Another exciting year has begun for our Trout Unlimited chapter. If our first membership meeting on January 14th is any indication, 2009 will be equally interesting and successful. Twenty-six chapter members attended this information-packed session. Here’s what took place at our recent meeting:

  1. We were advised that our chapter received considerable recognition for our efforts in 2008 at Washington State’s annual meeting. We received three awards. Most noteworthy, the Jerry Pavletich Award as the “most outstanding chapter” in WA state this year. Additionally, the “Silver Trout Award” was given as we were recognized for the most outstanding chapter project in Washington State. Our Icicle Valley Chapter was also recognized with the “membership award” for 2009’s greatest net increase in chapter membership.

  2. Our ICTU chapter will be hosting our state council meeting in May (15th & 16th) here in Leavenworth. Our very own Rollie Schmitten will be addressing the group. All chapter members are welcome to attend. More specific information will follow.

  3. A number of our chapter members are involved in helping to initiate legislation to be introduced by Linda Evans Parlette addressing the Upper Columbia River Fisheries. In light of the state budget reductions (- $40,000,000) for the WDFW, additional funding needs to be developed by “user groups” in order to support and enhance our fisheries. A five year pilot program has been proposed to establish a “salmon and steelhead stamp” for this purpose. This $15 stamp will be required to fish for Upper Columbia salmon and steelhead. These stamps, it is estimated, will generate $300,000 in revenue that will help the WDFW in working toward enhancing recreational fishing activities.

  4. Chelan County Commissioner, Keith Goehner, addressed our group focusing on the county’s land exchange and eco-stewardship programs. An in-depth presentation was given by Mike Kane of Chelan Co. Natural Resources Department featuring their department’s habitat improvement projects completed in 2008 and planned for 2009.

  5. Fred Kunzmann of Wenatchee Valley Fly Fishers presented his findings regarding Wenatchee River access via public easements. Additional information will follow. 

  6. Our chapter’s activities in developing a steelhead acclimation pond at Blackbird Island on the Wenatchee River in Leavenworth are continuing to progress. More information will follow regarding volunteer activities for some “hands-on” work in enhancing our local fisheries.

Please check-out your chapter’s activities on our Web site @ You will be proud of what we have accomplished as an organization.

Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, February 11th at Kristall's in Leavenworth. Plan to attend. Our program will include a presentation on the potential effects on Bristol Bay fisheries if planned mining proceeds.