We were saddened to learn that Tom Evans has passed away. Tom was a charter member of FTTU attending the first meeting in 1973. He was a Director and organized stream improvement projects on Loyalhanna Creek and other area streams from the 70’s through the early 2000’s. After the widening of Rt. 30 in Ligonier and Hurricane Agnes devastated Loyalhanna Creek, Tom Evans helped lead the charge in restoring the creek’s fish habitat and earned FTTU the Golden Trout Award. Much of the good fishing found along Upper Loyalhanna Creek and the Delayed Harvest section in Ligonier is thanks to Tom Evans and early FTTU leaders.
Tom was an avid outdoorsman and was very involved in the community being active with the Ligonier VFD, Meals on Wheels, and many other local organizations in addition to FTTU. Tom Evans was one of those increasingly rare individuals who stepped up to do something when a need arose. He was greatly respected by other FTTU volunteers for his skills and hard work and he will be sorely missed.
The Obituary can be found by clicking HERE
Volunteers from Forbes Trail responded to a request for assistance from Linn Run State Park Manager, Corey Snyder, to treat hemlock trees for an invasive insect. The hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) has been devastating hemlocks forests in the eastern U.S. for several decades. Once they get a foothold, they spread rapidly and within just a few years, a stand of 200-hundred-year-old hemlocks are dead. The insect, believed to have arrived here in the New England and Mid-Atlantic states from Asia around 1920, is spreading quickly through Pennsylvania threatening our state tree.
Of particular concern to FTTU is the effect it could have on our streams. The canopy of hemlocks along Linn Run and its tributaries could be wiped out, allowing the sun to penetrate and warm the stream. Linn Run is classified as a High Quality Coldwater Trout Stream by the PA Fish and Boat Commission. That classification, and of course the fishery and supporting aquatic insect population, are at risk.
One means of control is with predator beetles. But it would take years to establish a population that could naturally control the HWA. On October 14, FTTU volunteers assisted park staff in treating 9,000 inches (measured diameters) of hemlock trees by injecting the insecticide Xytect in the ground at the base of the tree to be absorbed by the root system. Foresters from the Bureau of State Forests measured the diameter of the hemlocks to determine the appropriate dose, then had volunteers inject the chemical into the ground around the base of the trees.
Volunteers were trained on site and told how to protect themselves while using the chemicals. The chemical works systemically by the tree absorbing it through its root system up to the branches and needles where the HWA sucks out the sap. This is a very expensive and labor-intensive operation. But our state tree and historic stands of hemlocks are at stake. Coupled with the impact of warming weather from climate change, our coldwater streams are at high risk. FTTU wants to help do its part. We may be calling for more volunteers in 2022. Corey Snyder expressed the Park’s gratitude for TU’s quick response to this matter. “We couldn’t have completed it this year without your group’s help!”
Members should check their mailboxes for this year’s raffle fundraiser mailing which went out recently. This is the only fundraising activity of the year for our chapter. Unlike grants we apply for that restrict their funds to be used for specific purposes, we need to raise unrestricted funds to keep the chapter running. Each year we incur normal operating expenses such as insurance, postage, meeting expenses, P.O. box rental etc. We also need to keep in touch with members through our newsletter and website, and we send out welcome package mailings to new members, it all adds up. This year we footed the bill for food at the Veterans Fishing Day and supplied rods and tackle for loan and door prizes for the vets. We’d like to do more and you can help by buying/selling raffle tickets. It’s a great deal, the prizes are $250 gift cards for Bardine’s Country Smokehouse just in time for the holidays. Tickets are $10 each and we will draw a $250 gift card prize for every 100 tickets sold. Those are good odds! Last year we gave out 5 cards. In addition, we will donate 10% of our profits to the Westmoreland Food Bank to help those less fortunate here in our home area.
Here’s what’s included the envelope you will receive: two strips of 5 raffle tickets, a letter explaining the raffle, and a pre-addressed return envelope.
• You do not need to be a member to purchase raffle tickets.
• Put the purchaser’s name and phone number on each ticket sold.
• Send the top half of the ticket with the name and phone number to us and keep the bottom half.
• Return the sold ticket stubs along with a check for $10/ticket made out to Forbes Trail TU in the envelope provided.
• If the envelope is lost, our address is FTTU, P.O. Box 370, Youngstown, PA 15696.
• Discard any unsold tickets. No need to send them back.
• Tickets must be received by Friday, November 12, 2021.
• The drawing will be held on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 live on FTTU’s Facebook page.
• Winners will be called immediately after the drawing and winning numbers will be posted here on forbestrailtu.org.
After over two years, we were finally able to get our third veterans fishing day in on October 2. This year, the event was held at the Kingston Club lake near Latrobe and was open to all veterans. We had beautiful fall weather, a chilly morning gave way to a sunny, warm afternoon. FTTU partnered with the Kingston Veterans and Sportsmen’s Club and Project Healing Waters with Boy Scout and Cub Scout troops preparing and serving the food. Lowe’s Latrobe donated the drinks. The lake was stocked with rainbow, brown and brook trout by the Kingston Club and everyone was able to get into some fish. Mentors from FTTU and Project Healing Waters were on hand to net fish and provide assistance to those who needed help fishing. FTTU also provided loaner rods and reels, bait, lures, flies and other fishing tackle. All the veterans received raffle tickets and after lunch, prizes donated by FTTU and the Kingston Club were given out to both the veterans and some scouts.
