May Meeting

President’s Corner

Mike Bryant (


I hope most of you had the Mikeopportunity to read the Spring edition of TROUT, TU’s quarterly magazine. The issue focused on mentoring. The timing was perfect for me. I had just given my grandson his first fly rod for his ninth birthday. It’s a great age to expose a kid to the joys of the outdoors and respect for nature. He caught a handful of blue gills with a small popper before heading back to the house for a snack with Nana. My grandson will be spending a week with us this summer, so I’ll have plenty of opportunities to spend time with him in the Park chasing trout, skipping rocks and going for hikes.

Mentoring is a critical element of our mission to preserve the cold watersheds in and around the Park. And mentoring isn’t just for kids. Everyone from young children to teenagers to adults need encouragement and support on the journey to becoming our future conservation leaders. There are many ways you can help. Trout-in-the-Classroom, Trout Camp, 5 Rivers Program (college students) and our veterans (Project Healing Waters) are just some of our activities that you might consider volunteering your time.

Last month, the Little River Chapter Board of Directors unanimously voted to support a Project Healing Waters program for Maryville / Blount County. This new program is a natural growth out of the very successful Knoxville area PHW program. Success breeds success, so there will be new opportunities for our local vet’s to participate. I’m pleased that our Chapter will be supporting PHW.

Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped make our annual Little River Cleanup a success. We had 35 volunteers from our chapter, the Great Smoky Mountain Chapter, as well as students from UT. Thanks for everyone who helped and a special thanks to John Reinhardt for all his culinary skills in preparing lunch. The rain held off for the cleanup and lunch, though some of us got soaked afterwards in a downpour while fishing on the Little River. Of course, my rain jacket was in the truck!

Congratulations to Steve Moore for being named to the inaugural “100 Most Influential People in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park History”. This honor is well deserved.

Dr. Michael Freake of Lee University will be this month’s speaker at the May 26 meeting. The topic will be on hellbenders and the environmental challenges they face in here east Tennessee. We will again meet at Calhoun’s in Maryville. I love this time of the year. It’s a great time to get out into the Park. I hope to see you at the May meeting and out on a stream.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.