Chapter Awards Presented at November Meeting
Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited held its monthly meeting last evening at the Nimick Education Center in west Ligonier. Forbes Trail used the event to recognize several outstanding members for their service. The Chapter has a selection of formal awards they present to TU members and other individuals and businesses from the community.
Their Russ Mowry Memorial Silver Trout Award is reserved for individuals who have gone above and beyond in volunteering their time and talents. This year, the award was presented to Angie Schultheis from Latrobe, and Milt Claney from Greensburg.
Angie chair’s the Chapter’s Diversity Committee and also serves on the Board of Directors. Angie has worked very hard over the years to develop programs for both ladies and youth, including STREAM Girls. STREAM Girls is an outdoor watershed experience for middle school aged girls that employs STEM-based education (science, technology, engineering, math), recreation and arts to explore a local stream. She has also organized fly tying, fly casting and fly fishing trips for the Chapter’s lady members. Angie’s entire family is involved in TU activities.
Milt Claney, a TU member since 1989, was also a recipent of our Russ Mowry Memorial Silver Trout Award. Milt is a retired teacher with the Westmoreland IU…but he has never stops teaching. He’s aways looking for new ways for the Chapter to reach out and recruit young conservationists, including starting new programs in local schools. Milt serves on the Chapter’s Membership Committee and is always present at meetings to welcome and introduce new members and guests. Milt also serves on our Board of Directors.
The third award of the evening was the B. Drew Banas Education Award for outstanding service in the field of education and was presented to Joe Bilotta. Joe serves as Chair of the Chapter’s Education Committee. Joe coordinates all of the Chapter’s outreach and education activities with local schools, scouts, 4-H, and community groups and has developed working relationships with each. He also maintains the Chapter’s supply of equipment and materials for various programs.
Forbes Trail applauds the award winners for their dedication to TU’s mission and for their generous donation of time and talent to make all of TU’s programs and activities successful!
2023 Raffle is on!
This year’s FTTU fundraiser has begun. Members have already, or will soon receive their ticket package in the mail. The package contains ten raffle tickets, a letter from our President, and an envelope to return your tickets and payment. We are asking members to buy/sell some or all their tickets to benefit the chapter’s unrestricted funds.
There will be a $250 gift certificate prize drawn for every 100 tickets sold with the last drawing for a $500 prize. The more tickets we sell, the more prizes we will give out. Additionally, 10% of our proceeds will be donated to the Westmoreland County Food Bank.
Fill out the tickets with the purchaser’s name and phone number and send that half of the ticket back to us with a check made out to “Forbes Trail Trout Unlimited” in the envelope provided. Keep the bottom half.
Just discard any unsold tickets.
We ask that you return your tickets by November 11, 2023. The drawing will be held at 6:00 pm November 16, 2023 and you can see it live on FTTU’s Facebook page. We will call the winners immediately after the drawing.
Good Luck to all!
FTTU Receives Awards at PATU Annual Meeting
Larry Myers, FTTU President, was recognized at the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited annual meeting with the Ken Sink Award for Outstanding Service to PA Trout. Larry headed up efforts for a comprehensive study and Cold Water Conservation Plan for the Linn Run Watershed, which was completed earlier this year. He also coordinated 5 TU chapters and secured funding for a relaunch of the Laurel Highlands Trout Trail which is back now better than ever.
Larry commented, “of my 37-year professional career, serving TU is probably my most rewarding assignment. I personally have been blessed to serve with an energetic and talented group of members. Their skills and willingness to serve continues to amaze me.”
Our chapter also received the Samuel Slaymaker Award for best chapter newsletter. Scott Minster has been the editor since 2001!
Treasurer Ron Rodgers represented our chapter at the Annual Meeting held in Bellefonte, PA on September 16, 2023.
Rock Run Water Tests 9.30.23
Here’s the results of water tests at the mouth of Rock Run.
Air Temperature: 59°F
Water Temperature: 56.5°F
Linn Run Gauge: 1.64′
Linn Run Discharge: 3.68 ft.³/sec
The streams had decent flow, but we could use some rain to allow trout to move upstream to spawn.
What an incredible day of fishing and camaraderie as over 40 veterans and first responders hooked and landed trout, panfish and catfish! Military veterans, first responders, Scouts and volunteers from Kinston Veterans Sportsmen Club and Forbes Trail Trout Unlimited celebrated the end of summer with a spectacular day on the water. Unfortunately, the weather was more cooperative than the trout this year. Some of the anglers spent Saturday relaxing and reacquainting with friends. Others took the fishing opportunity more seriously learning how to use a fly rod for the first time and honing their casting skills.