For a full report and slide show, see the Community Service Page.
The Forbes Trail Chapter officers and directors were set for the coming year at the Annual Meeting in October. A new director, Angela Schultheis was elected to the board and Hank Balles was re-elected – both for three year terms. Angie is also FTTU’s Women’s and Diversity Chair. The line-up of officers remains the same, all have one year remaining on their two-year terms.
Congratulations to Angie and thanks to outgoing director Dr. Lou Izzo.
Directors – 1-year term
Rod Cross – Acme
Doug Yocabet – Acme
Directors – 2-year term
Milt Claney – Greensburg
Ron Rodgers – Greensburg
Directors – 3-year term
Hank Balles – Ligonier
Angela Schultheis – Latrobe
Tom Evans – Ligonier
Ralph Koscianski – Greensburg
Bob Shusko – Ligonier
President – Larry Myers – Greensburg
Vice President – Denny Hess – Irwin
Treasurer – Monty Murty – Laughlintown
Secretary – Scott Minster – Bradenville
Finance – Bob Shusko – Ligonier
Conservation – Denny Hess – Irwin
Rock Run – Ralph Koscianski
Women & Diversity – Angela Schultheis – Latrobe
Loyalhanna Watershed Association Liaison – John Albright – Youngwood
Newsletter/Website – Scott Minster – Bradenville
Facebook/Social Media – Doug Yocabet – Acme, Angela Schultheis – Latrobe
Fundraising – Monty Murty – Laughlintown
Veterans – Larry Myers – Greensburg
Youth Education – OPEN
Education – Rod Cross – Acme
Membership – Bonnie Robinson – Ligonier
Mornings have turned chilly in the Laurel Highlands. Here’s the Rock Run Water test results for October 2, 2021.
Air Temperature: 54° F
Water Temperature: 53.5° F
Linn Run Discharge: 3.99
Linn Run Gauge: 1.55
Our next monthly meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 6 at 6:00 PM and it will be at the Bear Rocks Community Center east of Mt. Pleasant. The Center is on Big Spring Road. Coming from Mt. Pleasant east on Rt. 31, go up 3-mile hill and turn right near the top before a brown building, which is Doug and Michele’s new fly shop, then turn left at the Pizza Shop. Continue to the Bear Rocks Community brown, wooden sign. The club is on the right, parking on the left. We are not requiring masks but some may prefer to wear them.
This is also our Annual Membership Meeting. We will hold an election to fill two vacancies for Directors positions. We have changed the format of our meetings somewhat. The Executive Committee will conduct business in advance of the monthly meetings and report significant decisions to the members. That, we hope, will minimize the length of the business meetings. Committees will still need to be prepared to give their reports and we’ll update members on all upcoming activities. Then, at the end of each meeting we will allow time for socializing and provide light food and soft drinks. This will allow members more time to catch up on fishing and other activities. Our November monthly meeting will be back at the Loyalhanna Watershed barn in Ligonier.
The Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp was back in 2021 after a one-year hiatus due to COVID. This year, FTTU awarded a full sponsorship to local student Nicholas Vargo to attend the camp which ran from June 20th through the 25th at Messiah College along Yellow Breeches Creek in central Pennsylvania. Nicholas gave a short talk and slide show on his experiences at the camp at our September meeting. He said the camp really opened his eyes on the importance of cold water conservation and increased his fly fishing and fly tying skills ten-fold. The camp has college level courses on a variety of topics related to cold water conservation. Nicholas said he particularly enjoyed the electrofishing session which revealed some of the fish species inhabiting Yellow Breeches Creek. The kids had time to fish each day before classes in the morning and again in the evening.
If you know of a deserving young person who would be interested in attending the camp in 2022, contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org. The camp is open to boys and girls aged 14-17 and will be held June 19 – 24, 2022. FTTU would be interested in sponsoring at least one local student.
Good numbers from Rock Run this month. Even though recent storms raised the flow a little, alkalinity increased.
Air Temperature: 75° F
Water Temperature: 67.5° F
Linn Run Gauge: 1.44
Flow: Low and clear.
After an absence due to COVID in 2020, the Military Veterans Fishing Outing is back. This year, it will be held on Saturday, October 2nd from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Kingston Veterans and Sportsmans Club in Latrobe. The event is sponsored by the Kingston Club and FTTU.
The outing is open to all active duty or veterans of the U.S. military. Participants do not need to be disabled, but 30 spots are reserved for disabled vets. The event is free but you will need to register if you would like to take part. To get registered, email us at email@example.com. You can also participate as a mentor or volunteer. For more information on volunteer opportunities, contact us at the same email address.
Fishing will be done on the club’s lake for stocked trout and panfish. No fishing license is required and all tackle will be provided by FTTU. Volunteer mentors will be on hand to provide help for the disabled and instruction to those who would like to learn to fly fish. A grilled lunch will be served by the local Boy Scout Troop.
We have held this event in 2018 and 2019 and it has been an extremely successful and fun day. See the Community Service page for a report from 2019 and a slide show. Hope to see you there!