TU in Action: Cleaning up rivers; reviving a fishing derby; planting trees, and more

Amateur scientists examine bug life on the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam. Photo by USGS

Editor’s note: Every day, all across America, TU volunteers are working in their local watersheds to improve habitat, water quality and angler opportunity. We’re starting a new weekly feature here on the TU blog to honor those volunteers and share their stories.

In northern Michigan, learning to fly fish without having to throw down a boatload of cash is as easy going to the Petoskey District Library. There, thanks to the folks at the Miller-Van Winkle Chapter of Trout Unlimited, fly rods are available on loan for all wishing to learn the craft. There is one caveat, though. In order to take a rod out on loan, a prospective angler must first attend a fly fishing clinic done through the chapter to become “certified.” Then, you’re good to go.

Here’s what else TU members and chapters are doing to make fishing better all over the country:

    • In Easton, Conn., the Nutmeg Chapter of Trout Unlimited hosts its annual Mill River stream cleanup. The Mill River is the only Class One tailwater river in Connecticut, home to wild browns and brook trout. It runs for 16 miles from the Easton Reservoir all the way to Long Island Sound, and recently, volunteers helped remove more than 360 pounds of garbage from its banks.
    • In Dickinson, W.V., the annual kids fishing derby was on life support until recently thanks to the failing health of its organizers. In stepped the Little Stony Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited, which not only saved the derby but allowed organizers to get donated prizes for drawings and raffles. The derby goes on.
    • In Arizona, a TU volunteer is working improve insect life on the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam, where resident trout aren’t getting enough to eat. John Hamill worked with U.S. Geological Survey researchers to come up witih a plan to release steady flows from the dam in hopes of giving insects in the tailwater a better chance at survival. More insects means more food for trout, which means bigger trout.
    • In Haymarket, Va., students are working to bolster the once-thriving brook trout population in the commonwealth. The students are all part of the 200-school Trout in the Classroom project sponsored every year by Trout Unlimited and the Virginia Council of TU.
    • In Pennsylvania, the state TU council has joined an effort to plant a whopping 10 million trees by 2025 to help improve water quality and keep rivers and streams cool and fit for trout.

By Chris Hunt.