Veteran Fred Exley expressed, “I really want to get more into fly-fishing next year. I borrowed this rod this morning but I need to learn out to reach out further on the water with it.” Steve Shirley from Trout Unlimited was helping Fred with his casting skills, teaching how to transfer the energy from the rod to the shooting line. Trout Unlimited teaches fly fishing to veterans as a means to heal the body and soul.
Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited began its program in 2018 focusing on military veterans. Partnering with Kingston Sportsmen allows ADA access to their lake stocked with trout, lunker catfish and panfish, and easy access to other facilities. This year, for the first time, they extended the invitation to local first responders. “We want to recognize first responder for their brave and dedicated service to the communities where we live”, noted Chapter President, Larry Myers.
Keith Riffle, Club VP and President of the Veterans Committee recruited many of the veterans by visiting numerous VA medical centers, VFWs and American Legions. A veteran himself, Keith explained, “We’ll do whatever it takes to provide a rewarding day on the water for our veterans and first responders.”
This was the first time many of the veterans and first responders participated in this fishing event. For others, it was time for reacquaintances. The purpose of the program is primarily to introduce veterans and first responders to fly fishing for some R&R. But if using a fly rod is not comfortable, mentors assist the veterans using whatever fishing tackle they prefer. Some veterans have actually built their own fly rods and tied their own flies.
For retired Army First Sergeant, Cynthia Butler, this was her second event and would like to see more lady veterans get involved with fishing. Cynthia and several family friends and veterans enjoyed the day, even though the fishing was more challenging this year. The water was still a little warm and the bright sun, while welcoming to the anglers, drove the trout deeper in the lake. Still, every angler said they enjoyed the beautiful fall day and are looking forward to coming back next year. As a bonus, everyone enjoyed a delicious picnic lunch and many won raffle prizes of fly rods, autographed books and gift cards. Westmoreland County Commissioner, Doug Chew was on hand to recognize both military veterans and first responders for their dedicated service to our country and communities.
Other partners were Scout Troops 465 and 305. The Scouts, as in past events, prepared and served lunch for the crowd of 120 veterans, first responders and volunteers. They also opened the event by posting colors and later held a flag retiring ceremony which the veterans appreciated. We thank our event sponsors…Home Depot, three local Giant Eagle Supermarkets, Fish USA and Bent Rods Bait and Tackle.
The partner volunteers look forward to the annual event and enjoy the opportunity to, if even for just one day a year, be able to serve those who served their country. It was another relaxing and rewarding day on the water for all involved. Trout Unlimited salutes our veterans and first responders, and thanks all of our partners and sponsors who made this all happen.
Laurel Highlands Trout Trail Signs Installed
Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited began installing signage along trout streams that are highlighted in the Laurel Highlands Trout Trail (LHTT) project. Seen in the photo at the tailrace of the Yough Dam are (L-R) Larry Myers, Ron Rodgers and Ron Miller. Two signs will be installed on each of the ten streams by various TU Chapters. LHTT is a product of Chestnut Ridge, Forbes Trail, Ken Sink, Mountain Laurel and Penns Woods West chapters. The intent is to assist anglers find premier trout streams to fish in the Laurel Highlands. And in the process by purchasing meals, tackle, gas and lodging, they are helping to drive the local economy. The project was funded via grants from Go Laurel Highlands and Penns Woods West TU. Visit www.laurelhighlandstrouttrail.com for more information.
Rock Run Water Tests 7.29.23
Citizen Scientists were met with a downpour for monthly water tests at the mouth of Rock Run on July 29. The (much welcome) rain forced a quick sample collection and tests conducted in the pavilion at Adams Falls.
Air Temperature: 68°F
Water Temperature: 63.5°F
Linn Run Gauge: 1.85′
Linn Run Flow: 9.65 ft³/sec
Despite the hottest day of summer on the previous day, Rock Run flows at a trout healthy 63.5 degrees.
Rock Run Water Tests for July 2023
The testers were greeted with heavy rain on the morning of July 1, but the skies soon cleared and they were able to conduct monthly water tests at the mouth of Rock Run.
The storm raised water levels from 1.9′ to 2.0′ in less than an hour and with additional rain later in the day peaked at 3.93′ with a flow rate of 565 ft.3/sec at 9:30 pm.
Here’s the test results as of 10:30 am, Saturday, July 1:
Air Temperature: 65°F
Water Temperature: 59.5°F
Linn Run Gauge: 2.0′
Linn Run Discharge: 13 ft³./sec
Alkalinity was surprisingly good considering the influx of rain water.
Afterwards, we went up to the headwaters and checked on the limestone sand that was placed in the stream last year.
It is estimated that 90% has been washed down into the stream. We shoveled the remaining sand in closer to the water.