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Lines to Leaders

Dear [%first_name%],

FishingNever say never.

As anglers, at our heart we are optimists – always believing that with the next cast, or around the next bend we will be rewarded with a trout to hand, or find "that pool" where a trout is likely holding.

This same optimism is what drives our conservation efforts. As an army of more than 400 local chapters and state councils, we are fueled by our belief that we can protect what is left, we can reconnect what was dammed, we can restore what was degraded and we can sustain this effort for all time.

I was reminded of this incredible mix of hope and gumption recently when I had the chance to fish the famed Red Brook and Quashnet waters on Cape Cod with my fiancé. Even here – just a stone's throw from where the pilgrims first stepped out on Plymouth Rock – where modern man's impacts on our landscape have been taking place for the longest time, there is a remarkable story to tell about how we can reverse hundreds of years of environmental degradation when we apply our energies, our expertise and our never-ending optimism to the task.

For more than 100 years, cranberry bogs were built on top of some of the best springs in the Cape, damming up historic sea-run brook trout streams, channelizing irrigation canals throughout and loading thousands of tons of sand onto the land to make the farming better. The brook trout, and their unique anadromy in these coastal waters, was nearly lost.

But for more than four decades, volunteers from the Southeast Massachusetts Chapter, the Cape Cod Chapter and partners such as the Sea Run Brook Trout Coalition along with a host of corporate, municipal, state and federal partners have literally turned the tide on this story. They have torn down dozens of dams, rebuilt river channels, restored the natural stream systems to clear out the sand and created the habitat necessary for these native trout to make a comeback. On top of it all, they've deployed a vast array of Angler Science tools to monitor, measure, track and prove their success – an essential part of building the case to do even more.

It's a powerful testament to the work we all do in the name of TU, and a story that repeats itself over and over again across the country.

From the restoration of Colorado's Greenback Cutthroat which were at one point thought to be extinct, to the removal of invasive Lake Trout in Yellowstone National Park, to the fight to protect Bristol Bay from proposed mining operations, it's clear that our work is powerful, important and can succeed in spite of overwhelming odds.

Jeff Yates
Director of Volunteer Operations


Teens Return to the Birthplace of TU: New Leaders are Born.

TU Teen SummitIt was late June and they couldn't have hit the middle part of the mitten at a better time. The fabled Hex hatch was going down, or so they’d heard, and the massive amounts of mosquitos usually encountered this time of year were nowhere to be found. It was pretty much perfect timing for the annual pilgrimage. This year, though, the journey was going to be a lot more legendary than Sasquatch herself. For the first time, the TU Teen Summit was making its way to where it all began: to the Holy Waters of Michigan.

On July 15, 1959 Trout Unlimited was founded in Grayling, MI. Nearly 60 years later, thirty of TU's rising leaders were about to descend on Michigan with their fresh ideas and even fresher styles. These teens would come from all over the country to bond over fly fishing, to actively participate in conservation efforts, and to form a TU family that would develop into the following year's Youth Leadership Council, or YLC. Just as they have for the last five summits, the teens would spend the better part of a week together planning projects for the year to raise TU's profile among their peers. They were to become the youth voice of TU.

This year, 17 states were represented by 30 teens. They left the summit with a new understanding of TU and the skills necessary to make a change in their community. If you know your state/chapter has a YLC representative in your region, we encourage you to reach out to them. The teens are expected to stay active in local events, and might be excited to join your council or chapter events, speak at a meeting, represent at an expo, or help lead a restoration project. Please contact Tara Granke if you have questions about the summit or need assistance contacting a YLC representative.

It's never too early to begin mentoring a young person in your chapter to build a lasting relationship with the TU community. We hope to see the young person you work with one day at the summit. Applications open in early 2018.

Each year, the TU Teen Summit relies on a bevy of volunteers to run smoothly and we could not have done any of this without the overwhelming support of:


Join Us in Roanoke this Fall! Special Hands-On Angler Science Training & Tree Planting Planned

Annual Meeting

An exciting and modern city, nestled within striking distance of some of the prettiest national forests and parks around, Roanoke, Va., will be the host of the 2017 TU Annual Meeting. Join us from Sept. 27 - Oct. 1., for a fun, festive event where you can enjoy the early fall foliage and weather, strike out for trout in nearby scenic streams, and spend a weekend meeting and sharing ideas and inspiration with TU volunteers and staff.

