FTTU held a volunteer appreciation day on Wednesday, June 29, on Linn Run and invited the local media to attend. A picnic lunch was the chapter’s way of thanking everyone who volunteered their time and services for the study. Demonstrations of electro-shocking and macroinvertebrate collection were conducted. Josh Penatzer, Project Manager for Loyalhanna Watershed Association donned the battery pack and electrodes and probed the waters while volunteers followed with nets. The sampling was abbreviated because the water was low and they didn’t want to stress the wild brook trout. More extensive electro-shocking will be conducted in the spring during higher water flows and fish will be checked for gill lice then released unharmed.
Andrea Kautz, Research Entomologist for Powdermill Nature Reserve instructed volunteers on how to use nets to collect trout bugs. Alongside the stream, she coached the volunteers how to sort and identify the bugs which are indicators of water quality. They captured an assortment of mayflies, caddis flies and stoneflies in a matter of minutes. Both Andrea and Josh supervised the volunteers on June 16th when they sampled 12 sections of Linn Run including the major tributaries.
FTTU received a grant through the Foundation For Pennsylvania Watersheds to do a comprehensive study of the Linn Run Watershed with the end result being a Cold Water Conservation Plan identifying problem areas that can be addressed to improve conditions for the native brook trout inhabiting the watershed.
With assistance from our partners at The Loyalhanna Watershed Association, DCNR/Linn Run State Park, The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Powdermill Nature Reserve, Westmoreland County Conservation District, PA Fish and Boat Commission, The Ligonier Valley School District and our own citizen scientist volunteers, we have so far completed a visual habitat assessment, a macroinvertebrate survey and a water quality analysis. Look for the conservation plan to come out in 2022.
FTTU’s meeting at the Lincoln Highway SupperMarket on June 3 has been canceled along with any chapter activity through the summer.
There will be no summer picnic fundraiser this year.
Our next scheduled event will be our monthly meeting on September 2nd. Check back for more details in August for a time and location.
The 2020 Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Camp scheduled for June 21-26, 2020, has been canceled. The camp was to be held at Messiah College near Yellow Breeches Creek. Messiah has canceled all events at the college through the end of June. We had three students from FTTU’s region accepted into the 2020 camp. All those accepted to the 2020 camp are automatically accepted to the 2021 camp scheduled for June 20-25 provided they inform the camp of their intentions to attend.
FTTU has also canceled our annual stream-side clean up of Loyalhanna Creek in the Delayed Harvest section in Ligonier that was scheduled for May 6, 2020. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, in collaboration with DEP and Penn DoT has postponed the statewide cleanup until fall. We will reschedule our litter cleanup of Loyalhanna Creek for sometime in September. As the pandemic situation improves, and the stay-at-home restrictions are relaxed, we will evaluate options for activities during the summer and early fall. Needless to say, the May meeting is also canceled.
Sad to report that our Veterans Outing scheduled for May 2 at the Kingston Sportsmen’s Club has been canceled and tentatively rescheduled for May, 1, 2021. The family outdoors event scheduled for May 31 at Keystone State Park has also been canceled.
We will not be having a May meeting, but we may go ahead with the litter pick-up on May 6 if Penn Dot will still haul away the trash. We would all have to keep spread out. For now all clean ups are on hold. Check back here for updates.
FTTU officers and directors will be keeping in touch with each other via emails and video conferencing and will continue to plan for the future.
Some good news, two of three area Trout in the Classroom programs have released their fish and the third has the school principal feeding the trout and the fish will be released soon.
Trout fishing is still on but members are encouraged to follow common sense social distancing protocol, travel to the stream in separate cars, and bring your own drinks and lunches. Of course, most of us prefer to get as much space to ourselves as we can on the stream so that’s helpful for proper stream etiquette. See the PAF&BC guidelines in the previous post.
So, until we meet again, be careful, stay healthy and stay informed on FTTU news with forbestrailtu.org.
