Welcome to Vanguard Chapter, Trout Unlimited
Welcome From Larry Butts, President Vanguard Chapter
Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and Happy New Year! May the season find you healthy, happy and warm with our best wishes for 2016.
Our membership has grown significantly this year and our activities are growing with environmental projects, education, fly tying and activism in support of conservation in our state and our communities.
As you know the sale of Raffle Tickets, to be drawn and the annual Midwest Fly Fishing Expo in March is our major fund raising effort, with the money going to support our conservation projects and educational efforts. This year we will have three drawings and three prizes. The first drawing is for a weekend for two at the AuSable Riverview Lodge and Cabins, across from McMasters Bridge and was donated by them. The second drawing is for a Simms Headwaters Hip Pack donated by the Old AuSable Fly shop. The third drawing is for a framed matted print donated by the artist, Becca Schlaff.
In addition to our annual project in the Pigeon River area, this past year we worked with Clinton River Watershed Council to complete a survey of the gear restricted section of Paint Creek and have conducted two projects to remove large blockages from fallen trees. This next season we plan to do more projects in the Paint Creek and in our home waters. This is why I am asking each and every member to purchase a raffle ticket or two to help us raise the necessary funds for this work. For your convenience you can purchase these on-line through pay-pal and at our monthly meetings. Details are available on our website.
In our last Trout Times we brought the issues surrounding Aquaculture or ìFish Farmingî. It is a real problem and it is moving forward with strong backing from the state agriculture people despite concerns raised by conservation groups and our state DNR. I would encourage you to look into the data on this and in particular the problems that Canadian operators have had with these operations from genetically engineered fish escaping and competing with wild fish for food and resources. The effluent of feces, uneaten food pellets and antibiotics are flushed into the streams and rivers damaging the environment. Another issue on our radar involves a bill in the House of Representatives for Hydropower Licensing; Bill HR 8 would allow developers to skirt natural resource protections. Hydropower is a valuable resource but it must be managed in concert with protection for fish, wildlife and water quality. If your research causes you to agree with our concerns I would encourage you to write your state representatives and make your voice heard.
The mission of Michigan Trout Unlimited (MITU) is to conserve, protect and restore the cold water fisheries and their watersheds of Michigan.
I would like to welcome you to Trout Unlimited and the Vanguard Chapter. We have an active calendar this year in support of this mission and plan to expand our work in the areas of stream restoration and conservation, education programs and financial support of these projects. This work not only repairs the damage done to our rivers and streams by urban growth and the logging industry almost 100 years ago, it seeks to reconnect miles of river that have been disrupted by dams that in many cases are no longer in use and have fallen into dangerous disrepair. In an era of climate change this work helps to reduce the temperature of these waters to better ensure the survivability of trout and other species that depend on cold, clear water.
In partnership with other TU chapters, the Clinton River Watershed Council, the Michigan DNR, the Upper Black River Council and several other wildlife & fisheries organizations volunteers from the Vanguard Chapter have made significant improvements to coldwater fisheries throughout the state of Michigan and in particular our home waters of Southeastern Michigan. In addition to our local efforts, Trout Unlimited National (TUNA) is establishing offices in Michigan as a base to direct efforts to protect our great lakes and large scale projects within Michigan that impact the region as a whole.
Most of us are drawn to conservation through our love of the outdoors and our love of nature. It is not uncommon for us to enjoy fishing after our work is done and we continue to do the work so that our children will be able to do so as well. We invite you all to join us in our work, either as a volunteer on one of our projects or through your financial contributions. Both are needed as there is still much to do.
Please see our calendar of events for our meeting times and upcoming projects.