This year, we're taking the Annual Meeting to a whole new level and have added some great new activities such as:

  • A hands-on Stream Temperature Monitoring training on Thursday as part of the Conservation Tour so you can bring great Angler Science skills back to your chapter or council
  • A fun evening at the Orvis warehouse in Roanoke on Thursday where we will celebrate the launch of the new Embrace A Stream Challenge and you can test out the all-new Helios 3
  • An important riparian buffer planting along Roanoke's Glade Creek on Sunday to help the local chapter restore a once-thriving wild brown trout stream

All of these new activities, plus the jam-packed meeting agenda, will make this year's annual meeting a not-to-miss event.

Register now!


Post Pics to Instagram to Help TU Win a Custom Beer from SweetWater Brewing

CoolerHelp TU win a special Instagram contest from SweetWater Brewery during their summer Save Our Water campaign and you could walk away with a custom TU Yeti cooler or other great gear. Now through August, any Instagram post that includes #saveourwatertu @sweetwaterbrew and @troutunlimited in the post will earn us a point in the contest against four other leading conservation nonprofits to earn the right to a custom-brewed TU branded beer from SweetWater, with a portion of sales benefitting our organization. Even better, with every photo you post, you could also win some sweet swag!

Here are the rules:

  1. All photos posted must be your own original content to be eligible.
  2. Each post must include the following language "@troutunlimited @sweetwaterbrew #saveourwaterTU" in order to be eligible.
  3. No limit on entries. Each eligible post equals on entry in the contest.
  4. Only one prize will be awarded per entrant based on unique Instagram account user name.
  5. The contest deadline is Thursday, Aug. 31 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time.
  6. All posters agree to allow Trout Unlimited the rights to use, share and re-post their images in our print and electronic media.

There are other ways to help TU benefit from SweetWater's generosity during the Save Our Water summer campaign, including:

  1. Making an online donation to the Save Our Water Embrace A Stream campaign and SweetWater will donate up to $20,000 to Trout Unlimited's Embrace A Stream grant program if we can raise an equal matching amount! Last year, generous donations helped us meet the match goal. Please help us earn the full match again by spreading the word and encouraging your chapter members to donate too. SweetWater will be giving away $100,000 this summer to five great conservation groups!
  2. SweetWater will again offer for sale online and in their brick and mortar locations special co-branded merchandise, such as a handsome TU Wingo belt or a beer pint touting the Save Our Water campaign and TU. 20 percent of the sales proceeds will benefit TU.

SweetWater is also offering to connect with chapters to support local events within their distribution geography. Your chapter may have the opportunity to partner with a local SweetWater representative to co-host an event with beverages, SweetWater swag and good times with fellow members, conservationists and beer enthusiasts – all in support of conservation.

For support, questions or help planning a co-event with Sweetwater, email Kyle Smith, TU's Membership Engagement Manager.


Place an Order in the TU Event Printshop or Create an Event On the TU Events Center for Your Chance at One of Two Fall Weeks in Montana

AdventureGetting the word out about your chapter's fundraisers, events and activities is one of the best ways to grow your membership, engage volunteers and increase the impact of your conservation, education and fundraising efforts.

The TU Event Printshop and special TU Events Center – in partnership with – provides your chapter with:

  • Easy-to-use, extremely affordable, high-quality, customizable TU-branded print products for event marketing and event operations, including: posters, flyers, postcards, raffle and event tickets
  • Custom, online event registration forms and ticketing that will take your event to the next level

TicketPrinting is a strong supporter of conservation, a TU Business member and donates 20 percent of all TU business back to TU. To sweeten the pot, TicketPrinting's CEO, Lance Trebesch, is giving away two one-week stays at his amazing Big Sky Montana Chalet in a special drawing for chapters that place an order on the TU Event Printshop or create an event on the TU Events Center between June 1 and July 31! If your chapter does both, you'll get two entries into the drawing!

