Posted in Youth Education

Wildlife Leadership Academy Now Accepting Nominations

The Wildlife Leadership Academy is currently seeking referrals of motivated students ages 14 to 17 to become Certified Conservation Ambassadors. Nominations are now being accepted online at Letters will be sent to nominated students with an invitation to apply to the 2022 program.

Nominated students should have demonstrated interest in wildlife and/or fisheries conservation. Accepted nominees will become certified Conservation Ambassadors through attending a 5-day residential summer field schools which focuses on a particular wildlife species, including white-tailed deer, bass, brook trout, turkey and bear. Students in each field school will gain extensive knowledge about natural resource conservation, leadership experience, and communication skills.

Applicants may be nominated by an adult who knows them well, but is not a relative (teacher, school counselor, Envirothon advisor, employer, youth group leader, etc.).

As Conservation Ambassadors, students can receive a letter of a recommendation for college applications; certification of community service work, and a certificate designating them as Conservation Ambassadors.  Students are also eligible to apply for three college credits through Cedar Crest College, return to the Academy tuition free the following year, compete for college scholarships, and join an Academy Alumni Network of wildlife, fisheries, and conservation professionals.

Academy Alumni and Conservation Ambassador Aubree Reiter of Blair County describes her participation in the program as an “absolutely amazing experience”.

She shared, “Everything was absolutely amazing. The people we met were extraordinary and the amount of information we obtained was just mind boggling. I still talk about my experience to my family and I am constantly referencing my notes. I can’t wait for my future!  The field school reached beyond my expectations.”

The mission of the Wildlife Leadership Academy is to engage and empower high school age youth to become Conservation Ambassadors to ensure a sustained wildlife, fisheries and natural resource legacy for future generations. The Academy, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is a cooperative initiative involving state agencies and conservation organizations.

FTTU Youth Group members have attended the academy in the past and it is well worth while. The WLA has a coldwater conservation program called “PA Brookies”.


Posted in Trout Trail

Grant Provided for Laurel Highlands Trout Trail

Check Presentation
Ed Barger, Penn’s Woods West Chapter Treasurer presents the grant check to Larry Myers, President of Forbes Trail TU. L-R: Monty Murty, FTTU Treasurer; Larry Myers; Bryan Mathie, PWWTU President and Ed Barger.

The Penn’s Woods West Chapter of Trout Unlimited presented a $3,900 check to fellow Forbes Trail Chapter for an ecotourism project called “Laurel Highlands Trout Trail”. The purpose is to guide fly fishers to premier trout streams in the Chestnut and Laurel Ridges region of southwest Pennsylvania. The streams will be selected by experienced fly fishers from several TU chapters. All streams will be within what is designated the Laurel Highland Landscape by the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau and the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. It’s an opportunity to share their favorite fishing spots with fellow anglers, while helping small support businesses in the region such as tackle shops, restaurants, gas stations and motels.

The other TU chapters participating in this initiative are Chestnut Ridge, Ken Sink and Mountain Laurel. The group will also partner with University of Pittsburgh Johnstown (UPJ), Business School under the direction of Dr. Skip Glenn. UPJ initially helped design a web site and in the second phase will help develop a marketing plan and brochure for the initiative.

In spring 2022, volunteers will install interpretive signs in parking areas along all of the selected streams to identify them as part of the Trout Trail. QR codes on the signs will direct readers to a web site where more detailed information about the Trout Trail and TU chapters can be found.

The original Laurel Highlands Trout Trail project was initiated in 2012 in partnership with the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau, and the local Chambers of Commerce. A website and promotional brochure were developed but the initiative was not being financially maintained by the partners. Forbes Trail TU eventually bought the intellectual properties of the initiative. With the assistance of UPJ in the spring of 2021, the web site message and technology were re-visioned toward trout fishing ecotourism focused on the coldwater conservation and outreach missions of Trout Unlimited. That web site can currently be accessed via and clicking on the link at the top of the home page.

For more information about Forbes Trail Chapter activities, and to view photos of recent events, visit our web site at  Additional information about Penns Woods West Chapter activities and events can be found on their web site at.




Posted in Citizen Science Rock Run

Rock Run Water Tests January 2022

Rock Run
Mouth of Rock Run January 2, 2022

Several days of rain brought the highest flows since January of 2021.