Spring is almost here! Come celebrate with us at our March meeting where we will feature our popular “Slide Show n Tell”. Bring photos or video of your outdoors adventures and we’ll put them up on the big screen. Anyone can participate and topics from any locale from Loyalhanna Creek to Patagonia are welcome.
You can also learn about ongoing and future FTTU projects. Meeting begins at 6:00 pm, Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at the Nimick Education Center in Ligonier.
The Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Museum will be holding a banquet on Saturday February 29th, 2020 to recognize the influence and contributions of Western Pennsylvania fly anglers. Did you know that the Elk Hair Caddis, used anywhere there are trout, was “invented” by a guy from Monessen named Al Troth? There are many more and the highlight of the evening will be the induction of Chauncy Lively to the museum.
Chauncy Lively was a well known fly tier and fisherman from Greentree, PA and wrote regular fly tying articles for Pennsylvania Angler Magazine. He fished often on Loyalhanna Creek and published a book of fly patterns called Chauncy’s Fly Box.
The banquet will be held the day before the Cabin Fever Show at the Mars Memorial Association, 331 Mars Valencia Road, Mars, Pa. 16046. Doors open at 3:30pm with a cash bar. Appetizers at 4:00pm and dinner at 5:30pm.
The buffet dinner will include: fried chicken, ham, and all the fixins’. The cash bar will be open until 8:30pm. The cost is $30.00 and the deadline for buying tickets is February 22nd, 2020. Tickets can be purchased through the website paflyfishing.org and on Face Book.
There will be fly tying demos, recognition of other WPa. Anglers, live and silent auctions, a museum presentation and the induction of Chauncy into the museum.
Come to the banquet and support the museum’s mission to preserve and celebrate the contributions of anglers from across the entire Keystone state.
FTTU’s November meeting will be held Wednesday, November 6 at 7:00 p.m. at the Nimick Family Education Center in Ligonier.
The topic of our evening presentation will be a roundtable discussion on steelhead fishing in the Erie tributaries led by our own Milt Claney. Milt has a short video of the “Do’s and Don’ts” of steelhead fishing! If you have a favorite steelhead fly pattern, equipment or fishing technique you would like to share with the group, please come prepared. There will be a variety of “war stories” shared, and hopefully we’ll all gain a few tips to make us more successful on the stream!
We will also have updates and discussions regarding programs and activities planned for 2020 during our business meeting. Between in-school fly tying programs, school field days, a veterans’ fishing event and community outdoor programs, there are unlimited ways for you to get involved. We have already received a variety of requests for 2020 activities. You don’t need to be an expert fly-tier or fisher to get involved. There is something for everyone regardless of skill level. This is Forbes Trail’s opportunity to get involved with, and give back to, the communities where we live. You can make a difference in recruiting and training our next generation of coldwater conservationists! In the process, you can enjoy the camaraderie with your fellow Chapter members.
The 2019 picnic was a big success. Thanks to all of you who attended and to all who purchased raffle tickets. The response to our mailing was outstanding, we sold over 600 tickets through the mail again this year. We had more donations of prizes last year, but this year’s profits nearly equaled 2018. The chapter is in excellent financial standing for 2019-20.
Congratulations to the raffle winners
Headwaters Fly Rod with Reel and Line – Ticket #0046 – Jim Shusko – Slickville, PA
$460.00 Cash Jackpot – Ticket #4330 – Hunter Mohan – Greensburg, PA
Regal Vise – Ticket #4865 – Ed Barger – North Huntingdon, PA
Orvis Clearwater Rod – Ticket #4155 – R.P. Rost – Rector, PA
Umpqua Chest Pack – Ticket #1318 – Rod Cross – Acme, PA
Highest Bidder on Bamboo Walking Staff – Aaron Mitchell – Ohio
We are now on summer vacation. We will reconvene at our September meeting on Wednesday, the 4th at 6:00 pm at the Westmoreland Conservation District Barn in Greensburg. The topic will be “All About Ticks & Mosquitoes”.