No More Meetings Until September
The Pebble Mine in the Bristol Bay (Alaska) watershed is still alive and gaining ground. Please visit the following sites for further information:
TU: Pebble Mine Bristol Bay Watershed Southwest Alaska
Alaska Conservation Foundation
A New Library Page is posted in the Library section!
Trout in the Classroom expands to 60 schools in nine Maryland counties and the District of Columbia this school year. (see Trout in the Classroom for further details and Maryland DNR recognition).
The Annual Newsletter for 2013 is posted in the
Annual Newsletter section!
The OUTING Report for The Casselman River, Maryland, April 26-28, 2013 is posted in the
Several new patterns from the January 2013 Fly Tying Demonstrations are in the Fly Tying Section.
One on one stream side fly fishing instruction is available to PPTU members.
Go to the Mentor Program page for details.
PPCTU Annual Fundraiser
The Annual Fundraiser was concluded at the February 20, 2013 meeting with the drawing of the winners for PPTU's Grand Raffle. Bob O'Donnell won the first prize, a gift certificate for the “2 for 3 Stay and Float” package at the West Branch Angler and Sportsman’s Resort, in Deposit, New York. Dennis Tirpak won the 2nd prize, a full day float fishing trip for two by Spring Creek Outfitters. Dennis Covert won the 3rd prize, a full day fishing for two by Mike Heck's Trout Guides.
The Annual Fundraiser, which included this Grand Raffle along with the Annual Fundraising Meeting on November 14, 2012 provided the chapter with a net income of $2646.72. Thank you for supporting our fun raising activities.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR FAMILY AND YOUTH CASTING CALL ON MAY 3 AND 4:
Since 2007 the Casting Call has hosted a free kids fishing day at Fletcher's Boathouse on the Potomac. Last year we had over 750 kids and their parents attend the two day event. The Friday May 3rd event is an invite only event for DC and MD school kids. This year we have 330 kids signed up to participate! The Saturday May 4th event is open to the public. We stock a portion of the C&O canal, provide all the equipment and a host of other educational activities for the kids when not fishing. We depend on volunteers like you to make this event a success.
The event is at Fletcher's Boathouse and we will feed you a light breakfast and lunch. We will also provide beverages and an event t-shirt that we ask you to wear so that volunteers are easily identified. What do you need to bring? Sunglasses, hat, sunscreen and a smile! We will provide all fishing gear including nippers and hemostats for the fishing, but if you have your own gear, feel free to bring it.
The Friday event will start at 8am and go until 3pm. Saturday event will run from 9am until 4pm. This event is open to the public so it is a little less structured.
We have a blast with this event and we look forward to adding you to our Casting Call family. If you are interested in volunteering, go and register here so we know which day you are available to participate.
Thanks again and please sign up!
Trout Youth Camps
The applications for the two youth conservation and fly fishing camps we support are currently on line. If you know of an interested young person that would like to attend, pass along this information. Applications and more information is available on line. Hurry! The camps fill up quickly.
These schools provide interested youth with a week of exciting, hands-on outdoor experiences that give them a firsthand appreciation of the value of their coldwater fisheries resources.
Pennsylvania Rivers Conservation & Fly Fishing Youth Camp
For boys and girls ages 14 to 17
June 16-21, 2013
The Rivers camp is held at the Allenberry Resort on the Yellow Breeches in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania
Tri-State Conservation & Fishing Camp
Sunday, June 23 to Friday, June 28, 2013
The Tri-State camp is held at Graves' Mountain Lodge in Syria, Virginia.
Students need to be in the 8th, 9th, 10th, or 11th grade now, or will be 13 years old by June 2013.
We are seeking volunteers for several positions within the chapter.
Monthly Barrel Raffle Chair- Currently Bob Dietz
Outings Coordinator- Currently Dennis Covert
As with any volunteer organization we are only as vibrant as our membership. Yes, there is some work involved, but the rewards of working with a great bunch of people while serving the community where you live by far outweighs the work.
In the past I’ve heard folks say, “I don’t volunteer because I don’t really know how to do any of these things”. Cast your reservations aside, we will help you!
We have roughly 450 members in the Potomac Patuxent Chapter of TU and about 30 of the same very dedicated people year after year put the show on the road. We need more support.
Take a look at the list above. If you have an interest you can contact me at a meeting or at home, or one of the board members, or, one of the current chairs listed by the activity above.
NEW ON LINE LIABILITY RELEASE FORM
We've gone green! We now have an on line Liability Release Form. To sign up for a specific outing, simply complete the form. When you click on the Submit button, the Outings Chair is notified of your intent to attend that outing and you will receive a copy of your completed Liability Release via email. No paperwork is required. You can complete this form from any device that has internet access including smart phones and tablets.
Project Healing Waters
Fort George Meade
UPDATE ON RECENT ACTIVITY
What is the nature of the program?
Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and veterans through fly fishing and fly tying education and outings. Our chapter hosts a year round series of events providing a social structure for active service personnel, veterans and chapter volunteers to build relationships and share a common passion. This forum provides a relaxed environment to discuss issues they are facing and for chapter volunteers to act as gatekeepers and refer participants to the many support organizations available to them through the Soldiers and Family Assistance Center (SFAC). The Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing program at Ft. Meade developed locally from an initial effort at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2005 and is now one of 119 programs in 41 states.
How many wounded warriors on average?
Over the past 30 months, more than 50 warriors plus their dependents have been touched by these activities at Ft. Meade. In the current rod building activity, we have ten fly rods being built.
How often? When?
The program with the Warrior Transition Unit at Ft. Meade is scheduled for each Thursday evening from 1830 - 2100 in the winter months in the SFAC conference room. In warmer weather, we meet nearby the SFAC in a picnic pavilion on Lake Burba from 1730 - 2000.
Mostly active duty Army but the program serves all military personnel and veterans including Army Reservists and National Guard.
How long in transition unit?
4 months – 36 months depending on medical condition. Some have returned to their units.
How far from home?
Warriors are from all over the country with a handful close to home.
What support can the group the Chapter is speaking to provide: number of volunteers, skills equipment, cash or in-kind donations?
The Chapter provides equipment and materials for fly tying, rod building and fishing. Primarily for wounded warriors, family members of the warriors are also able to participate, at no cost to them. Some limited, out-of-state travel for fishing on semi-private water has been possible. The Facebook site at Project Healing Waters At Ft Meade will provide some insight into these activities. Fly tying, rod building, fly casting, fly fishing, and teaching skills are desired for the volunteers. Equipment, supplies, and financial support are always welcome. PPTU Chapter provided funding in 2011 of $828.00 with over 1000 hours of volunteer assistance and has budgeted $900.00 for 2012.
In September of 2009, volunteers from the Potomac Patuxent Chapter of Trout Unlimited (PPCTU), in conjunction with the Fort George Meade Warrior Transition Unit (WTU), held their first meeting of Project Healing Waters (PHW).
Our first class was attended by four wounded warriors and quickly expanded to more. Classes started with volunteers Jim Greco, Carl Smolka, Dennis Covert, me, and now include Harry Steiner, who joined us in January, with Rodger Carlson and Patty Nicholson joining us in May. Note: Dave Wittman also volunteered to help with PHW, however, he was taken from us just before the first meeting.
The Ft Meade Warriors watching Bob Dietz in action
RJ showing off a fly she just finished
There is plenty of clowning around
Our warriors getting down to business with Jim Greco
A little one on one with Harry Steiner
Rochelle tying another excellent fly
Every Thursday evening, from 7:00 PM until 9:00 PM, PPCTU volunteers meet with the wounded warriors to share their knowledge of fly tying, casting, knot tying, and trout fishing.
In the spring of 2010, PPCTU sponsored a PHW outing for our warriors to Burba Lake at Fort Meade. Our wounded warriors enjoyed catching bluegills and bass on flies they had tied. Laughs and shouts of encouragement were heard all around the lake. After fishing, the warriors and volunteers enjoyed a shore lunch of grilled burgers and hot dogs.
John bring one in
RJ my fish is bigger than your fish !
RJ with one of her many
Jerry working the spawning beds . That's Tom in the back ground working the deeper waters
John stowing the gear
In October 2010, PPCTU hosted a PHW Chesapeake Bay Fly Fishing outing for our warriors thanks to the efforts of Roger Carlsen and John Dyer.
In the winter of 2012, PPCTU hosted a PHW Rod Building Class at Fort Meade. Our wounded warriors enjoyed learning the skills associated with building their own fly rods. Some photos from the class are shown below.
I believe I can speak for all the volunteers when I say this program has been a very rewarding experience.
I cannot remember ever feeling so good about giving a little time, and what a great way for us to be able to thank those who have given so much for us. This is the least we can do to say thanks, and it is personally very rewarding.
Thanks to all of the warriors who serve our country.
Felt Soles Banned
Felt Soles have been banned in Maryland waters as of March 22, 2011. Natural Resource Police intend to initially issue a warning and an information card to anyone wearing felt-soled boots or waders. Resource managers in North America and New Zealand suspected early on that the felt-soled waders and boots of traveling fly fishermen were the pathway for its spread. Subsequent field and
laboratory research has confirmed that the felt used for waders is an ideal medium for collecting and transporting microscopic organisms. DNR scientists and anglers have found seasonal infestations of Didymo in the Gunpowder River and traces of the organism in the Savage
River. Other diseases and injurious species such as Whirling Disease, which is fatal to trout, may be carried on felt soles.