Air Temperature: 44° F
Water Temperature: 47° F
Linn Run Discharge: 48.9 Ft³/sec
Linn Run Gauge: 2.52 ft.
pH: 7.4
Alkalinity: 3.3
















Posted in Fund Raising

FTTU Fufills Promise with Donation to Westmoreland Food Bank

Check Presentation
Forbes Trail TU officers present check to Westmoreland Food Bank. L to R Monty Murty (Treasurer), Scott Minster (Secretary), Denny Hess (Vice President) and Lauren Hill, Director of Development for WFB.

Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited (TU) recently presented a $600 check to the Westmoreland Food Bank to help those in local communities in need of food. Through its annual, fall meat raffle, TU gave away eight $250 gift cards for Bardines Smokehouse in Crabtree. TU members sold over 800 raffle tickets at $10 each to friends and family members throughout Westmoreland County. The eight winning numbers were drawn on November 17th and the gift cards were delivered shortly thereafter. TU donated 10% of the raffle profits to the Food Bank.

“We are grateful to Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited for their true act of selfless giving,” said Jennifer Miller, CEO of the Westmoreland Food Bank. “If it were not for the community and their generosity, we would not be able to do what we do best and that is feed people and nourish lives.”

“This is an easy way for our chapter to raise unrestricted funds for community, school and local stream projects” noted Larry Myers, Chapter President. “It’s an opportunity for all of our 600 members to get involved in fundraising with minimal effort.” This is the second year that Forbes Trail partnered with Bardines and the Food Bank on the meat raffle. We gave away one gift card for every 100 tickets sold, which are really good odds. “Knowing that each ticket purchased helps those in need of food makes the selling very easy.” said Myers. “There are many families in our communities who could use a helping hand, and the raffle is a simple means for us to provide that support.”



Posted in Citizen Science Rock Run

Year End Rock Run Water Tests

Mouth of Rock Run
The Mouth of Rock Run 11-27-21

Icy temperatures and the first dusting of snow greeted the testers as the final water sampling at the mouth of Rock Run for 2021 was done on Saturday, November 27.

Air Temperature: 25° F
Water Temperature: 34.5°F
Linn Run Discharge: 7.95 ft³/sec
Linn Run Gauge: 1.76 ft.
pH: 7.7
Alkalinity: 7.8

The final averages for the year are 7.43 pH and 7.03 alkalinity. These are the best averages we’ve recorded since we began taking monthly readings in 2017.
2017-2018: pH-6.47, Alkalinity-5.9
2018-2019: pH-6.5, Alkalinity-6.1
2019: pH-6.5, Alkalinity-6.2
2020: pH-6.88, Alkalinity-5.92
2021: pH-7.43, Alkalinity-7.03

Plans are to add limestone to the headwaters in 2022.

Click Here Rock Run pH Chart 2021 for the complete 2021 chart.





Posted in Youth Education

Rivers Youth Camp Registration Now Open

Rivers Camp LogoThe 27th annual Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp will be held June 19-24, 2022. The camp will be at Messiah University in Grantham, PA. It begins on Sunday and ends the following Friday. Admission is limited to 24 selected qualified students from 14 to 17 years of age.

Applications will be accepted now through December 31. Applying via the camp website is preferred. Students selected for the early acceptance will be notified in early January 2022. Applicants who apply during the regular application period of January 1, 2022, through February 28, 2022, will be notified in early March 2022.

The camp tuition is $550 per student. There is no cost to apply, and no money is required until a student is accepted. Financial aid may be available to qualified students. All meals and accommodations are included for the residence camp. The highly structured curriculum is based on college level classes. Students are instructed in ecology, aquatic biology, geology, hydrogeology, erosion and sediment control, ichthyology, riparian corridor protection, watershed management, entomology, and much more. Students also participate in a hands-on stream habitat improvement project.

But it’s not all work. There are 10 fishing sessions, casting, and fishing instruction and fly-tying classes. Over 25 instructors, all experts in their field, teach the various classes. A student doesn’t have to be an accomplished fly fisher or a budding aquatic biologist to attend. The student only needs to be highly motivated and willing to learn.

For more information, a camp brochure, or to apply, visit the camp website at Be sure to watch the camp video there or join us on Facebook . Questions may be submitted at the website or via email to

Forbes Trail TU would like to sponsor at least one area youth to attend the camp. If you know of a deserving student, contact us at


Posted in Citizen Science Conservation Linn Run

Linn Run Cold Water Conservation Plan Update

Kick Net
Elizabeth Bruner inspects rock for aquatic organisms while Luke Sanner collects bugs in his net as they are flushed downstream.

