More water in Colorado’s Yampa River, thanks in part to TU. Photo courtesy of The Steamboat Pilot.
One of Trout Unlimited’s strengths across the board—from its volunteers on the ground in their home waters to its policy staff working the halls of government—is its ability collaborate to solve the challenges faced by trout and salmon all across the country. Case in point, in Oregon, TU and its partners are working with an irrigation district in the Deschutes River watershed on a “shared vision” that seeks to find common ground among farmers, anglers and recreators to ensure the river’s fish remain viable for generations to come.
This is, simply put, what we do. We are among the best in the country at bringing all stakeholders together and finding common ground that not only ensures water for crops, but water for fish. It works on the upper Colorado River, and it’s now working in Oregon. It’s so much better to have local volunteers learning about water use and the intricacies of this complex issue than it is to run to court and stall any sort of progress. In Oregon, TU’s Deschutes Redbands Chapter is leading the organization’s interests in this effort.
Here’s what else is happening in the TU Universe this week:
- New Zealand mudsnails have turned up in the Little Lehigh River in Pennsylvania, a cause of concern for the Monocacy Chapter of TU.
- Communities along New York’s Ausable River are drawing up on TU expertise in a $1.1 million recovery effort to address the damage to the river done by Hurricane Irene. Recoving watersheds after big flood events should be done deliberately, with future storm events in mind.
- The Pine River Chapter of TU in Wellston, Mich., is hosting a day-long fly fishing clinic for kids. It’s amazing how many of our chapters invest in the children of their communities. Keep up the good work.
- And if our volunteers aren’t teaching children to fish, they’re cleaning up roads and rivers, or planting willows, building crossbuck fences or improving in-stream habitat for trout.
- TU in Colorado helped secure funding needed to release more reservoir water in the drought-ravaged Yampa River this summer. The river has suffered from extremely warm temperatures thanks to a summer-long heat wave.
- In southeast Alaska, the state and the USDA announced they will launch a new rulemaking process that could open some of the best remaining salmon habitat on the planet to outdated old-growth logging. TU’s Austin Williams warns that this is a dangerous return to the past.
TU chapters, staffers and volunteers are in the news every single day. If your TU chapter is doing something special to make fishing better, let me know. I’d love to promote it.
— Chris Hunt