most charismatic fish: the taimen (pronounced tie-men or, alternatively, tay-men). Taimen is the largest member of the salmon family, can grow to four or even five feet long, and is a top predator that has been known to prey on 26 inch trout, muskrat, and waterfowl. As a top predator, taimen is also the ultimate "canary in the coal mine" - a perfect indicator of the overall ecological health of the Amur headwaters in Mongolia. Saving this spectacular predator requires the combined and coordinated efforts of conservationists, fly-fishing anglers, and, most importantly, the local communities on the river's shoreline. Learn more about WWF's work in the Amur-Heilong

In the Fall of 2009, Craig Miller Productions filmed in Mongolia as World Wildlife Fund, Mongolia River Outfitters, and local people began implementing this unique conservation program. The film follows the conservation partners as they tag, research, and work with local communities in an effort to stymie poaching of this highly endangered fish. Interestingly in the case of taimen, fishing itself is a critical component to save the fish. The primary threat to taimen comes from poachers from Russia, Eastern Europe, and Mongolia's capital city bent on catching, killing, and eating or taxidermizing the largest taimen. Saving them depends on a healthy fly fishing and catch-and-release program. International fly fishing anglers bring significant amounts of resources to local communities and, through this program, local communities will see that taimen thriving in the water are far more valuable than dead taimen out of the water.

"I've always found film to be one of the most exciting and useful ways of inspiring conservation," said Dr. Darron Collins, Managing Director of WWF's Amur Heilong Program. "Both the Amur film and the film festival as a whole are powerful calls to action for saving our planet."

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