Forbes Trail members and local volunteers wrapped up three days of water quality sampling and macroinvertebrate (trout bugs) studies on Linn Run and its tributaries in mid-November. They enjoyed beautiful weather for two of the days. But, the last day of macro, they had to deal with rain, falling temperatures and working under a dark pavilion to sort and identify the bugs. All in all, they collected a large quantity and wide assortment of bugs and the water quality in the stream is looking good.

Andrea Kautz from Powdermill Nature Reserve and Josh Penatzer from Loyalhanna Watershed Association were the bug experts assisting volunteers with sorting and making correct identifications. Strict protocols have to be followed for collecting the bugs from the stream, including the length of stream sampled, how long to kick the stream rocks and debris, and specific mesh nets to be used. The sorting and identification is a very tedious and eye-straining activity. Many of the bugs must be picked from leaf packs with tweezers.

Water quality samples were first analyzed stream-side by TU members for a number of parameters including pH, alkalinity and dissolved oxygen. Duplicate samples are being analyzed at St. Vincent College for additional parameters using a Microwave Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrophotometer. Analyses there include nitrates, phosphates and metals. Collectively the results will tell the overall health of the stream and its ability to support wild trout.

We thank all of the TU members and volunteers who gave of their time and talents to complete this portion of the study. We’ve had several volunteers from the PA Master Naturalist program offer their skills and expertise over the past year. We offer a special thank you to Elizabeth Bruner who is a 4-H and TU member and homeschooled senior from Blairsville, and Luke Sanner, 4-H member and sophomore at Hempfield High School for their participation. We are pleased to see the younger generation taking such an interest in coldwater conservation projects.




Posted in Fund Raising

Autumn Special Meat Raffle Drawing

Raffle Drawing
FTTU Officers/Directors with winning raffle tickets. L to R: Monty Murty, Treasurer; Larry Myers, President; Doug Yocabet, Director; Milt Claney, Director.

The drawing for this year’s FTTU fund-raising raffle was held this evening at the PA Fly Co fly shop on Route 31 in Acme PA.
With some last minute entries, we sold a total of 841 tickets, 324 more than last year! That means we drew 8 winning numbers.

And the winning numbers are…


If you possess one of the winning tickets, you should have already been contacted. Check your voice mail!
The winners will receive one $250.00 Bardine’s gift certificate each.

The drawing was held live on Facebook. Here’s a link to the video. Raffle Drawing.

This year’s raffle was a huge success. FTTU would like to thank all of you for purchasing and selling tickets.


Posted in Fund Raising

Raffle Ticket Sales Final Report

Exploding ThermometerWith the drawing to be held Wednesday, November 17, we are at 773 tickets sold, 256 more than last year’s total of 517. This means that we will draw for seven $250 Bardine’s Gift Certificate prizes!
Catch the drawing live on our Facebook page on Wednesday at 6:00 pm, winners will be notified immediately after the drawing.

FTTU would like to thank members and friends who bought or sold tickets this year making our Autumn Special Meat Raffle a huge success.









Posted in Fund Raising

Raffle Ticket Sales Update

Progress ThermometerRaffle ticket sales are still brisk with a few more days to the deadline. As of November 9, we are at 616 tickets sold, almost 100 tickets better than last year’s total of 517. If you haven’t sent in your tickets, do so now, the deadline is Friday, November 12, 2021. You can also purchase tickets at Bardine’s Smokehouse. We will draw for one $250 Bardine’s Smokehouse gift certificate prize for each 100 tickets sold. That means we will be awarding at least 6 prizes this year!

In addition, 10% of our profits will be donated to the Westmoreland Food Bank helping those less fortunate here in our local area.

A huge THANK YOU to all who have purchased and/or sold tickets. Many members are buying/selling all 10 tickets included in the mailing!

This is the chapter’s only fundraising activity for the year. A chance for us to raise unrestricted funds for use wherever the needs may be. From everyday chapter business such as insurance, postage and newsletter costs to filling in the gaps not covered by grants for our many projects – Linn Run Conservation Plan, Rock Run restoration, Veterans Service, Education and more.