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Meeting Minutes – February 10, 2010

Little Elkhart Chapter of Trout Unlimited

Meeting Minutes February 10, 2010

Mike Beachy called the meeting to order.

Meeting Attendees

Wayne Andrews Bob Hagin Chris Miller

Mike Beachy Brandon Rasler Cliff Buell

Don Fiwek Lee Troyer Lynn Roose

Leonard Gustin Adam Wallace Tom Enright

Jim Phillips

Meeting Minutes

The minutes from last month were approved.

Fishing Reports

Some of the members reported both browns and rainbows being caught during January.  Mike Beachy caught a 22 inch brown.

Treasurer’s Report

Don Fiwek reported our balance at $7,064.90. We have no open accounts payable as all bills are paid.  We have also received enough in Adopt-A-Trout ticket sales thus far to cover our expenses so all future ticket sales will go directly to trout purchase.

Communications

Brandon reported that a newsletter will be going out soon.

There is also a link to the Asian Carp web site on our web site.

Brandon is working on the technology of getting a photo gallery set up for our web site.

Adopt-A-Trout Raffle

Members are encouraged to keep selling tickets for the raffle.

Brown Trout Stocking

Jim Phillips reported that we have reserved 500 brown trout.  We will be buying the larger ones like we did last year.  Jim is working on the necessary permits.  We plan to release the fish on May 10th.

Youth Education

Mike Beachy reported that we will not be working with the 4-H Fishing Club in March as previously planned.  This will have to be moved to a later schedule.

Programs:

Ø Carmel Orvis Program

Mike Beachy will be giving a presentation at the Carmel Orvis store on our Trout Unlimited Chapter on Saturday, February 27th. Brandon Rasler and Leonard Gustin will also attend.

Ø Indiana Fly Casters – They have contacted us to put on a program for their club.  They also meet on the second Wednesday of the month.  They have openings for a program in May, June, July, Sept, October and November.  Because of our activity schedule, Mike Beachy stated that he would prefer doing this later in the year.

Ø Lunkers Extravaganza – They have asked us to do fly tying demonstrations at this year’s event.  Mike Beachy and Brandon Rasler have volunteered.  The event is scheduled for March 5 – 7.

Ø Middlebury Riverfest – Tom Enright of the Middlebury Parks and Recreation Department reported that they plan to have a Riverfest this year on June 26th.  There will be a number of activities planned.  He invited LECTU to also participate.  Tom received a positive response from the LECTU members.

Ø Shipshewana Taste of Summer – This is an annual event that is held in Shipshewana with various activities.  It is scheduled for May 23rd and they expect 4,000 plus visitors.  Booths are free to non-profit organizations and any tickets we sell ahead of time ($5.00), we keep one-half.  It was suggested that we think about this and discuss at the March meeting.

Annual Spring Outing

Tom Park of Noblesville will be tying soft hackle flies.

Jeff Stanifer will be demonstrating European nymphing techniques.

The LL Bean order has been sent in.

Flymasters will make a donation if we can provide an event poster to them.  Mike will deliver it when he is at Orvis this month.

The materials for the casting course have been acquired.

New Business

TU Training

There will be a stream restoration training clinic on March 20 – 21 at Westby, Wisconsin.  Mike Beachy and Chris Miller are interested in attending.

TU Stream Clean-up

TU is sponsoring a National Stream Clean-up on April 17th and June 26th.  There will be prizes for the number of volunteers and the amount of material removed.

Supplemental Feeding of Trout

Jim Phillips made a comprehensive presentation in relation to the supplemental feeding of trout in the catch and release section.  His overall objective is to increase the number of trout in that section of the stream.  He stated that with supplemental feeding, the trout will become more readily established in that stretch of the stream rather than migrate to other sections.  The process would involve feeding twice a day for the first two weeks and then twice a week for the rest of the year.  He is asking that LECTU formally adopt a supplemental feeding program.

Mike Beachy stated that according to Neil Ledet and Bill James, it is legal to feed the trout in the Little Elkhart.  However, they feel it will have little benefit and that the key is habitat and suggest that is where our emphasis should be.

Mike also contacted National Trout Unlimited.  TU supports wild trout, and while they do not specifically support stocking programs, they realize that is unavoidable in certain circumstances.  TU does not have any formal policy on supplemental feeding but suggest using management practices that support as close to a natural environment as possible.

All the members at the meeting were given a chance to give their thoughts on the subject.  There were five members that were strongly against any form of supplemental feeding.  Some of the reasons stated were public perception, ethics and a possible hindrance in ongoing relationships with the IDNR.

There were four members that would not be against supplemental feeding during the first week or two of the trout being released, but no one stated that the process should be endorsed by LECTU. Chris Miller stated that he fed 25 browns that were released on his property last year, but he would not repeat that practice in the future.

A LECTU board meeting was held after the membership meeting to determine the next steps to come to closure on supplemental feeding.  It was determined relatively quickly that it was pretty obvious that the members did not want LECTU to have a supplemental feeding program. Since no motion was ever made for or against supplemental feeding, the matter has been dropped.

Next MeetingMarch 10, 2010 at 7:00 PM at the Middlebury Library

Lee Troyer – Secretary