We at TU give our effort, our money and most importantly our time so that future generations can enjoy the tug of wild, native fish and experience the connection with the natural world that fishing offers us. As important as it is to protect and restore these places we love, it is equally important to ensure the next generation appreciates nature and a clean cold trout stream. Through the efforts of volunteers nationwide we give thousands of kids the experience of catching their first trout or exploring a stream and the life that inhabits it. One such volunteer is Ed Ulmer, of the Tulpehocken Chapter of TU in Pennsylvania. Ed is a volunteer with Pennsylvania’s Coldwater Conservation Corps, a group of about 100 volunteers who monitor and protect their local streams for impacts from shale gas development.
These volunteers serve as the eyes and ears on the ground, ensuring that special watersheds and coldwater resources are protected from the threats of environmental degradation, as well as collecting valuable baseline data in watersheds queued for future development. Ed has taken this one step further by engaging young people in water quality monitoring and fishing. As a father of two and high school biology teacher Ed has the opportunity to positively impact the lives of lot of kids. When it is time to sample Cacoosing Creek near Reading, Pa, his daughters Katie, 10 years old, and Genny, 6 years old, pull on their rubber boots and science caps and help their dad. These budding scientists also enjoy a bit of fishing as well!
Additionally, Ed has engaged his students in hands-on science by having them monitor local streams collecting pH, conductivity, aquatic macroinvertebrate data and underwater footage via their new GoPro camera. He has also taken his students fishing, providing several with their first fishing experience! Ed’s efforts have piqued the interest of several students to get involved with Trout Unlimited’s local projects.
With local concerns including urbanization, oil and gas pipelines and adequate riparian buffer zones it is imperative that the next generation of Tulpehocken TU members are engaged and connected with the beauty and importance of their local coldwater resources. Kudos to Ed on some great work protecting his local waters and engaging young people in coldwater conservation!