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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.






Posted in Citizen Science Rock Run

Rock Run Water Tests November 2021

Mouth of Rock Run
The Mouth of Rock Run 10.30.21

Here’s the results of water tests for November 2021 (taken October 30).

Air Temperature: 50° F
Water Temperature: 51º F
Linn Run Discharge: 16.0 ft³/sec
pH: 7.6
Alkalinity: 8.4

Good sign that alkalinity held up pretty well with recent rains and increased flow.

A kick-net survey was also done on the lower section of Rock Run. The survey scored a 28.4 which is in the fair range for a water quality score.

Click here pH Chart 2021 for a complete run down of 2021 water quality tests for Rock Run.









Posted in Citizen Science Conservation Linn Run

Woolly Adelgid Educational Video

Adelgid Eggs
Woolly Adelgid eggs on hemlock branches.

The Woolly Adelgid is an invasive insect pest that threatens and can kill our state tree, the hemlock. Hemlock trees go hand-in-hand with brook trout streams in Pennsylvania.
FTTU’s Ron Miller has put together an excellent video that explains it all and what’s being done to save our hemlocks locally at Linn Run State Park.

Click HERE to see the video.









Posted in Uncategorized

Annual Fundraiser Raffle Underway!

ThermometerIt’s been a little over a week since our raffle tickets arrived in members mailboxes and the early response has been fantastic! Members are really coming through by buying/selling 392 tickets as of Monday November 1st.
Last year, we sold 512 tickets and we are well underway to eclipse that mark. If you are not a member, you can still participate by requesting tickets via email at or tickets can be purchased at Bardine’s Smokehouse in Crabtree, PA. Tickets are $10 each.

We will draw for one $250.00 Bardine’s gift certificate prize for each 100 tickets sold. We’re nearly up to 4 prizes already.

The deadline for submitting tickets is Friday, November 12, so send your tickets in today.






Posted in In Memorium

Tom Evans 1933-2021

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

Tom Evans (5th from left with handlebar mustache) in this 1970’s era photo with other old lions of FTTU including Don Robb, Jim Elliot, Lyle Sherwin, Joe Trumbetta, Chuck Kuchta, Russ Mason and Homer Wehe.




Posted in Conservation Linn Run

TU Helps Treat Hemlocks for Invasive Insects

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!”