With some projects, the results are immediately tangible. Take for instance a project where a mudsill is installed to provide cover and habitat for trout. I have observed the trout hiding out in the deep, shady pool under the mud sill the very next day after it was in place. The timeframe for the entire project to install a mudsill from initial project idea through to funding and permitting and finally to construction may take one or two years at the most – and ta da! Instant habitat for the trout!(Photo: This wetland is at the lower end of one of nine treatment systems that have helped remediate abandoned mine drainage problems the Twomile Run Watershed, Clinton County.)However, such is sadly not the case when the project revolves around restoring streams that are degraded from abandoned coal mine drainage, a pollution legacy that continues to linger from old coal mines where some date back to more than 100 years ago.
In The News
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Trout Unlimited scores victory for brook trout in PA's Twomile Run
TU launches Wild Steelhead Initiative
On Nov. 20, Trout Unlimited launched the Wild Steelhead Initiative, an ambitious and hopeful project to protect and restore the wild steelhead and the fishing opportunities they provide throughout their native range in Alaska, California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. This is a major deal, as the nation’s leading coldwater conservation organization (with the largest budget, grassroots network, and national staff) is focusing efforts on the wild steelhead cause in a big way.
Compromise on the Roan a win for all
This is a feel-good story about what can happen when intelligent minds with different interests and agendas actually sit down and work together to find a solution that works for everyone. In a nutshell, conservation groups and the oil and gas industry hammered out a deal that would protect the “top” of the Roan Plateau in Colorado, where many species thrive including a strain of native Colorado cutthroat trout, and at the same time, allow energy developers to get at the billions of dollars in natural gas deposits by using smarter, more efficient, directional drilling techniques.
Hunters and anglers measure success in a variety of ways. Sometimes it's the catch, sometimes simply the experience. In western Colo- rado last week, success was measured by compromise.
The decade-long battle over the fate of the biologically rich Roan Plateau towering above the Colorado River Valley near Rifle reached a settlement announced Friday that has sportsmen's conservation groups including Trout Unlimited, Colorado Wildlife Federation, National Wildlife Federation and others exhaling in relief. Sometimes, simply preserving the places we hunt and fish can be considered a success, they say.
The river is awash with reflected stars when she glides from the eddy into the heavy current, turns downstream, and with a kick of her tail, chases the full moon out to sea. The gentle pool she leaves behind is home to all the security, familiarity and comfort she has ever known. The vast unknown for which she swims is full of trials, tribulations and teeth. But the call of the salt is insistent. So she presses on to find her fate. She will die, be consumed and disappear. Or she will learn, strengthen, triumph, and be transformed. Then, and only then, she will return.