President’s Note – May 2022


“That Was Gross!… But So Much Fun!!”—A Trout in the Classroom Student after returning a trout to the wild after the ‘fish in the water’ demonstration by GSMNP Fisheries Technician Caleb Samuelson.

Trout in the Classroom Students

It was fun—and not gross!—for those LRCTU Members who participated in one or more of the Trout in the Classroom fish release programs this month. For those who haven’t been involved a complete program includes not only releasing the fish they have carefully nurtured through the semester in their classroom, but a presentation on bugs (“real fish food”), water quality, and some fish that populate a stream, presented by staff from the GSMNP or TVA or TWRA; sometimes we even teach a little fly-casting using practicastors! We presented the program to more than 500 students this spring and joined TU chapters from as many as 35 states passing on the message of conservation to some 100,000 students across the nation. I am proud of our TIC program, and am grateful for Jim Jeswald and Joyce Frey who have developed this program to its current high level. It just needs you to volunteer to help and be rewarded by these enthusiastic students who have been exposed to our conservation message as well as the positive influence that our TU members have exerted through this program. Think about it—Join us!


Our return to live chapter meetings has been very successful; more members have attended each meeting this year than I predicted (we have averaged somewhere around 45-50 members per meeting). This is great but has a down side—we have put a significant strain on the Blue Tick Tavern waitstaff. Because we (me) can’t predict accurately attendance we can’t make an accurate assessment for waitstaff needs. Furthermore, the Blue Tick is still operating short staffed. This combination has led to difficulties with food orders getting to our members in a timely manner which has led to frustrations on both our members and the waitstaff’s part. We have worked with the Blue Tick Management for a solution and have reached what I would view as a compromise. We will be ordering a number of pizzas based on my estimate of attendance; they will have water and tea available. If you want something further to drink, you need to attend the bar. This does create one problem; payment for the pizza. We have to rely on members to chip in some dollars to offset the cost of the pizza; the chapter can’t afford to continually pay for the pizzas (as those who have attended and done so, each member pays his/her own bar tab). Another consideration is that we have guaranteed a $400 minimum (including bar tabs) and $50 tip minimum for each meeting.

I believe the meal, no matter how simple (or minimalist), is an important part of our meeting. It provides time for socialization, meeting new members, and renewing relationships with other members. Also, because we pay no user fee for the room, income from the food service becomes our payment for the facility use. We need your help with offsetting the costs. If you have something to eat we are asking for you to contribute $10. I know some of you are going to say that is an expensive piece of pizza! True perhaps but maybe a small price to pay for a place to renew friendships and learn about some aspect of TU Life.

Please consider this as you attend a meeting. Thanks.

Steve Y

May 2022 Newsletter

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