President Mike Beachy called meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
Members in attendance: Wayne Andrews, Mike Beachy, Don Fiwek, Leonard Gustin, Bob Hagen, Eric Wroblewski
Meeting minutes from September 8, 2010 were approved as submitted by Secretary Lee Troyer.
Fishing Reports: Special Guest Neil Ledet, Indiana DNR Regional Fisheries Biologist was on hand to join in on the Fishing Report discussion. Mike Beachy reported catching many small brown trout in the four to five inch range this year and spotting spawning redds this fall. Photos were shown as evidence of natural reproduction. Neil was in agreement that there is more than likely some natural reproduction of brown trout in the Little Elkhart. Neil was given a copy of our trout fishing statistics from 2008 and 2010. Neil relayed that it is okay to continue with LECTU’s brown trout stocking program without submission of any type of formal proposal. Neil also suggested that the State may be taking another look at its trout hatchery program to possibly including brown trout rearing in addition to the rainbow trout and will keep us posted on this issue. Neil commended LECTU on our brown trout stocking program. He suggested that we stay with 500 browns annually for the catch and release area because of length of this section.
Neil then fielded questions on Indiana Fisheries. Discussions included budget cuts, staffing issues, steelhead and salmon runs, Asian carp, boat launches and other miscellaneous issues.
Solomon Creek Project: Mike Beachy reported that on Friday September 10th he removed a small log jam from Marilyn Hodgson’s property on Solomon Creek as she had requested and installed two metal Catch and Release signs at the County Road 33 Bridge. The plastic C&R signs that the State provided had been torn down and the local DNR Conservation Officers had requested that we install metal signage replacements.
Youth Education: On October 5th Mike Beachy put on a fly fishing program for the Elkhart County 4-H Youth Fishing Club. Charlie Ray provided a teaching outline and material hand-outs. Contacts were made with the Clubs leaders and they requested LECTU be on hand at the Clubs summer farm pond outing next year to allow the 4-H members an opportunity for some hands on fly fishing.
Indianapolis Fly Casters: On October 13th Lee Troyer and Mike Beachy represented LECTU in presenting a program to the Indianapolis Fly Casters FFF Club on LECTU and the Little Elkhart River. The Fly Casters were really interested in the history of the Catch and Release waters. They wanted to know how it was accomplished and what it has done for the trout fishery. $60 dollars were raised through the sales of “Fishing Guides” and the IFC donated $200 towards our Brown Trout stocking fund in return for the presentation.
Indiana on the Fly: Saturday January 8, 2011 is the date for Indiana on the Fly fly fishing show in Indianapolis. LECTU once again will be traveling to Indy to have a booth. Patty Beasley has agreed to give LECTU a discounted rate provided we contribute to the program. The suggestion of providing youth casting instructions during the show by our members with the assistance of Charlie Ray is being looked at.
Communications: The summer/fall issue of Trout Lines went out however Brandon Rasler reported having trouble with the Trout Unlimited e mail service getting to all our members.
Treasurers Report: Treasurer Don Fiwek and President Mike Beachy have completed the Annual Financial Report for T.U. National. Don reported that he also has filed the IRS form required for not for profit status. Don reports that at the end of our fiscal year LECTU brought in $672.55 over expenses and presently has a balance of $8075.
Bylaws: T.U. National has requested that all T.U. Chapters revise their bylaws to conform to the national template. Don Fiwek had revised our bylaws last year utilizing the national template therefore we should be okay however Don will review our bylaws compared to the information sent by National to make sure we comply.
Insurance: National T.U. has offered accident insurance to local chapters and requests that if the chapter does not have insurance coverage presently to get some. The cost for the T.U. insurance is $110 per year. Don Fiwek made the motion that LECTU purchase the insurance through the National T.U. and Bob Hagen seconded it. With little discussion the motion passed. Don will fill out the paperwork, submit the form and mail in the premium.
Annual Spring Outing: May 7th is the date for the LECTU Annual Spring Outing. Brandon Rasler will contact Middlebury Parks Department to reserve Riverbend Park for the event.
Adopt-A-Trout Fund Raising: President Mike Beachy is going to donate last year’s Adopt-A-Trout Winston fly rod back to LECTU to use again this year as the Adopt-A-Trout raffle prize. The rod was retained, unused since last year’s drawing specifically for this purpose. Beachy was the winner of the drawing. A new Able reel has been ordered to accompany the rod for this year. Mike will have raffle tickets printed in time for the January Indiana on the Fly show.
Christmas Ham Donation: Christmas Hams will be ordered again this year by Wayne Andrews, as an offering to the property owners along the catch and release section of the Little Elkhart River. We are at the mercy of these property owners for access to the stream and we want to show our appreciation to them for allowing fishermen access. Good relations with property owners can never go far enough. The C&R section of the Little “E” is the heart and soul of our fishery and LECTU has to do everything it can to assure access is provided to our membership.