10th Year for the RiverKeepers

The Taimen Fund will continue to support anti-poaching patrols along the Eg-Uur this season through our flagship ‘RiverKeepers’ program. Now in it’s 10th year, our RiverKeepers work closely with authorities to fight illegal and non-permitted fishing along 120 kms of this premier taimen habitat. We thank our Mongolian partners at the Taimen Conservation Fund and Hovsgol Travel for their financial and administrative support of the RiverKeepers teams.

 This year, TTF is expanding the RiverKeepers program to include patrols and community outreach along an additional 130 kilometers of the upper Eg river through our RiverKeeper Recovery Zone (RRZ.1) Program – more than doubling existing patrol areas. With significant infrastructure development in Mongolia, access to prime taimen strongholds has never been more convenient. The section of the Eg River from Alag-Erden to the soum of Eg-Uur does not currently host guided taimen fishing and so the front-line defenders of wild taimen aren’t present on a piece of water facing a dramatic increase in fishing activity both legal and illicit. TTF will fill this gap with RiverKeeper-trained teams of new RiverKeepers to curb illegal fishing and educate anglers to the regulations for legal taimen and lenok angling in Mongolia. Support our work via an online secure donation.

 The Taimen Fund is launching the “$10K RiverKeepers Challenge” during FQ2 of 2020 to raise $10,000 in donations dedicated to the continued growth and impact of our new RiverKeepers Recovery Zone program in Hovsgol Province. This new effort will help increase our reach and range across additional taimen habitat. Please consider donating today. TTF will match $.50 to the dollar raised between March and June that is directed to this challenge.

Good friend of The Taimen Fund, Susan Higgins, is co-leading a hands-on course exploring the crossroads of climate change and human health across a changing landscape this summer. Open to all ages and nationalities, the course will be taught in English. Major scholarships available! In partnership with the American Center of Mongolian Studies (ACMS). For more information please visit: https://www.mongoliacenter.org/fellowships/mongolia-field-school-2020/climate-change-public-health/

And, unfortunately, the global spread of the ‘Coronavirus’ has not passed Mongolia by. While there are no reported cases, as recently as the end of February, the government suspended all flights from Japan, China and South Korea – representing the vast majority of transit hubs to the country – and sealed the Chinese border while closing schools and canceling national events such as the recent Lunar New Year.

 Will it affect the 2020 taimen season? We certainly hope not, and expect thousands of visitors both domestic and international will travel to Hovsgul Province during Mongolia’s summer and fall. For those lucky few able to chase wild taimen across this landscape please tread lightly, take pictures and best of luck on the river.

Charlie was recently interviewed by Yellowdog’s Jim Klug for their “Waypoints” podcast. It’s some damn fine audio.

2019 Taimen Fund News

From the banks of the Yellowstone to taimen strongholds throughout Khuvsgul Province, TTF has had a busy year. We were proud to introduce a program created by Mrs. Chris Pavlovich, PhD candidate at Montana State University and teacher at East Side Elementary School in Livingston, Montana, to elementary educators across northern Mongolia.  The Watershed Warriors Program (WW) is an award-winning curriculum that provides hands-on, place-based, real-life applications to science while bestowing stewardship of and access to a student’s landscape and culture. 

Thanks to funding from the Trust for Mutual Understanding and your gracious donations, our inaugural WW Exchange was nothing short of a resounding success. Mrs. Uugnaa Purevdorj (of our partner organization, The Taimen Conservation Fund (TCF)), long-time educator Mrs. Muugi Byambajav, and Mr. Erdene Sainbayar, specialist in the Department of Education in Khuvsgul Province, visited Livingston to interact first hand with the WW curriculum.  In July, Chris, her colleague Mrs. Jessica Hanson and TTF Program Manager John Bailey led a multi-day teacher-training workshop on the headwaters of the Selenge River, hosting 17 educators over three days.

While in Mongolia in September, I had the opportunity to meet with the team and education officials in Moron.  Teachers from July’s workshop are today implementing WW in five school districts throughout Khuvsgul.  We’ve translated the entirety of the curriculum, and established a group Facebook page for students and teachers to share findings and experiences.  While visiting, I joined a 6th grade science class for macro invertebrate sampling.  I was overwhelmed by how rewarding the experience was to be with these eager and inquisitive students.

            Once again, your donations, and a generous grant from the Yellow Dog Conservation and Community Foundation (YDCCF), supported TTF’s flagship RiverKeepers Program.  Our anti-poaching effort, conducted in coordination with local herders and law enforcement throughout the Eg watershed is now a decade old!

As around the world, the spread of non-biodegradable waste has risen dramatically over the last few years in the Eg and in 2019 TTF sponsored our first river cleanup on the watershed.  TTF plans to engage with other conservation organizations and local citizens to organize river cleanups on the Eg River, spring 2020.

Looking forward, 2020 will be another great year for TTF as an organization.  We will conclude our genetics data gathering in the Shishged River with Mongolia-based NGO, Save the Taimen.  In addition, we will work closely in the first quarter of 2020 to identify a watershed or stretch of river that currently has no outfitting or enhanced protection.  It has become apparent that those watersheds that still have natural populations of fish need protection quickly in order to build-up buffer zones for established strongholds. This new program will take what we have learned in the Eg to create the RiverKeeper Recovery Program, much-needed for the continued conservation of wild taimen in Mongolia.         

Season’s Greetings from the TTF team. Please consider a donation towards our important work in Mongolia.  TTF is a registered 501c3 and donations are tax deductible. Use the envelope provided to send a check or take a peek at our website and donate online (www.taimenfund.org). Thank you one and all for all of your support and all the best in 2020.

