FTTU recently assisted approximately 120, 6th grade students from Ligonier Valley Middle School in releasing brook trout they raised in their classroom over the winter. The event was part of an all-day field trip focused on ecology with multiple learning stations and activities. The activities were split between Linn Run State Park and Loyalhanna Watershed Association’s Nimick Family Education Center.
This was the culmination of the Trout in the Classroom project for the 2018-19 school year. Students searched under stream rocks and in bundles of water-covered decaying leaves to find and identify bugs that fish feed on. Mr. Ryan Podlucky, LVMS’s Health & Physical Education teacher and sponsor of the Outdoor Club noted, “Our students not only gained insight into what it takes to raise our state fish, the Brook Trout, but they learned so much more. They learned the benefits of wetlands and cold water conservation, bug life and identification, and the importance of a well balanced ecological system.”
The Rivers Conservation Fly Fishing Youth Camp is now taking applications for the 2019 camp. The camp runs from June 16 to June 21 at Messiah College along Yellow Breeches Creek in Grantham Pennsylvania. The camp is open to boys and girls ages 14-17.
Classes include principles of ecology, hydrogeology, wetlands, trout stream entomology, aquatic invertebrates, hydrology, watersheds, the biology of pollution, reptiles and amphibians, trout behavior, and riparian corridors.
Instructors lead streamside programs to collect aquatic invertebrates, review angling history, electro fishing, and conducting field identification of riparian corridors. The Camp provides a balance of instructional material and hands-on learning.
And of course there is fishing every day.
See the Rivers Camp web site for more information and on how to apply.
FTTU will consider sponsoring a local youth who is accepted into the camp.
Don’t delay, applications are accepted through March 31, 2019!
The 2019 FTTU/Ligonier Middle School Youth Fly Fishing and Conservation program got underway on Wednesday, January 9. The first meeting covered an introduction to fly fishing and the kids tied their first fly – a green weenie.
This year, there is also an advanced class for kids who went through the beginners program last year. Both classes are held at the same time in separate rooms.
The classes run from 3:00 to 4:30 pm.
There are 17 kids signed up for the beginners class and 4 in the advanced class.
See the Community Service page for a complete schedule for 2019.
Thanks to the fantastic response from members to our 45th Anniversary fundraiser mailing, we were able to raise over $3,000! The money is being put to work in updating our Youth Group and Trout in the Classroom equipment. The chapter recently purchased a water filtration system and consumable supplies for a new TIC Aquarium being set up at the Ligonier Middle School.
We also purchased fly tying materials and 7 new Regal vises for the Youth Group. Thanks to Regal Engineering for a generous discount on the vises and Clearsource for an equally generous discount on the filtration system.
The TIC aquarium is in progress and the Youth Group will start up at the Ligonier Middle School in January. We plan to address other needs with the picnic earnings such as loaner waders for the kids in the near future.
Volunteers from FTTU were on hand for an educational day on the stream with local junior high school students. Becky Bell, a retired biology teacher with the group Graceful Aging, conducted the session at the Adams Falls area of Linn Run State Park. The kids learned about macroinvertebrates and how to conduct a leaf pack study. Leaves from various species of trees surrounding the stream are placed in mesh bags and anchored in the stream. Macroinvertebrates, which feed on leaf litter, take up residence in the leaf packs. After a period of 3-4 weeks, the students will collect the bags and analyze their contents. We are interested in seeing if the summer flash floods which scoured Linn Run’s stream bed, had an effect on the macro populations. For more info on leaf packs see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCeCj5qu4K4