President’s Note – March 2024

The Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited has grown significantly from the original seventeen (17) members who founded the Chapter in 1992 to over 270 members today. During this time, the mission of the Chapter to conserve, protect, and restore the coldwater fisheries and their watersheds in and around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has remained constant. Accompanying this growth in membership has been an expansion in the diversity of our volunteer activities to include Trout in the Classroom, Pistol Creek Clean-up, and most recently Aquatic Organism Passage (AOP) Barrier Surveys.

In order to better support our increasing number of volunteer projects, the LRCTU Board of Directors has expanded the responsibilities of the Vice President, currently Bernie Maloy, to include the role of Director of Volunteer Operations. In this role, the Vice President will work directly with each Chapter Volunteer Coordinator to ensure frequent and consistent communication with our membership and volunteer base, and to provide a single point-of-contact for our new members to learn about volunteer opportunities. If you have any questions or interest in our volunteer opportunities, feel free to contact Bernie Maloy (52bazzman@gmail.com) or any of the volunteer coordinators listed below.

Tennessee GSMNP Fisheries – Richard Barnes (canceleer1@gmail.com)
Trout in the Classroom – Kim Emery (kim@topshelfedu.com)
Pistol Creek Clean-Up – Ernie Frey (ernest.frey@comcast.net)
AOP Barrier Surveys – Bernie Maloy (52bazzman@gmail.com)
Norton Creek Projects – Daniel Spradlin (danielspradlin93@gmail.com)

The March Chapter Meeting is our annual business meeting and will include a feature presentation from Headwaters Outfitters on fishing small mountain streams. The business portion of the meeting will be brief and is limited to election of officers and board members and a financial summary. The point is, do not avoid the Chapter meeting because of the word “business.” Headwaters Outfitters, located on the banks of the North Fork of the French Broad River near Rosman, NC, was a significant contributor to our on-line auction and will give us the western North Carolina perspective on small stream fishing.

Bob Bishop
President

March 2024 Newsletter

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President’s Note – February 2024

The LRCTU Board of Directors approved a $10,000 donation to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) Fisheries Department.  Over $9,000 of this donation is proceeds from the LRCTU Auction and the remaining amount is from monetary contributions from members and the Chapter’s general fund.  Thanks to everyone for supporting the auction and generously volunteering for a variety of Chapter projects.  

The annual GSMNP Fisheries Department Volunteer’s meeting will be held at Twin Creeks Science Center on February 17 at 9:00 a.m.  Matt Kulp, GSMNP Supervisory Fisheries Biologist, will summarize the results of last year’s projects and discuss volunteer opportunities with the Fisheries Department in the coming year.  Volunteer opportunities will include water sampling in support of acid deposition studies, index of biotic integrity stream surveys, brook trout restoration and monitoring, and stream barrier surveys supporting aquatic organism passage studies.  At the conclusion of this meeting, the Chapter will present the $10,000 donation from the Little River Chapter to the GSMNP Fisheries Department.  

Bob Bishop
President

February 2024 Newsletter

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President’s Note – January 2024

Trout Unlimited is introducing a new program this year referred to as “Priority Waters” https://prioritywaters.tu.org/.  As defined by TU, “Priority Waters are the rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds across the country where Trout Unlimited is directing our energies to care for and recover wild and native trout and salmon watersheds.”  You can access the maps of rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds by clicking on that link.  All streams in Great Smoky Mountains National Park are considered priority waters by Trout Unlimited.  This designation reinforces the importance of the mission of Little River Chapter “to conserve, protect and restore the coldwater fisheries and their watersheds in and around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.”  Trout Unlimted specifically mentions the 115 Stream Barrier Surveys accomplished by LRCTU members and the Brook Trout specialty license plates as the two initiatives in Tennesee directly supporting Priority Waters.  If you are interested in working on a Stream Barrier Survey team contact Bernie Maloy (52bazzman@gmail.com).

Brook trout license plates are more than a pretty picture.  These specialty license plate sales have created over $100,000 of annual funding that go directly to the Tennessee Council of Trout Unlimited.  These funds are then available as grant money for projects sponsored by local TU Chapters.  LRCTU was awarded an $11,510 grant for Brook Trout Population Genetic Assessments in GSMNP.  Please consider purchasing a brook trout specialty plate the next time you register your vehicle.

Our Chapter is fortunate to be located in an area with numerous opportunities to volunteer for conservation, community science, and youth education projects. Opportunities include assisting the GSMNP Fisheries Department with their work in the national park, Stream Barrier Surveys in GSMNP, Trout in the Classroom, and the John Thurman Trout Adventure Camp.  Matt Kulp, GSMNP Supervisory Fisheries Biologist, will be holding the annual Fisheries Department volunteer meeting at Twin Creeks Science Center on February 17 at 9:00 a.m.  Additional information on this meeting is provided in the newsletter under “Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities.”

The Spring session of Trout in the Classroom begins on February 1st with the delivery of about 200 eggs to each participating school.  The magnitude of the Trout in the Classroom program is only limited by the size of our volunteer base.  If you are interested in becoming involved in the TIC program, contact Kim Emery (kim@topshelfedu.com).

The first Chapter meeting of the year will be held on Wednesday (yes, it’s a Wednesday), January 24 at the Bluetick Tavern in Maryville.  Matt Kulp, Supervisory Fisheries Biologist for GSMNP, will be the featured speaker.  You will not want to miss Matt’s annual update on GSMNP fisheries projects.  The Chapter will also be presenting a donation to the GSMNP Fisheries Department of $9,794!

January 2024 Newsletter

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