Trip Details: Big Sky Montana - Four Fall Nights for up to Six People & Two Float Trips for Two Anglers

Fall is the time when the big, hungry brown trout of Western Montana go on the prowl to gorge before winter sets in with a fury. Your chapter can win this incredible week of fishing, sight-seeing and more to either raffle or auction off locally and raise funds for your important conservation and education programs. We'll even help you set up a special RaffleRiver sweepstakes if you'd like so you can sell tickets to win this trip online among your chapter members, fishing friends and beyond! The chalet has room for up to six people with four bedrooms and six beds and Lance is also throwing in two days of guided float fishing on some of the Big Sky region's best trout water for two anglers each day! Valued at over $4,200, the trips must be taken in September or October of 2017 based on availability.

Training Videos: Using the TU Event Printshop and the TU TicketRiver Platform

Both the TU Event Printshop and the TU Events Center are fast and easy to learn and simple to use for you and your members. If you want to see what it's all about, you can view some special training materials we've created just for you, our TU volunteers.

TU Event Printshop Training Video – A quick walk through of the online tool giving some great ideas on effective products to promote your chapter or events. Then go online and place an order.

TU Events Center Training Video – An overview video demonstrating how this special TU-branded online registration tool works on the front and back ends for event creators and event participants. Then go online and create an event registration page.


All web conference trainings are held at 8 p.m. EST unless otherwise noted. Contact Jeff Yates to register.
Nov. 6-12:
Embrace A Stream Challenge Online Competition
Nov. 15:
Deadline for All Chapters / Councils to File Annual Financial Reports
Feb. 15:
Deadline for All Chapters / Councils to File IRS Form 990, Form 990EZ or Form 990N
Jan. 26-27:
Mid-South Regional Rendezvous: New Braunfels, Texas
April 27-29:
Western Regional Rendezvous: Keystone, Colo.
May 18-20:
Southeast Regional Rendezvous: West Virginia
June 8-10:
Northeast Regional Rendezvous: Lake Placid, N.Y.
Sept. 19-22:
2018 Annual Meeting: Redding, Calif.


Help TU Improve Our Youth Memberships
TU offers youth (Stream Explorer) and teen (TU Teen) memberships that are specially designed to engage the next generation in coldwater conservation and fishing. However, only a tiny fraction of our current active members are youth members. Please take this short survey to help us improve how we design and market our youth memberships to improve them and engage more young people in our mission.
Click Here to Take the Survey
If you have a budding young conservationist or angler in your family, consider buying them a gift youth membership in TU today!


Increasingly, TU chapters and councils are responding to the demand among their members and supporters to offer fast, easy credit card and online billing options for their purchases and donations. These technologies make it easier than ever to help people support our great work, but also come with increased risk that requires we take proper precautions to ensure our financial systems and our management of a donor's private information are kept safe.
The TU policy on "Securely Processing Credit Card Transactions"
1. Do not accept or send credit card information by email.
2. Be sure computers used to process credit cards have updated firewalls and virus software.
3. Buy and use point-of=sale credit card "swipers" from reputable vendors.
4. Use strong passwords and change them at least quarterly.
5. Train volunteers running credit card transactions to ensure they are aware of and are handling this sensitive information carefully.
To review this process document or to download a copy of the "Securely Processing Credit Card Transactions" document, visit the online Tacklebox, under "Important TU Policies."


The online leader Tacklebox – – offers a wide range of resources and guides for chapter and council leaders. Some of the most often used resources include:


We want our volunteer leaders to know what their members are receiving from TU in the mail and will begin sharing this through "In the Mail" each month in Lines to Leaders. This month, the featured mail campaign is our Sweepstakes Mailing which includes a donation request for a chance at one of 100 different prizes!
We welcome your feedback and want to remind you that we are grateful for the gift of your time as a volunteer leader and your membership support. While we welcome and appreciate your occasional non-dues gifts, please feel free to consider our appeal mailings nothing more than an FYI to keep you connected to the inner-workings of our development efforts.
Together, through on-the-ground, local efforts and nationwide focus, we are making our rivers and streams healthier homes for trout. Thank you!

Ⓒ 2017 Trout Unlimited - all rights reserved.

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