Local fishing charter reduces emissions through engine upgrades

Man installing new engine on deep sea fishing boat.

Brussels, Wis. — Captain Scott Gutschow is reducing emissions from his operations by replacing the three old diesel-powered engines from a charter boat in his fleet.

Reel Action Sport Fishing Charters upgraded the engines on their 48-foot Viking deep-sea fishing boat in partnership with the national nonprofit Environmental Initiative. The new engines save about 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year and reduce almost 16 tons of nitrous oxide emissions.

“The boat is lighter and faster now,” Gutschow said. “The Tier 3 engine means less fuel will burn, and the boat will be a lot more efficient.”

Gutschow is a third-generation salmon fisherman who grew up fishing in Sturgeon Bay. A big reason he decided to upgrade the engines is because he wants to build a good future for his daughters, Greta (17) and Grace (13). They are learning the ropes so they can continue the family tradition someday.

“My family has been fishing and helping other people fish in these waters for generations, and replacing the engines in this fleet with cleaner, more efficient options allows the family to continue creating this experience for people,” Gutschow said.

Environmental Initiative has been collaborating with fleets across several states to upgrade equipment and reduce emissions from school buses, construction equipment, tugboats, locomotives, and other diesel fleets. More than 3,200 school buses and 1,500 other heavy-duty diesel vehicles have been cleaned up through their “Project Green Fleet” program.

“It can be a huge financial burden upgrading older diesel engines, but we can connect fleet owners to grants to reduce the expense and can assist throughout the process,” said Alli Mueller, senior project manager at Environmental Initiative. “These upgrades help clean the air and reduce the burden these emissions put on local communities.”

The project is being funded through U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Diesel Emission Reduction Act grant. Reel Action Sport Fishing Charter is also investing their own capital in the project as part of federal grant cost share agreements.

About Environmental Initiative
Environmental Initiative is a nonprofit organization based in Minneapolis that catalyzes collaboration across perspectives, power, and systems for social equity and environmental health. Environmental Initiative partners with fleet owners and operators across the country to upgrade older diesel vehicles and equipment with newer models that release fewer emissions.