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Posted in Fund Raising

FTTU Fulfills Promise to Donate Portion of Raffle Profits to the Westmoreland County Food Bank

Check Presentation
Check presentation at the Westmoreland County Food Bank. (L-R) Denny Hess, FTTU Vice President; Larry Myers, FTTU President; Ron Rodgers, FTTU Treasurer; Jennifer Miller, WCFB CEO; Monty Murty, FTTU past President; Scott Minster FTTU Secretary.

Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited (TU) recently presented a $600 check to the Westmoreland Food Bank to help those in local communities in need of food.  Through its annual, fall meat raffle, TU gave away seven $250 gift cards to either Werry’s Provision Meat Market in Scottdale, or Walmart.  TU members sold over 700 raffle tickets at $10 each to friends and family members throughout Westmoreland County.  The winning numbers were drawn on November 17th and the gift cards were delivered shortly thereafter.  TU donated 10% of the raffle profits to the Food Bank.

“We are grateful to Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited, for once again choosing the Westmoreland Food Bank as their charity of choice for this amazing fundraiser” expressed Chief Executive Officer, Jennifer Miller.  “We are grateful as well to all who supported it!  In this time of uncertainty with inflation and gas prices as they are, we need people and organizations such as this to give a hand up to their neighbors in need.  This is, indeed, what they have done!”

“This is an easy way for our chapter to raise unrestricted funds for community, school and local stream projects” explained Larry Myers, Chapter President.  “It’s an opportunity for all of our 500 plus members to get involved in fundraising with minimal effort.”  Trout Unlimited also thanks our partner, Werry’s Provision, for promoting our raffle on their Face Book page and selling tickets at their market.  Their market is easy to find near Overton just off Rt. 119, and their meat quality and selection is excellent.  

“We gave away one gift card for every 100 tickets sold, which are really good odds.”  said Myers.  “Knowing that each ticket purchased helps those in need of food makes the selling very easy.  There are many families in our communities who could use a helping hand, and the raffle is a simple means for us to provide that support.”

Posted in Citizen Science Rock Run

Final Rock Run Water Tests For 2022

Mouth of Rock Run 12-3-22
Mouth of Rock Run 12-3-22

FTTU Citizen Scientists wrapped up monthly water tests at the mouth of Rock Run for 2022. After a few months of low water, The flow was at its highest since April. Readings showed pH at 7.4, and Alkalinity at 5.5. Air temperature was 50° and water temperature was 43°. Linn Run gauge was at 2.03 ft. and discharge was 16.3 ft³/sec.

Averages over the 12 months of 2022 were 7.55 pH and 6.85 alkalinity. Alkalinity was down a bit from 2021 but average flow was a little higher. Those two things go hand-in-hand. When flow is up, alkalinity goes down. Overall averages show significant improvement and slow but steady progress since we started doing monthly tests in 2017. Alkalinity that year was 5.9 and pH was 6.47.

The pH and alkalinity chart for 2022 can be seen here – pH Chart 2022

Posted in Fund Raising

Thank You For Another Successful Fundraising Raffle

The FTTU Fall fundraiser – “Autumn Special” Raffle wrapped up this evening with the drawing held at PA Fly Co fly shop on Three Mile Hill near Acme, PA. This year, we sold 623 tickets and we drew six winning tickets.

Here are the winning numbers:

Congratulations to the winners. They will have their choice of a $250 gift certificate from Werry’s Provision, Walmart or half and half.

If you have one of the winning numbers, you should have already received a call. If you have a voicemail from us, please call back and state your gift certificate preference. The prizes will be sent out via certified mail.

Thanks to all of you who purchased and/or sold tickets. Check back for a complete financial rundown – 10% of our profits will be donated to the Westmoreland Food Bank.

Posted in Member Profile

Local Self-Taught Artist Showcases His Works at Westmoreland Museum


Rod Cross, a director for Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited, was invited to display his art work and explain his hobby at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg. The event, Sunday, November 13, included a display of many of his past and recent art pieces.

Rod is multi-talented and puts many of his skills to work during TU events, including being the chapter’s go-to instructor for fly casting. But his passion is really in “whittling” which he proudly distinguishes from “carving” where the wood is held in a vice. Whittling involves holding the raw wood in his hand and using a small knife to produce the intricately designed final product.
Like many artists, Rod prefers the quiet of his wood shop to create his masterpieces with just music playing softly in the background. Many of his pieces take a full week of work, including as many as 20 coats of tung oil. The oil gives the wood a rich, glass like finish, penetrating the wood to help preserve it. Rod’s wife Judy was on hand to greet visitors and to share the stories behind the artwork.
Forbes Trail is blessed with so many talented members willing to give of their time and talents to help promote our mission of conserving our coldwater fisheries. But what’s more interesting sometimes is their backgrounds, and what to do in their spare time.
Many of Rod’s art pieces tell a story, including the source, and importance of the wood from which it is whittled. Following is Rod’s introduction to his story for visitors at the museum.
“My name is Rod Cross, and I am a self-taught wood carver, or more accurately, a “whittler”. I was taught to respect and use a knife as a tool, and later as an instrument to create my expression of Art.
My carvings reflect a passion in other areas of my life that bring me joy and satisfaction, as art should.
Trout fishing and conservation have led me to carve the flowing lines of the brook trout, and the carvings are donated to conservation fund-raising banquets.
Over the years the carvings that give me the most satisfaction are the simple cherry nativity scenes that I carve for one person, or a family each year. This gift of giving has given back to me the real meaning of the Christmas season.
And trout pins for hats or vests are carved and given to fishing friends, and a former President and First Lady.”
Cross grew up in North Huntingdon Township. His working career was in the industrial gas business, first driving a truck, then retiring as a Regional Operations Manager for the Northeast.

