Help Stop Mechanized Gold Prospecting in our Trout streams

T.U. Member time to power jet driven dredge1take action today to prevent damage to Tennessee streams from mechanized gold prospecting.

A permit has been requested from the Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation (TDEC) to allow  by both manual (non-mechanized) and mechanized methods. TDEC has determined that the mechanized prospecting with dredges will degrade water quality, while non-mechanized prospecting with pans and hand tools will result in minimal degradation.

Why We Care

Of particular concern is the potential for mechanized prospecting for gold in several tributaries in the Tellico watershed. As an organization, TU will comment on this application before March 12, meeting the 30-day deadline for written comments. Letters from individual TU members will significantly strengthen the effort to prevent stream damage from mechanized prospecting.

What You Can Do

  • By March 12, write a letter commenting on the potential for water quality degradation if mechanized gold prospecting is allowed in Tennessee streams; send a second copy of your letter to the Tennessee Council TU.
  • Be sure to include in the letter the name of the permit applicant, Gold Prospector’s Association of America, and the file number, NRS14.341.
  • Mail your letter to: Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation; Division of Water Resources, Natural Resources Unit; William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower; 312 Rosa L. Parks Ave., 11th Floor; Nashville, TN 37243.
  • Mail a copy of your letter to: Dick Geiger, Tennessee Council Chair, 265 Andorra Lane, Clinton, TN 37716.

You can read the entire TDEC notice regarding the application at the link below (scroll down to “Water Resources”; under the date February 12, 2015, click on file number NRS14.341, Gold Prospector’s Association of America).

http://www.state.tn.us/environment/ppo/

Sincerely,

Dick Geiger
Chair
Tennessee Council 9TN
geiger3892@gmail.com
(865) 599-2604

February Meeting

m4s0n501

Meeting is  Canceled  due to the weather.

Hope to see you at our next month meeting.

P r e s i d e n t ’ s C o r n e r
Mike Bryant (mjbryant1954@hotmail.com)

Newsletter

After watching the weather and heavy snow falls up in the Northeast, I realize how fortunate we have been. Having said hat, I’m ready for spring. Jan and I will have the opportunity to spend some time in southern Florida. With any luck (and determination), I hope to chase some snook, baby tarpon, and redfish with my trusty 8 weight. When we return, not only will we be gearing up for better trout fishing in the Park, we will also be busy working details for Troutfest, monthly meetings, river clean-ups and new monthly education classes. I can’t wait!

Our 2015 Troutfest Banquet & Auction plans are in full swing. The basic format will follow last year’s event with several improvements. Check out the article in the Newsletter for additional information. It’s important to remember the date, Friday, April 24 and bring a friend. Also check out the new updated website (www.troutfest.org). Many thanks to Joe Hatton for all his time and efforts in updating the website.

WillowOur Little River Chapter TU Coordinators picked up their trout eggs from the hatchery and all four schools have their Trout-in-the-Classroom programs up and running this winter / spring session. We are off to a great start with the TIC programs this year, and have plans to expand. As I have stated in the past, we have a responsibility to engage our youth with nature and the outdoors. TIC is one of the great ways to connect our kids with the great outdoors. More good  things to come!

One request we often hear from our members and visitors is how to fish for trout up in the mountains. We all know how hard it can be to “crack the code” chasing wild trout in the Park. To help with this need, the Chapter is starting a new LRCTU Smoky Mountain Fly Fishing Education Program. You can read more about the program below in this newsletter.

Matt KulpThanks to Matt Kulp for another great program at the January meeting. We had the largest attendance that I’ve seen in the last several years with standing room only during Matt’s presentation. Matt covered multiple topics regarding activities in the Park including the future opening of Lynn Camp Prong. Also, thanks to Willow for her great review of the TIC program at Townsend Elementary!

Finally, I hope you will attend the February 26 Chapter Meeting. Alex Bell will be providing a presentation the “Western North Carolina Fishing Trail.” This is a great opportunity to learn about new fishing opportunities in our region. So much water, so little time!!

Stay warm, be safe!

Mike Bryant

Help! Our Water Sampling is Growing

Your help is needed in 2015. Our Acid Deposition Sampling Program that began in 1993 will add another sample route on the Tennessee side of the Park (Middle Prong Little Pigeon River).

Why is the Program Important?

  • Because of our data and other air policy, over the past three decades, TVA and other eastern U.S. power producers, have decreased sulfate deposition by 57% and nitrate deposition has decreased by 23%.
  • However, there is a puzzle to be solved. Stream acid levels at most elevations have not improved as expected and brook trout continue to lose habitat, so more study is needed.
  • Air regulators and policy makers would like to see additional stream response data across the park and how park plants and animals respond to the improving air emissions.

Why is Another Sample Route Being Added?

  • To solve the puzzle, NPS plant, soil, and stream experts are working together and expanding their joint efforts to collocate sites around the park as well sample all elevations. This means we are setting up an additional watershed where soil, plant and stream samples are taken.

How Do I Sign Up to Learn More and To Help?

A meeting has been scheduled for Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 9:00 AM at Park Headquarters.

  • A free breakfast will be provided, so please notify Charlie ahead of the meeting so enough food will be available.
  • At the meeting, we will provide up to date data results, show the routes, conduct training, organize the sample teams, and develop the schedule for the next year of sampling.

Field & Stream magazine recognized Charlie Chmieliewski

The recognition is a result of his devoted work in preserving and restoring native brook trout in GSMNP. Congratulate him the next time you see him.

January Meeting

P r e s i d e n t ’ s C o r n e r
Mike Bryant (mjbryant1954@hotmail.com)

Newsletter

I’ve never liked winter and cold weather. And even though we have the opportunity to fish for trout in the winter, I have to admit I find mysMikeelf inside the house tying flies versus fishing more often than not. At least I’m rebuilding my fly inventory. Jan and I will be in Florida again this winter, so I’ve been busy preparing for saltwater fishing, including tying flies and practicing long distance casting. Future Chapter Business With 2014 behind us, it’s time to look forward to 2015. And I’m excited about our opportunities to continue building on our successes.

• We will again hold our Troutfest Banquet and Auction in April. Mark your calendars for Friday night, April 24. We are planning yet another great Troutfest Banquet & Auction. Last year’s Troutfest was phenomenal and we plan to build
on that success.

• Our Trout-in the Classroom programs will expand to four schools! The two trout releases in December were fantastic. We were able to already touch the lives of more than 70 children, with more to come!!

• We will support Trout Camp in June. Do you know any kids ages 12-15 who enjoy the outdoors? Consider enrolling a child in the 2015 Trout Camp (full name – Trout Unlimited Great Smoky Mountains 2015 Trout Adventure Camp). The Camp is schedule for June 15-20. You can find more information and a registration form at www.tntroutadventure.org .

• We will continue to support critically important Park Service efforts with our volunteer efforts.

• We will continue to work on fishing trips• We will start a more concerted effort on membership education. All of these efforts are possible only because of the volunteer efforts by you and our chapter members.

Monthly Meeting
January Membership Meeting (Thursday, January 22), at Calhoun’s Restaurant, 751 Watkins Rd Maryville. We meet at 6pm for dinner and fellowship, followed by a short business meeting at 7pm.  Then our speaker. Kulp (Supervisory Fishery Biologist-Great Smoky Mountain National Park) will present another program laying out the plans for the Fisheries Department in 2015. Matt is an excellent speaker capable of explaining the direction and challenges facing our Park and how we can continue to play a vital role in their efforts. This is a presentation you don’t want to miss.

Stay warm and safe. I hope to see you at the January meeting.

Thanks,
Mike