FTTU Summer Picnic
The Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited held its summer picnic for members, family and friends on Saturday, July 16th at Kingston Veterans & Sportsmen Club, east of Latrobe. Because of the Covid pandemic and related restrictions, this was the first picnic of its kind since 2019. It was a treat to be outdoors to enjoy both the summer weather and the camaraderie of family and friends.
There were raffle prizes, including a Yeti cooler, adult size fly rods and several fishing rod/reel combinations for the kids. The event also included a “swap” where used and excess fishing and fly-tying gear was sold. Activities for kids included painting wood cutouts of trout and tying a “crazy fly” with paperclips, pipe cleaners and hackle.
Adults tested their fly-casting skills on a par-3 casting course. And bean bags were constantly flying through the air on the corn hole courses. A buffet lunch was catered by Forks Inn, Ligonier and a trout decorated cake was provided by the Laughlintown Pie Shoppe.
Attendees enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere and opportunity to meet new friends and chat with some they had not seen for a couple of years. Some of the students from Ligonier Valley Middle School’s Outdoor Club, which the chapter interacts with, attended and were able to purchase used fly rod and reel combos at drastically reduced prices.
TU extends a special thank you to our partner Kingston Veterans & Sportsmen Club for hosting us.
Congratulations to the Raffle Winners
This month’s meeting will feature representatives from local organizations who will speak on conservation work in our area. Represented at the meeting will be The Loyalhanna Watershed Association, Powdermill Nature Reserve, Linn Run State Park, Ligonier Township, PA Fish & Boat Commission and The Westmoreland Conservation District.
Here’s a rare opportunity to get up-to-date information on conservation efforts in our local area.
Meeting starts at 6:00 pm at the Nimick Education Center in Ligonier on Wednesday, April 6, 2022. See the side-bar for directions.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!
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.