Rock Run Water Tests 12.2.23
Recent rains have pumped up the volume of Rock Run on this Saturday, the final water test of 2023.
Air Temp – 53° F
Water Temp – 45.5° F
pH – 6.9
Alkalinity – 6.1
Linn Run Discharge – 16.1 ft³/sec
Linn Run Gauge Height – 1.98′
pH and alkalinity averages are down slightly from 2022, but considering a pH reading of 4.7 was recorded at this loctation in 2005 we can rest assured our limestone sand project has had a overall positive impact on the stream.
Officers and Directors Set for 2023-2024
FTTU’s slate of Officers and Directors was set at the Annual Meeting in October. Two Director positions were open with Milt Claney and Bill Somogyi’s terms expiring. Both Milt and Bill agreed to serve another 3-year term. The only other change has Rick Yaksic replacing Denny Hess as Vice President as Denny has decided to step down. Many thanks to Denny for his years of service as an officer. He is passionate about improving the health of Linn Run and Rock Run and will continue on as Chair of the Conservation Committee.
Rick Yaksic is happily married for the past 22 years and retired from Westmoreland Casemanagement and Supports where he ran a program that helped adults with mental illness achieve life skills. This program covered all of Westmoreland County including Torrance State Hospital and inmates in our county jail.
Rick is currently seated as a member of Westmoreland Casemanagement and Supports board of directors.
He is an active member of his church’s council. For the last 15 years Rick has been a member of the Ray of Hope Suicide Awareness Task Force.
Rick has been a fisherman all his life but has only been fly fishing for the past 3 years. Rick also enjoys fly tying and because of an invitation from Larry who attends the same church, became a member of Forbes Trail Trout Unlimited and enjoys helping with all the community events and educational activities as much as possible.
Congratulations Raffle Winners!
FFTU’s annual “Autumn Special” fundraiser drawing was held this evening at the PA Fly Co fly shop near Acme, PA.
We topped out at 801 tickets sold. That meant we drew seven $250 winning numbers with the last draw for $500.
Here are the winning numbers.
and 0602 for the $500 gift card.
Congratulations to all the winners, and a huge thank you to all who bought and sold tickets making this another successful fundraising event.
Chapter Awards Presented at November Meeting
Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited held its monthly meeting last evening at the Nimick Education Center in west Ligonier. Forbes Trail used the event to recognize several outstanding members for their service. The Chapter has a selection of formal awards they present to TU members and other individuals and businesses from the community.
Their Russ Mowry Memorial Silver Trout Award is reserved for individuals who have gone above and beyond in volunteering their time and talents. This year, the award was presented to Angie Schultheis from Latrobe, and Milt Claney from Greensburg.
Angie chair’s the Chapter’s Diversity Committee and also serves on the Board of Directors. Angie has worked very hard over the years to develop programs for both ladies and youth, including STREAM Girls. STREAM Girls is an outdoor watershed experience for middle school aged girls that employs STEM-based education (science, technology, engineering, math), recreation and arts to explore a local stream. She has also organized fly tying, fly casting and fly fishing trips for the Chapter’s lady members. Angie’s entire family is involved in TU activities.
Milt Claney, a TU member since 1989, was also a recipent of our Russ Mowry Memorial Silver Trout Award. Milt is a retired teacher with the Westmoreland IU…but he has never stops teaching. He’s aways looking for new ways for the Chapter to reach out and recruit young conservationists, including starting new programs in local schools. Milt serves on the Chapter’s Membership Committee and is always present at meetings to welcome and introduce new members and guests. Milt also serves on our Board of Directors.
The third award of the evening was the B. Drew Banas Education Award for outstanding service in the field of education and was presented to Joe Bilotta. Joe serves as Chair of the Chapter’s Education Committee. Joe coordinates all of the Chapter’s outreach and education activities with local schools, scouts, 4-H, and community groups and has developed working relationships with each. He also maintains the Chapter’s supply of equipment and materials for various programs.
Forbes Trail applauds the award winners for their dedication to TU’s mission and for their generous donation of time and talent to make all of TU’s programs and activities successful!
2023 Raffle is on!
This year’s FTTU fundraiser has begun. Members have already, or will soon receive their ticket package in the mail. The package contains ten raffle tickets, a letter from our President, and an envelope to return your tickets and payment. We are asking members to buy/sell some or all their tickets to benefit the chapter’s unrestricted funds.
There will be a $250 gift certificate prize drawn for every 100 tickets sold with the last drawing for a $500 prize. The more tickets we sell, the more prizes we will give out. Additionally, 10% of our proceeds will be donated to the Westmoreland County Food Bank.