Kiss a Fish – Be a Taimen’s Valentine This Year

Donate Now

The Taimen Fund has big plans for 2019, including the expansion of our RiverKeepers Program to other Mongolian watersheds and a social media campaign to educate Mongolian anglers and public of national fishing regulations. Our most ambitious program to date – bringing an award-winning, Livingston, Montana developed elementary school watershed health and science curriculum to schools in the Murun area – will launch in 2019.

All of these programs need your support. Please consider donating today.

Meet our Research Partners and Welcome to the Taimen Vault:

The Taimen Fund inhabits the confluence of conservation and education and without each neither alone can save the taimen of Mongolia. We are fortunate to work with a number of area experts and research partners and we’d like to shine a light on their participation.

Please visit the redesigned Taimen Fund website to meet our team of dedicated scientists, educators and conservation specialists at

You’ll also find the start of our Taimen Vault – a repository for what we hope to be the world’s leading research and reporting on taimen on the web. It’s just a start but we’ll be adding to it over the coming months so please check back again.

Slideshow of Peter Fong’s Lake Baikal Headwaters Expedition:

The Taimen Fund supported author and adventurer Peter Fong’s 2018 Lake Baikal Headwaters Expedition and in return his team surveyed communities along the Delger Murun watershed for future TTF conservation work in the area.

The Baikal Expedition, the first of its kind saw the team summit the largest mountain in the region and descend down to the first braid of water forming the Delger Murun. They then proceeded to follow the Delger Murun in its entirety to the Selenge River and all the way into Russia at Lake Baikal.

We’ve uploaded a short video of photos of the journey here:http://taimenfund.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/2018-Baikal-Headwaters-Expedition.m4v

TTF – 2018 News

Season’s Greetings!

As the year comes to an end, please consider a donation towards our important work in Mongolia. TTF is a registered 501c3 and donations are tax deductible. Use the “Donate” button below to pay with a credit card or Paypal.

Thank you one and all for everything that you have done to make 2018 a great year for The Taimen Fund (TTF). We have so many friendships, partnerships, donors and advisors that help throughout their year, truly too many to mention on a one-page note. However, we would be remiss not to mention Ross Purnell and Fly Fisherman Magazine for putting on a fantastic fundraising event in Denver last month. In one evening, we were able to raise over $20,000 to put towards our projects in Mongolia. Thank you and Happy 50th Anniversary Fly Fisherman Magazine.

2018 has been another successful year for TTF. We have continued our efforts in the Eg Watershed with our marquee RiverKeeper program.  Working with this group of locals and herders has helped curb poaching and has produced a core of advocates and outreach network throughout the watershed. For fly anglers the Eg watershed is best known for the Hovsgol/Sweetwater Travel Camps and we are proud to help protect that amazing resource.  Special thanks to TTF longtime partner Taimen Conservation Fund-Mongolia for their tireless efforts in the watershed and for Yellow Dog Conservation and Community Fund for awarding TTF a grant for continued work with the RiverKeepers.

In 2018 TTF also supported the ambitious effort of author/scientist/adventurer Peter Fong and his Baikal Headwaters Expedition.  Peter and his team, including longtime partner, Conservation Geneticist and UNR PhD candidate Lanie Galland, began on August 12 when they summited the largest mountain in the region and descended down to the first drop of water forming the Delger Moron. They then proceeded to follow the Delger Moron in its entirety to the Selenge River and all the way into Russia, where Peter successfully reached Lake Baikal on October 10th.

Throughout the expedition Peter and his team collected water samples, invertebrate samples and fin clips.  On behalf of TTF, the expedition conducted surveys in villages throughout the watershed.  The surveys covered questions pertaining to watershed health, environmental education and fishing regulations.  We are sifting through the results at this time and look forward to using the knowledge gained to better focus our conservation efforts in the region. Congratulations Peter on an amazing endeavor!

It was great to reconnect with long time conservation partner, Dr. Olaf Jensen of Rutgers University.  TTF supported the participation of three Mongolian students in a joint Mongolian-American research expedition from June 9 – July 14, 2018.  The expedition focused on social and ecological change in the Eg River Valley.  Our donors supported a PhD student from Mongolian Education University, a student of geography and GIS at the Mongolian Academy of Sciences and a Mongolian MS student in socioeconomic studies at Incheon University in South Korea, to work alongside American students in projects focused on understanding changes in the way Mongolian herders use natural resources, especially fish.

Finally, as promised last year, we have nominated a Mongolian to join the TTF Board of Directors later this month.  Mr. Esentsengel (Esee) Sukhee is a Deputy Director at MCS Holding LLC, a partner with the Fly Shop Mongolia, fly angler and conservationist.  We look forward to working with Esee for many years to come.

TTF is excited about our upcoming work in 2019.  We will continue our work with the RiverKeepers and partner with Bioregions and Mongolia River Outfitters to host the second “Healthy Taimen Festival” and wellness clinic along the Onan River.  Additionally, we are excited to work with PhD candidate Mrs. Chris Pavlovich of the East Side School in Livingston, Montana collaborating with teachers in Hovsgol Province to enhance their watershed health curriculum.  Her proven program brings hands-on conservation and ecology to the fifth-grade classroom here in Montana and will be an important new program for our work in Mongolia.

Please consider a donation towards our important work in Mongolia.  TTF is a registered 501c3 and donations are tax deductible.  Donate here on our websiteThank you one and all for all of your support and all the best in 2019. 

Fish On!

Charlie Conn

Executive Director, The Taimen Fund.


©Earl Harper