Felt has been banned from New Zealand streams since 2008. Alaska and Vermont have moved to prohibit felt soles. For more information on this subject, please visit the Maryland DNR website. A number of companies now offer resoling services. This is often less expensive than purchasing new boots or waders. A list of companies that offer resoling services can be found at www.simmsfishing.com/site/streamtread.html.
Photo - Tim Daley, PA DEP
What is Didymo?
Didymosphenia geminata, also known as ‘rock snot’ or ‘didymo’, is a microscopic alga known as a diatom that’s invading our rivers and streams. It can smother entire stream beds with mats as thick as eight inches and can ruin just about any river or creek (see Penn Fish and Boat). Once in a stream, there is no known way to remove it. All that can be done is to try to prevent its spread. The spores will stick to anything (boots, waders, fishing line, boats, etc.) that goes into the infected water and in a damp environment they can live for days. The only thing to do is clean and disinfect everything. The following is from EPA but please also check
Penn Fish and Boat and MD DNR for more detailed information.
Please note that you have to be very careful with chlorine bleach; even in tiny amounts, it is toxic to fish. Be sure to use it sufficiently far from the stream so that there is no chance of any getting into the stream and be sure to rinse well anything on which it is used.
Before leaving a river’s edge, look
for clumps of algae and sediment,
and remove them. Leave them at
Soak all gear for at least one
minute in a 2% (by volume)
solution of household bleach,
or a 5% (by volume) solution of
dishwashing detergent or salt.
All surfaces must be in contact
with the cleaning solution for
a full minute. Water-absorbent
equipment (lifejackets, waders)
should be soaked thoroughly to
ensure complete contact.
If cleaning is not practical, after
the item is dry to the touch, leave
it to dry for at least another 48
hours before using in another
What is Whirling Disease?
Myxobolus cerebralis (Mc) is a parasite that infiltrates the head and spinal cartilage of fingerling trout where it multiplies rapidly, putting pressure on the organ of equilibrium. This causes the fish to swim erratically (whirl), and have difficulty feeding and avoiding predators, in severe cases, die. In severe infections, the disease can cause high rates of mortality in young-of-the-year fish. When an infected fish dies, millions of tiny indestructible Mc spores (each about the size of a red blood cell) are released to the water where they can survive in this "dormant" form for up to 30 years.
Therein lies the gravity of the whirling disease problem. M. cerebralis is virtually indestructible -- the spore can withstand freezing and desiccation, and can survive in a stream for 20 to 30 years. Whirling disease is most infective to rainbow and cutthroat trout, but can infect all salmonid species, including brook trout.
Is there anything anglers and boaters can do to help prevent further spread?
Anglers, boaters, and others can make a difference in reducing the chances of spreading whirling disease. Distribution of the parasite is expanding rapidly in some areas, so you should assume its presence if you don't know otherwise. Recommended precautions that will help prevent not only the spread of whirling disease, but also other disease-causing organisms and aquatic pests include:
... Never transport live fish from one water body to another. (This is illegal in many states.)
Dispose of fish entrails and skeletal parts properly. Never discard fish parts in or near streams or rivers. Do not discard fish parts in a kitchen disposal. Whirling disease myxospores can survive most wastewater treatment systems. Instead, discard in dry waste that would go to a landfill.
... Contact the Department of Natural Resources at 800-688-3467 if you observe signs of whirling disease in fish or observe illegal stocking.
... Obtain certified disease free fish for any private stock projects.
Rinse all mud and debris from equipment and wading gear, and drain water from boats before leaving an infected drainage. This is good practice for preventing transfer of other aquatic hitchhikers as well.
... Although the above precautions will remove most spores from your gear, you may want to consider the following if fishing in heavily infected waters: Rinse, then thoroughly dry your boots, waders and other fishing equipment. This is generally sufficient to kill the TAM stage of the parasite. For disinfection options if your equipment does not have time to dry thoroughly see http://whirlingdisease.montana.edu/.
PPTU is a conservation organization dedicated to the
preservation of coldwater fisheries and their watersheds. As such, we see
it as an obligation, and an honor, to be active in this mission. If we are
to succeed as a TU chapter, we need all of us working together! We need
your suggestions and ideas on what we should be doing, how we cold improve on
what we are already doing, and how we can make this organization more meaningful
to you. Let us know what kinds of projects you think PPTU should be
sinking its human and financial resources into, and what kinds of projects you
would like to get involved in. How can we be more involved in coldwater
conservation activities that would merit your interest and involvement?
Any and all ideas or suggestions are welcome, and very much appreciated!
Your opinions are instrumental in helping to formulate what we are going to do
as a chapter. Please, take a few moments to help the
chapter by sending your suggestions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next Outing is to Penns Creek, PA on May 14-20, 2013.
Go to the Outings page for details and
for information about other upcoming outings.
"The Conservationist" is not published in June, July, and August. Back copies are available by using the Chapter Publication Link.