Fill out the tickets with the purchaser’s name and phone number and send that half of the ticket back to us with a check made out to “Forbes Trail Trout Unlimited” in the envelope provided. Keep the bottom half.
Just discard any unsold tickets.
We ask that you return your tickets by November 11, 2023. The drawing will be held at 6:00 pm November 16, 2023 and you can see it live on FTTU’s Facebook page. We will call the winners immediately after the drawing.
Good Luck to all!
FTTU Receives Awards at PATU Annual Meeting
Larry Myers, FTTU President, was recognized at the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited annual meeting with the Ken Sink Award for Outstanding Service to PA Trout. Larry headed up efforts for a comprehensive study and Cold Water Conservation Plan for the Linn Run Watershed, which was completed earlier this year. He also coordinated 5 TU chapters and secured funding for a relaunch of the Laurel Highlands Trout Trail which is back now better than ever.
Larry commented, “of my 37-year professional career, serving TU is probably my most rewarding assignment. I personally have been blessed to serve with an energetic and talented group of members. Their skills and willingness to serve continues to amaze me.”
Our chapter also received the Samuel Slaymaker Award for best chapter newsletter. Scott Minster has been the editor since 2001!
Treasurer Ron Rodgers represented our chapter at the Annual Meeting held in Bellefonte, PA on September 16, 2023.
Rock Run Water Tests 9.30.23
Here’s the results of water tests at the mouth of Rock Run.
Air Temperature: 59°F
Water Temperature: 56.5°F
Linn Run Gauge: 1.64′
Linn Run Discharge: 3.68 ft.³/sec
The streams had decent flow, but we could use some rain to allow trout to move upstream to spawn.
What an incredible day of fishing and camaraderie as over 40 veterans and first responders hooked and landed trout, panfish and catfish! Military veterans, first responders, Scouts and volunteers from Kinston Veterans Sportsmen Club and Forbes Trail Trout Unlimited celebrated the end of summer with a spectacular day on the water. Unfortunately, the weather was more cooperative than the trout this year. Some of the anglers spent Saturday relaxing and reacquainting with friends. Others took the fishing opportunity more seriously learning how to use a fly rod for the first time and honing their casting skills.
Veteran Fred Exley expressed, “I really want to get more into fly-fishing next year. I borrowed this rod this morning but I need to learn out to reach out further on the water with it.” Steve Shirley from Trout Unlimited was helping Fred with his casting skills, teaching how to transfer the energy from the rod to the shooting line. Trout Unlimited teaches fly fishing to veterans as a means to heal the body and soul.
Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited began its program in 2018 focusing on military veterans. Partnering with Kingston Sportsmen allows ADA access to their lake stocked with trout, lunker catfish and panfish, and easy access to other facilities. This year, for the first time, they extended the invitation to local first responders. “We want to recognize first responder for their brave and dedicated service to the communities where we live”, noted Chapter President, Larry Myers.
Keith Riffle, Club VP and President of the Veterans Committee recruited many of the veterans by visiting numerous VA medical centers, VFWs and American Legions. A veteran himself, Keith explained, “We’ll do whatever it takes to provide a rewarding day on the water for our veterans and first responders.”
This was the first time many of the veterans and first responders participated in this fishing event. For others, it was time for reacquaintances. The purpose of the program is primarily to introduce veterans and first responders to fly fishing for some R&R. But if using a fly rod is not comfortable, mentors assist the veterans using whatever fishing tackle they prefer. Some veterans have actually built their own fly rods and tied their own flies.
For retired Army First Sergeant, Cynthia Butler, this was her second event and would like to see more lady veterans get involved with fishing. Cynthia and several family friends and veterans enjoyed the day, even though the fishing was more challenging this year. The water was still a little warm and the bright sun, while welcoming to the anglers, drove the trout deeper in the lake. Still, every angler said they enjoyed the beautiful fall day and are looking forward to coming back next year. As a bonus, everyone enjoyed a delicious picnic lunch and many won raffle prizes of fly rods, autographed books and gift cards. Westmoreland County Commissioner, Doug Chew was on hand to recognize both military veterans and first responders for their dedicated service to our country and communities.
Other partners were Scout Troops 465 and 305. The Scouts, as in past events, prepared and served lunch for the crowd of 120 veterans, first responders and volunteers. They also opened the event by posting colors and later held a flag retiring ceremony which the veterans appreciated. We thank our event sponsors…Home Depot, three local Giant Eagle Supermarkets, Fish USA and Bent Rods Bait and Tackle.
The partner volunteers look forward to the annual event and enjoy the opportunity to, if even for just one day a year, be able to serve those who served their country. It was another relaxing and rewarding day on the water for all involved. Trout Unlimited salutes our veterans and first responders, and thanks all of our partners and sponsors who made this all happen.