Hail to the Chief!

At our October chapter meeting a new slate of officers and board members was elected, led by our new chapter president, Cliff Albertson.  Cliff’s lifelong passion for fly fishing has taken him to trout and salmon waters across America and Canada with a good dose of salt water angling mixed in.   Cliff is a long time TU member, a former board member of the Theodore Gordon Fly Fishers and the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum.  We are fortunate indeed to have someone with his leadership experience and passion for cold water conservation as our new president.  Congratulations to Cliff and all the other new leaders of Land O’Sky TU.  We all look forward to helping you in moving our chapter forward.  For  a complete list of our new leadership team check out the newly update “Contacts” page and the next time you see one of these wonderful folks, thank them for stepping up!

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Trout In (and Out of) the Classroom

On Monday we had our first fall river clean-up and stocking on the North Mills River.   Thank you to everyone who came out to help keep this beginner friendly fishery clean and healthy.    An added treat this month was the support of students from one of our Trout in the Classroom programs.  Students, teachers and parents from The Learning Community School pitched in  and got a chance to practice a little environmental stewardship and to see what those tiny eggs they currently have in their classroom will grow up to be.  The kids had clearly done their homework.   I conducted a little stream-side quiz and got quick, correct  answers explaining facts like “A Brook Trout is not really a trout, it’s a Char” and “Brown Trout are not from America, they came from Germany.”    Of course, you all already knew that…..right?

 

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Helping Brookies Get “Over the Rainbow”

Last week LOSTU  pitched in with the fisheries team from the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and fellow TU volunteers from Tuckaseegee and Little River Chapters to help native Brook Trout reclaim Little Cataloochee Creek and its tributaries.  We were racing to complete the project ahead of hurricane Irma and a great team effort, led by GSMNP Head Fisheries Biologist Matt Kulp, was able to get the job done just in time. The task involved electroshock surveys, the temporary removal of native Brook Trout to sanctuary and the removal of  non-native Rainbows to a point below a natural barrier.   It was hard work but fun and highly educational as well.   There are more opportunities coming up to volunteer to help our only native “trout.”  Stay tuned and when the time comes, pitch in!

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“The Memory of Fish” Asheville Film Premier

“The Memory of Fish” is a moving and inspirational film about one man’s lifelong quest to restore once mighty salmon runs to Washington’s  Elwah River.  It resulted in the biggest dam removal project in U.S. history.  It’s an amazing tale of the restoration of a unique and priceless cold-water fishery and a testament to what one person with courage, passion and persistence can accomplish.  The film is being shown on September 9th as a fundraiser for “The Collider,” an Asheville based non-profit created to find business friendly solutions to climate change.  More details about the evening and tickets are available here.  

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On Top of Old Smoky

Land O’Sky TU is currently working with the Great Smoky Mountain National Park fisheries team to reintroduce native Brook Trout in the the Cataloochee Creek drainage.  Pictured above are Ed Heeg, Jay Hawthorne and Ron Bradford,  three of our hard working volunteers following a recent work day to survey and mark out the drainage in preparation for invasive species removal and further restoration work to come in September.   If you would like to get involved to help the Brook Trout reclaim this habitat, contact Jay at johnjhawthorne@gmail.com   Be ready for some physical work in difficult terrain but you’ll meet some great folks and learn a lot about how real cold-water fisheries conservation work gets done!

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Building Bridges in Madison County

Yesterday a great group of LOSTU volunteers turned out to help Madison County in their ongoing efforts to introduce local youth to the great outdoors.  The one week camp for teens featured a variety of fun, outdoor activities and ours was fly fishing.  As you can see by the attached pictures, it was a beautiful day and these first time fly anglers took to the water and to fishing with energy and success!  We wove in a conservation theme, looked under some rocks, picked up some litter and caught some fish. The kids then had an afternoon session on aquatic ecology with a faculty member from Mars Hill College.  Many thanks to all who came and helped nurture the next generation of stewards of our beautiful WNC trout streams.

 

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Congratulations Rivercourse 2017!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once again TU volunteers from throughout North Carolina gathered to host Rivercourse 2017.  This one-week conservation and fly fishing camp for 13-15 year-olds continues to be an immensely popular and important link in our youth education continuum.  2017 was a huge success due to the hard work of a great team and the energy and enthusiasm of a great bunch of campers.  Many thank to all who helped with this and our many other youth oriented activities and programs.   We will continue our efforts to nurture the next generation of cold-water conservationists.  Look for an opportunity to get involved!

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Kids’ Fishing Day 2017

 

Every year Land O’Sky TU supports the National Forest Service’s Kids’ Fishing Day at Lake Powhatan.  This year a team of hard working LOSTU volunteers once again turned out to prepare and serve a much appreciated lunch to the hundreds of participants, parents and other volunteers who turned up on a sunny Saturday.  Nurturing (and in this case, nourishing) the next generation of anglers and future advocates for our cold water fisheries is a huge part of what we do.  Many thanks to Ed Heeg and his hearty band of chefs for their outstanding volunteerism and hard work.  Thanks also for our corporate partner, Hunter Banks Outfitters for their much appreciated support.  Well done to all!

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A Great (Smoky Mountain) Volunteer Opportunity

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is continuing their years-long effort to restore native Brook Trout to their natural habitat within the park’s many miles of trout streams.   You can help this effort continue by volunteering this summer with two projects on the NC side of the park:

 

Little Cataloochee Creek:   July 24-27th will have population sampling and September 6-8 preparation and treatment.
Anthony Creek:  Stream work on 10-13 July

If you would like to help with either of these projects please contact our own Jay Hawthorne at johnjhawthorne@gmail.com

 

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Tax Relief Outing

If you wait until April 15 to do your taxes it probably means you’re having to pay…and we know how that hurts.   How about a little hydro therapy to make you feel better?  We’re going to get together this upcoming Saturday, 15 April to do some fishing and pick up some litter on the Laurel River.  We will meet up at 8am at the Laurel River Store, fish the morning and those who are interested will meet back up at the Store at noon to head over to Hot Springs for lunch.  The Laurel is a roadside fishery so it suffers from litter that comes from passing traffic.  Please bring a garbage bag and try to fill it while you’re fishing.  No need to RSVP, just come if you can and get there on time.  Time, tide and eager fisher-people wait for no one.

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