Posted in Events

Yough Defense Party 11/17/22

The Mountain Watershed Association and Yough Riverkeeper will hold a Yough Defense Party on Thursday, November 17 from 2:00 – 10:00 pm at the Falls City Pub in Ohiopyle, PA

Join us for an evening of celebrating the Youghiogheny River

Live music, silent auction with outdoor gear and goods from local artisans, potluck dinner, and great company

Indoor and Outdoor space, we’ll be ready for cold weather with fire pits and an outdoor event tent!


Silent auctions end at 7pm and 8pm.

Door Tickets are $20.00
The door ticket gets you entry to the event, free food, one free drink ticket, and an entry for the door prize. There will be a Will Call list at the event with your name.

Tickets are available through the Mountain Watershed Association.

Posted in Fund Raising

Raffle Ticket Sales Update

With less than a week to go until the drawing on November 17th, ticket sales have fallen short of last year. We will still make a nice profit of unrestricted funds for the chapters’ use and draw for at least 5 gift certificate prizes.

As of the deadline 11/12/22 we have sold 567 tickets.

Although the deadline for sales has passed, any stragglers still out in the mail will be collected and included in the raffle.

We will award one $250 gift certificate prize for every 100 tickets sold and donate 10% of our profits to the Westmoreland Food Bank.

Thank you and good luck to all who have purchased and/or sold tickets!

The drawing is November 17, 2022 at 6:00 pm, live on the FTTU Facebook page.

Posted in Citizen Science Conservation Rock Run

Rock Run Water Tests for November

Stream-Side Lab
Denny Hess prepares samples at our stream-side lab

Water quality tests for November:

Air Temperature: 42° F
Water Temperature: 47.5° F
pH: 7.5
Alkalinity: 12.4
Linn Run Gauge: 1.46
Linn Run Flow: 1.9 ft³/sec

A splash of rain brought water levels up a bit but alkalinity also went up. Maybe recent addition of limestone has helped.

Posted in Fishing Women's Involvement

TU Ladies Hook Into Fall Trout

Lady anglers from Penn’s Woods West and Forbes Trail Chapters of Trout Unlimited took advantage of the beautiful weather this past Saturday to do some fall trout fishing.  The leaf colors were almost as magnificent as those on the hefty brook trout landed by Tara Easter.  What made it extra special was Tara spent the day fishing with her mother, Bonnie Robinson who happens to be chair of the Membership Committee for Forbes Trail.  The two TU chapters regularly partner on activities and events involving our lady members since sometimes neither chapter can round up a critical mass on its own.  Through its Diversity Committees, TU works to create programs for entire families and community members who may not get many opportunities to try their hand at fly fishing.  Penn’s Woods West organized this event and reach out to surrounding chapters.  For once both the weather and trout cooperated! 

Ladies Fishing
Tara Easter and lunker brook trout she caught
Posted in Conservation Linn Run

FTTU Volunteers Help Treat Linn Run Hemlocks for Woolly Adelgid

Forbes Trail Trout Unlimited volunteers assisted DCNR staff treat trees in Linn Run State Park for the invasive and destructive insect, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA).  The treatment was conducted on October 20 on trees near the stream.  This is the second year DCNR has called on Ron Miller and his crew  from Forbes Trail for assistance.  Trees were treated with an insecticide, mixed by DCNR staff, and injected around the base of the tree by volunteers Denny Hess, Ron Miller, Larry Myers and Bill Somogyi.  The systemic treatment is absorbed by the roots and travels through the tree to the needles being attacked by the bugs.  Another option used by DCNR in other areas is a predator beetle called Laricobius nigrinus (Ln).  The chemical treatment works short term and is effective for up to 5 years or more.  The beetles take longer to develop an effective population and is more of a long term solution.  HWA is a major concern to TU because it threatens the canopy that keeps the headwaters cool where wild trout reproduce.

Adelgid Treatment
Bill Somogyi injects insecticide while Denny Hess removes tag identifying tree to be treated
Adelgid Treatment
Ron Miller (left) and Larry Myers treat hemlocks along Linn Run
Bottle of predator beetles
Posted in Fund Raising

Members! Check Your Mailboxes!

The 2022 “Autumn Special” Raffle mailing recently went out to FTTU members.

Inside you will find a letter from President Larry Myers, 10 raffle tickets and a return envelope for your convenience.

Thanks to your past help, FTTU has remained in good financial standing and we have been able to fund all of our activities.

Again this year, we are asking members to buy or sell tickets to raise unrestricted funds for the chapter.

Tickets are also available at Werry’s Provisions – 360 W. Overton Road, Scottdale, PA and PA Fly Co, 166 Three Mile Hill, Acme, PA.

The more tickets sold, the more prizes awarded. One $250 gift certificate for each 100 tickets sold!

Raffle Flyer